The National Interest (105)

OA-X: Is the U.S. Air Force Ready to Purchase a New Light Attack Aircraft?

Dave Majumdar Security, Or will the effort die?  The United States Air Force is expected to hold demonstrations this summer to show off the capabilities of a new light attack aircraft the service might eventually purchase under a new OA-X program. The Air Force had attempted to buy a light attack ...

Hostile Takeover: How Nationalism Could Fracture Europe's Political and Economic Union

Scott B. MacDonald Politics, Europe Dutch and French political forces could wreak havoc on the European system. The European Union is now sixty years old. Instead of being in a celebratory mood, the EU's leadership is fighting to hold the twenty-eight, soon to be twenty-seven, nation bloc together. ...

You're Fired: How Trump Can Take On DC's Entrenched Bureaucracy

Jarrett Stepman Politics, Americas The overextended fourth branch' of government is no longer accountable to the people. The United States government is suffering from the arrogance of the unaccountable, and if the election of Donald Trump meant anything, it's that voters want a serious course ...

We Can't Afford to Lose U.S.-Russian Nuclear Cooperation

Nicolai N. Petro, Josh Cohen Security, Eurasia Rather than engaging in nuclear saber-rattling, the Trump administration should widen and deepen its cooperation with Moscow. In the rancorous aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, Russia is often depicted as the greatest national-security threat ...

The Party of No, and now an Administration of No

Paul R. Pillar Presidency Foreign Policy Politics, United States The abortive attempt to pass Paul Ryan's bill for tax cuts and partial dismantling of the health care system vividly demonstrated the consequences of trying to govern according to what one is against, rather than what one is for.  If ...

The Real South China Sea Crisis Everyone Is Missing

Dan Southerland Security, Asia And it does not involved any fake islands or missiles.  China will soon host a dialogue with Southeast Asian nations aimed at managing tensions in the South China Sea. But it's not clear whether the talks will help to save a marine environment that in parts is facing ...

Why Paul Ryan Needs the Freedom Caucus

Benjamin Domenech Politics, Americas Without the Freedom Caucus, Ryan would not be speaker. He needs to be speaker with them, not against them. For more than seven years, the Republican Party has made its hay running against the spectre of Obamacare. Ever since Scott Brown won the late Sen. Ted ...

Why the Pentagon Needs to Leverage National Guard Cyber Skills

Constance Douris Security, Currently, the cyber expertise of the National Guard is not monitored by the Department of Defense . A successful cyberattack on computer systems that control the U.S. electric grid could cause a long-term blackout and disrupt critical services in the government and ...

Does NATO Really Need Montenegro?

Doug Bandow Security, Europe Elevating today's Duchy of Grand Fenwick to NATO status won't help keep the peace. If denizens of Washington wonder at the appeal of Donald Trump's America First rhetoric, they need look no further than the concerted effort to bring Montenegro into NATO. A Senate vote is ...

The U.S. Army's Master Plan to Win the Wars of the Future

Kris Osborn Security, Super networked soliders  The technology also uses a technique called a chem light,' wherein a Soldier can highlight or light up' a location to pass along key information such as the location of a cleared building or other data relevant to an ongoing fight. This helps the ...

Russia's Crazy Cold War Plan to Steamroll NATO in a War

Michael Peck Security, Europe Bye, bye Europe.  The Nazis conquered France in six weeks, in one of the most spectacular military victories in history. Had the Soviet Union gone to war with the West in the early 1960s, it also planned to blitz France. But unlike the Germans, the Soviets planned to ...

In 1938, Russia and Japan Almost Went to War

Michael Peck Security, Asia What would have happenned?  Tactically, the battle highlighted the weaknesses of an infantry-centric army fighting a conventional battle against mechanized forces in open terrain. It also broke the comforting myth that morale beats firepower . "Doctrine could only carry ...

F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Joining Massive Wargame Next Month

Dave Majumdar Security, The point of the exercise is to foster interoperability between advanced fifth-generation stealth fighters—such as the F-22 and F-35—and fourth-generation jets—such as the Typhoon. Next month, the United States Air Force will once again host a massive international ...

Did Israel's Arrow Really Shoot Down a Syrian Rocket?

Michael Peck Security, Middle East Knocking a SAM down with a ballistic-missile interceptor seems a chancy and expensive way of protecting aircraft. Last week's report that Israel's Arrow missile-defense system shot down a Syrian missile was remarkable on two levels. It was the first time that the ...

New Serbian Rocket Sends a Message: Bomb Us and We'll Destroy Your Cities

Michael Peck Security, Europe Just in case NATO, or anyone else, gets any ideas. Still angry after NATO's 1999 bombing campaign, Serbia has unveiled a new guided rocket that sends a message to its neighbors: if you help NATO bomb us, we'll bomb your cities. Serbia's new Sumadija is a truck-mounted ...

How Russia Gave Birth to THAAD

Kyle Mizokami Security, Eurasia The history of the missile China loves to hate. The antiballistic missile that promises to defend South Korea from North Korean nukes has its origins in a Cold War requirement to defend U.S. forces from Soviet tactical missiles. Despite a rocky development history, ...

Trump Must Stand His Ground with NATO

Ted Galen Carpenter Security, Europe Trump should make good on his word and cut off NATO allies that refuse to pull their weight. President Trump's tense meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed that he is serious about insisting on greater financial burden sharing within NATO. Not ...

America Can't Afford to Buy a Broken Afghanistan

Amitai Etzioni Security, Asia The history of international warfare in South Asia has taught us that Afghanistan cannot be saved. Trump should refuse to grant the request of Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, for thousands of additional troops to be sent to Afghanistan. Indeed, Trump ...

The Fabric of Arab Society Is in Tatters

Geneive Abdo Politics, Middle East Will Arab governments rise to the challenge? Earlier this month, religious scholars gathered in Cairo at an unusual meeting to call for equality among religious minorities within Islamic societies—not just in matters of religion but in civil affairs as well. ...

Why America—and Its Political Leaders—Should Think Twice about Poking China

Jared McKinney Security, Asia Politicians should carefully consider the impact that their words may have on America's international relationships. The first rule of rational thinking is that one should not assume what one hopes to prove. The first rule of international politics is that misperception ...

How Germany Won World War II

Leon Hadar Politics, Europe Has the political upheaval over America's 2016 election inadvertantly made Germany great again? Remember the good old days? Back in the early twenty-first century, after China had joined the World Trade Organization, the Tom Friedmans of the world told us that before you ...

The Mosin-Nagant: The Russian Sniper Rifle Nazi Germany Feared Most

Robert Beckhusen Security, The Mosin-Nagant rifle modified for long-distance work was the Red Army's primary sniper weapon. The Soviet government often exaggerated tales of its front-line snipers for propaganda purposes. The sniper duel between famed Soviet sniper Vasily Zaitsev and Major Konig' ...

Forget North Korea: A Nuclear War Betweeen India and Pakistan Should Terrify You

Sebastien Roblin Security, Asia Why the world should be hyper-focused on this massive nuclear weapons build-up. While the United States is preoccupied by the threat of nuclear weapons in the hands of potential adversaries such as Russia, China or North Korea, the danger of nuclear conflict may ...

Why Nobody Wants to Fight America's Tanks: Uranium 'Silver Bullets'

Kyle Mizokami Security, The use of depleted uranium as a penetrator has resulted in superior armament for U.S. tankers crossing the battlefield. A tank is a fast-moving, well-protected, heavily armed behemoth designed to dominate the land battlefield. As the primary offensive weapon in any army, ...

How Lenin and Wilson Changed the World

Anton Fedyashin Politics, Americas Two competing universalist visionaries managed to change the geopolitical game. Exactly one hundred years ago this month, President Woodrow Wilson and Vladimir Lenin articulated two competing messianic and universalist visions for a new world order. This tectonic ...

Lessons From the Deadliest Chemical War

Paul Iddon Security, Why didn't World War II go 'chemical'?  Since the end of World War I, the only substantial chemical attacks in warfare have occurred in East Asia and the Middle East. Japan poisoned Chinese troops with gas in the 1930s. Egypt dumped poison gas on Yemen in the 1960s, and Iraqi ...

The Real Reason America Lost the War in Vietnam: Japan

Michael Peck Security, Asia A little forgotten history provides some perspective. In March of 1945, and just five months before surrendering to the Allies, Japan did something with profound consequences: it conquered Vietnam—and ultimately embroiled the United States in its first lost war. To be ...

In 1968, North Korea Captured and Tortured 81 U.S. Sailors

Sebastien Roblin Security, Asia Welcome to the USS Pueblo incident. When the USS Pueblo slipped from its quay in Yokosuka, Japan on January 5, 1968, its crew of eighty-three could not have anticipated that what would have been a routine mission would turn into an eleven month ordeal that would bring ...

How Pakistan Is Planning to Fight a Nuclear War

Kyle Mizokami Security, Asia Forget North Korea, this is the real nuclear threat the world should be thinking about. Sandwiched between Iran, China, India and Afghanistan, Pakistan lives in a complicated neighborhood with a variety of security issues. One of the nine known states known to have ...

Iron Duke: Great Britain's World War I Super Battleship

Robert Farley Security, Europe But not super enough to see World War II. HMS Iron Duke was the second battleship named after the Duke of Wellington. The first, scrapped in 1906, had the distinction of ramming and sinking HMS Vanguard, another Royal Navy battleship. The second Iron Duke was the name ...

The Real Reason China Is Desperate to Stop THAAD

Grant Newsham Security, Asia It has more to do with alliances than missiles. Chinese opposition to South Korea's deployment of the THAAD missile defense system is less about missiles than about an ongoing effort to weaken—and ideally demolish—the United States' network of formal and informal ...

How China Would Invade Taiwan

Ian Easton Security, Asia So how do Taiwanese military experts plan to defend their country against attack, and how can the United States help?  Various sources from within the People's Republic of China have allegedly suggested that time is running out for Taiwan's democracy. In their narrative, ...

Want to Open the Ultimate Pandora's Box? Bomb North Korea

Robert E Kelly Security, Asia There is a reason Washington never attacks the DPRK when it causes trouble. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made waves last week when he suggested that military action against North Korea was an option. He pointedly said that former President Barack Obama's ...

Is Germany Getting Ready to Build Its Very Own Stealth Fighter?

Dave Majumdar Security, Europe Is Berlin going to build a 5th generation fighter?  Germany and Airbus Defense and Space are working on the initial stages of a new program to replace Berlin's long-serving fleet of the Panavia Tornado bombers and complement the Luftwaffe's Eurofighter Typhoon air ...

The Mega U.S.-China Summit at Mar-a-Lago: Let Trump Be Trump

Gordon G. Chang Security, Asia At Mar-a-Lago next month, North Korea is at the top on the agenda. And let's hope Big Macs are on the menu. President Donald Trump plays host to someone as powerful and as willful as himself early next month at his Mar-a-Lago resort when Chinese ruler Xi Jinping ...

The Simple Reason the GOP Health-Care Bill Failed

Daniel McCarthy Politics, Americas The AHCA mess is a warning: until someone can actually lead the GOP and resolve its contradictions one way or another, it will not be able to govern. House Speaker Paul Ryan's decision to call off a vote on the Obamacare replacement bill—the American Health Care ...

Help Wanted: National Security and State Department Reporter

TNI Staff Security, The National Interest, a print and online magazine focusing on international affairs, foreign policy, national security, domestic politics and more is searching for a national security reporter to join our online editorial team. This position is based in Washington, D.C. This ...

Has Afghanistan Become America's Afghanistan?

Paul R. Pillar Afghanistan Russia, South Asia Fifteen years and counting.  America's longest war keeps getting longer.  The very duration of the expedition, with an end no more in sight now than it had been at any of several points one could have chosen over the last several years, ought to ...

Get Ready, NATO: Russia's New Air Defense Tech Looks Dangerous

Dave Majumdar Security, Russia's mad scientists have some smart ideas to take on western aircraft.  Russia will start research and development work on a new generation of surface-to-air missiles for its army in 2018. The research work will be used to inform a full-scale development effort that will ...

Why Aircraft Carriers Still Dominate the Oceans

Robert Farley Security, They won't end up like battleships anytime soon.  Fundamentally, the strength of a carrier depends most on the capabilities of its air wing. In the next decade, the aircraft launched from U.S. carriers will undergo considerable change. Most notably, the arrival of ...

The U.S. Army Wants A Super 'Bullet' To Kill Enemy Tanks

Kris Osborn Security, Current innovations involve a cutting-edge technology program, called Massive Overmatch Assault Round or MOAR, aimed exploring the prospect of precision guided rounds for the weapon. The weapon fires High-Explosive air burst rounds, close combat rounds, and then the general ...

The Russia-Israel Relationship Is Perfect Realpolitik

Nikolay Pakhomov Politics, Eurasia The two powers recognize they have enough common ground to work together, and have learned to tolerate disagreement. In world politics, the Middle East remains the region with the most serious security challenges. Observers agree that it is undergoing a stage of ...

America's Hands Are Tied in Yemen

Ari Heistein Security, Middle East Trump was right to choose the policy option that best protected U.S. interests, though imperfect. There is undoubtedly a degree of internal tension within Trump's policy towards Yemen, because of the complex array of forces on the Yemeni battlefield, but U.S. ...

Donald Trump Needs a Strategy for the Asia-Pacific Region

Michael Mazza Security, Asia The Trump administration needs to conduct a Southeast Asia policy review that explores a strategy in the South China Sea. Seventy-five years ago, Gen. Douglas MacArthur made his escape from the Philippine island base of Corregidor, avoiding the tightening Japanese noose ...

Rex Tillerson is Right: U.S.-China Relations Need Not Be Zero-Sum

Jared McKinney Security, Asia Secretary Tillerson should ignore the criticism of the foreign-policy elites. Only in Washington, DC could the suggestion that the world's most powerful country and the world's most populous country agree to avoid conflict, respect one another and pursue positive-sum ...

Will the United States Be a Victim of Its Own Success in Syria?

Nicholas A. Heras Security, Middle East The Trump team has options for stabilizing Syria, but each one comes with its own set of risks. The ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS held in Washington, DC was an important milestone on the path to the Trump team's mission to fully ...

The GOP's Self-Inflicted Wound on Health Care

Jacob Heilbrunn Politics, Americas By allying with Ryan, Trump sacrificed the heart of his agenda. Forget Russia. The real blow to the Trump administration came today with the failure of the House of Representatives to vote on health care. For eight years, Republicans have vowed to repeal and ...

The Health Care Bill's Republican Opponents Aren't Extremists

Matt Purple Politics, Americas The official line is wrong: there is no hissing fuse on health reform. A bunch of arch-conservative' hard-liners' just pushed a health care bill to the far right' and then killed it anyway because they didn't get what they want.' That's according to the argot of ...

The Legendary A-10 Warthog vs. the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: Who Wins?

Kris Osborn Security, What plane would you want to fly in a war?  Flying close to ground troops in combat in hostile and high-threat conditions requires a host of unique attributes for an aircraft -- such as flying slow and low to the ground, absorbing some degree of small arms fire and having an ...

Nuclear Weapons: The Most Overrated Weapon of War?

Robert Farley Security, And 4 other super weapons that are simply overhyped--and why.  But since World War II, the United States has eschewed the use of nuclear weapons, even against capable non-nuclear opponents.  Because of the deep political complexity associated with their employment, the ...