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Shades of Abu Ghraib

The grisly subject of torture is back with us again. A look back at the dark days of de Gaulle's struggle to hold onto Algeria reveals consequences that echo loudly in our newest fight to retain what it means to be civilized.

Detention Nation

George W. Bush’s policies toward terror detainees were perhaps some of his most jaw-dropping. Barack Obama came to office promising to change course. So far, he has done little. It remains to be seen whether the president can—or wants to—develop a

Straw Man in the Wind

In his article "What Resource Wars?" David Victor argued that the threat of resource wards is exaggerated. Thomas Homer-Dixon responds.

Debating Disaster: The World Is Not Enough

In the previous issue of The National Interest, David Victor argued that the threat of resource wars is exaggerated.

The Death of Conquest

We don't "do" conquest anymore--but the new anti-conquest norm has had several unforeseen consequences. Some are proving very worrisome.

Courting Danger

Advocates of a permanent international court to try perpetrators of war crimes and other "crimes against humanity" achieved a major success in July 1997.


America's Disappearing War Data

Crucial statistics from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars aren't being systematically stored, leaving lessons unlearnable.

Drone Strikes and Just War

The argument that new technology demands new rules of war is as timeworn as it is unpersuasive.

The Torture Temptation

The most compelling argument for legal torture is actually both sloppy and dangerous.


Football and War, American Style

At least in some ways, football shapes Americans' perceptions of war. Or should we say misperceptions?

Books & Reviews

The Limits of U.S. Financial Warfare

The Treasury Department has run up an impressive list of tactical victories against rogue regimes, terrorists and criminals. But what is the strategy?

Pinker the Prophet

For those who think we live in an age of unrestrained violence, think again. At least according to one Harvard psychologist, mankind has learned to rein in its inner demons. But is Pinker’s civilization-as-progress thesis too good to be true?

In the Shadow of War

Western society tends to see disaster all around, from climate change to terrorism. But we live in a time of unbridled prosperity. Our age has nowhere near as great a measure of crisis as the age of total war.

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April 24, 2014