Jan-Feb 2012

The Realist

Why We Exist

The National Interest stands for realism in U.S. international relations, a conviction that foreign policy should be based upon real-world considerations—forces, pressures and passions emanating from factors of culture and geography.

Robert W. Merry

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Articles

The Seoul Nuclear Summit

Obama has emerged as champion of securing vulnerable nuclear materials. Two years after his Washington summit on this arcane but important matter, leaders are descending on South Korea to track progress and fashion goals for the future.

Miles A. PomperMichelle E. Dover

Drug Mayhem Moves South

Mexico’s drug violence is spreading into Central American countries that lack the resources to cope with such dire challenges. The region is in danger of reverting back to turmoil.

Ted Galen Carpenter

Triumph of the New Wilsonism

No national interest was cited as a rationale for America's Libya campaign; the action was justified solely on humanitarian grounds. This marks a fundamental break with past U.S. policy prescriptions for such military interventions.

Nikolas K. GvosdevRay Takeyh

Rethinking the Pakistan Plan

U.S.-Pakistani relations are in crisis. Strategic fear of India prevents Pakistan from bending to U.S. demands. Easing India-Pakistan tensions could change the dynamics of the U.S.-Pakistan alliance.

Amitai Etzioni

Reviving the Peace Process

Obama can take credit for several foreign-policy triumphs, but he has failed to revive the moribund Mideast peace process. Arguments for why it can’t be done crumble against the imperative of American presidential leadership.

Daniel Kurtzer

Reviews and Essays

The Seoul Nuclear Summit

Obama has emerged as champion of securing vulnerable nuclear materials. Two years after his Washington summit on this arcane but important matter, leaders are descending on South Korea to track progress and fashion goals for the future.

Miles A. PomperMichelle E. Dover

Drug Mayhem Moves South

Mexico’s drug violence is spreading into Central American countries that lack the resources to cope with such dire challenges. The region is in danger of reverting back to turmoil.

Ted Galen Carpenter

Triumph of the New Wilsonism

No national interest was cited as a rationale for America's Libya campaign; the action was justified solely on humanitarian grounds. This marks a fundamental break with past U.S. policy prescriptions for such military interventions.

Nikolas K. GvosdevRay Takeyh

Eyes and Ears of the Arab Spring

The English-language news channel of Al Jazeera consistently is first on the scene of Mideastern developments, and its journalists provide smart analysis of global events. It may be today’s most influential television-news operation.

The Contradictions of George Kennan

George Kennan presents a study in paradox. With penetrating scholarship, John Lewis Gaddis explores Kennan’s complex psychology and provides an intellectual history of the Cold War in his comprehensive and wonderfully written biography.

Rethinking the Pakistan Plan

U.S.-Pakistani relations are in crisis. Strategic fear of India prevents Pakistan from bending to U.S. demands. Easing India-Pakistan tensions could change the dynamics of the U.S.-Pakistan alliance.

Amitai Etzioni

Reviving the Peace Process

Obama can take credit for several foreign-policy triumphs, but he has failed to revive the moribund Mideast peace process. Arguments for why it can’t be done crumble against the imperative of American presidential leadership.

Daniel Kurtzer

Putin and the Uses of History

“I do not need to prove anything to anyone,” declared Vladimir Putin. Convinced he is the steward of his country’s future, Putin masters Russia’s history—and seeks to manipulate it.

Fiona HillClifford G. Gaddy

Death by Irrelevance

Rockefeller, Lindsay, Scranton—just three of the “moderates” who failed to keep the GOP from the clutches of Goldwater and Nixon. Geoffrey Kabaservice laments their defeat with a wistfulness that obscures from him their true frustration.

Schemes That Set the Desert on Fire

After WWI, Britain and France made the Arab world the object of history, not its subject. James Barr’s new book shows that the Middle East was born crazy. Later misunderstandings and manipulations were laid atop well-worn grooves.