The National Interest (147)

The Mind-Blowing Way America Planned to Fight a Nuclear War Against Russia

Sebastien Roblin Security, Americas It even gave battalion-level commanders access to short-range nuclear shells, which risked blasting the units that fired them. Today the use of nuclear weapons is a near-unthinkable military option of last resort. But back in the 1950s, that norm had yet to be ...

U.S. Coast Guard Seized Record Amount of Drugs in 2016

Evan Maguire, Brian Slattery Security, And bigger numbers could be coming.  The year 2016 was a record-breaking year for the U.S. Coast Guard's fight against drug trafficking. By the end of October, the Coast Guard had seized over 416,600 pounds of cocaine worth nearly $5.6 billion, the largest ...

Kasserine Pass: America's Most Humiliating Defeat of World War II

Michael Peck Security, Africa It all went very wrong. Beware a Desert Fox when he's cornered. It was North Africa, in the winter of 1943, and American soldiers were feeling cocky as they prepared for their first ground battle against the Germans in World War II. So far, it hadn't been a bad war for ...

Nazi Germany's 5 Most Lethal Weapons of War

Kyle Mizokami Security, Europe The killer weapons the Allies did not want to face in battle. The forces of Nazi Germany in World War II were some of the most formidable fielded in any war. Backed by German science, engineering and modern mass-production techniques, it was a new type of highly ...

Dreadnought: The Super Battleship That Changed Naval Warfare Forever

Robert Farley Security, Europe The first of the big battleships that still inspire to this very day. State-of-the-art battleship armament in the late nineteenth century involved a mix of large- and small-caliber weapons. Naval architects believed that most engagements would take place within the ...

Hitler's Ultimate Weapon Wasn't Super Tanks or Submarines

Daniel L. Davis Security, Why the Desert Fox dominated.  On August 2, 1990 Saddam Hussein invaded the oil-rich country of Kuwait. President George H. W. Bush immediately ordered U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia to defend its ally, and demanded Saddam withdraw or risk U.S. invasion. About 2,500 miles to ...

How America Can Avoid a Second Korea War

Doug Bandow Security, Asia The total denuclearization of North Korea may not be possible. North Koreans are planning to visit the United States for talks with former American officials. The latter don't represent the Trump administration, but the meeting offers an opportunity for Washington, DC to ...

Why Brian Hook Is an Empty Suit

Daniel R. DePetris Politics, Americas Brian Hook, who is being touted for a senior State Department post, is a consummate creature of Washington conventionality. Brian Hook, unlike a number of members of the Republican foreign-policy establishment and, apparently, his own wife, never said Never ...

China's Big Missile Defense Move in the South China Sea: A Game Changer?

Dave Majumdar Security, Asia The islands—while a thorn in the side of the U.S. forces stationed in the Pacific—are quite vulnerable in the event of a conflict. Satellite imagery appears to confirm that China has nearly completed construction of new fortification that could be used to house ...

Russia's Capitol Is Stacked with Super Powerful S-400 Missile Defense Systems

Guy Plopsky Security, Their capabilities against very low observable cruise missiles and aircraft remain very limited. On February 21, 2017, Russia's Ministry of Defense announced that yet another Aerospace Forces surface-to-air missile regiment equipped with the lethal S-400 Triumf system was ...

America's Nuclear Weapons: Everything You Always Wanted To Know

Tom Nichols, Dana Struckman Security, What should the world think?  Today, the U.S. nuclear deterrent is facing hard choices about modernization. The Air Force and Navy are drawing up plans for new bombers and a new generation of submarines. The American tactical arsenal will be modernized, at ...

Russia's Nuclear Weapons: Everything You Always Wanted To Know

Tom Nichols Security, Europe Should Washington fear Moscow's nukes?  In every respect, the current Russian deterrent is structured like its Soviet predecessor. ICBMs, launched either from silos or mobile launchers, remain the most reliable weapons and the mainstay of the Russian nuclear force. The ...

The Tragic Reason Why America's Nuclear Attack Submarines Are the Best in the World

Kyle Mizokami Security, Asia Cold War accidents led to important changes--changes that ensured America's nuclear subs are top-notch.  The creation of SUBSAFE lead directly to tougher—and safer—submarines. In 2005, the USS San Francisco collided with a seamount at maximum speed—an ...

Donald Trump Should Clean-Up Greenland

Michael Rubin Security, If alliances matter, it's time to do right for Greenland, for they did right by the United States during the height of the Cold War and deserve American gratitude. A theme of President Donald Trump's campaign was that US diplomacy had failed. The world no longer respected the ...

Vice President Mike Pence: America's Obamacare nightmare is about to end.'

Kelsey Harkness Politics, Can the administration deliver?  Vice President Mike Pence attempted to assure conservative activists on Thursday that Obamacare is on its way out. Let me assure you,' Pence said at the annual Conservative Action Political Conference, or CPAC, America's Obamacare nightmare ...

North Korean State-Sponsored Terrorism Must Not Be Tolerated

Liang Tuang Nah Security, Asia If it is proven that Kim Jong-nam was killed by women who were instigated by North Korean agents, Kuala Lumpur should mete out suitable court-sanctioned punishments. The murder of Kim Jong-nam — the estranged eldest brother of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un ...

Slower May Be Better in Going at ISIS

Paul R. Pillar Iraq Syria Terrorism, Middle East A couple of tendencies that are all too common in policymaking and policy debate tend to make for unwise foreign commitments or overextended foreign expeditions.  One is to treat a goal that is at most an intermediate objective as if it were an end ...

The Bloody Reason America's Aircraft Carriers Dominate the World's Ocean

Dave Majumdar Security, 75 years of expierence and lives lost.  Another senior naval aviator mentioned that the Navy has learnt to have an abundance of caution' over the service's more than 75 years of carrier aviation experience as he explained why service rarely sees the type of problems that the ...

Why America's B-2 Stealth Bomber Is Now 1,000-Times More Ready for War

Kris Osborn Security, New air force B-2 bomber processor improves computing 1000-times. The new processor increases the performance of the avionics and on-board computer systems by about 1,000-times. All 20 Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bombers have been outfitted with a new flight management control ...

The Real Secret to Keeping an F-22 and F-35 Stealth: Their Super Special 'Skin'

Dave Majumdar Security, And the ground crews who keep them going.  While pilots of advanced fifth-generation fighters like the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor or the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter often claim the spotlight, it is the ground crews who maintain those jets' pristine surfaces that are often the ...

South Africa Is Building Its Very Own Counter-Insurgency Plane

Dave Majumdar Security, Africa It's unclear if the MWARI will eventually find a buyer, but a low-cost counter-insurgency plane could be useful to many nations.  South Africa Paramount Group is showing off its new MWARI SMART' intelligence, reconnaissance and precision strike aircraft in Abu Dhabi ...

Churkin: A Tribute to an Adversary

Zalmay Khalilzad Politics, Eurasia Even with rivals and adversaries, there is room for cooperation on issues of mutual interest. The unexpected recent passing of Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, led me to reflect on my time at the UN as the United States permanent representative, ...

Immigration Has Divided America. Migration May Unite It.

John Richard Cookson Economics, Americas Internal mobility has the power to rescue the U.S. economy. Immigration has divided America. A chasm has opened between those who support President Trump's immigration pause, deportation surge and wall on the border of Mexico, and those who have protested ...

Why America's Military Shouldn't Be Managing International Affairs

Ted Ellis Security, Americas U.S. policymakers need to re-examine their habits of using the military to solve foreign-policy problems. Last year, the Center for the National Interest partnered with the Charles Koch Institute to host a foreign-policy roundtable. One of the discussion prompts was: Our ...

Trump Should Make These Tweaks to His Economic Agenda

Milton Ezrati Economics, Americas Trump should ditch the tariff wall and focus on tax reform. The great stock market rally since the election has proceeded on hopes that Trump will keep his more welcome campaign promises and forget others. Now, the White House needs to act in order to give that hope ...

Secretary Tillerson Needs to Stop Abuse of Contract Protest Process

Dan Goure Security, Some companies, particularly losing incumbents on existing contracts, are gaming the system.  The new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is already demonstrating his intentions of shaking up that venerable institution. Within weeks of taking office he is engineering a major ...

The Trump Administration's Internal War over Russia

Nikolas K. Gvosdev Politics, Eurasia The White House could follow Washington's drumbeat on Moscow—or ignore it. The ancient Chinese philosopher Xun Qing Zi once wrote, If you do not understand the leader, just look at the ministers by his side and you will find the answer.' Unfortunately, the sage ...

Is America Still the Anchor of European Defense?

John Hemmings Security, Europe Europe's defenses have become more reliant on America than ever. The recent Munich Security Conference once again highlighted the difference between Americans and Europeans on security matters. Unfortunately for the West, many European leaders—and even some American ...

McMaster's Experiences with Strategic Failures Will Lead Him to Success

Daniel R. DePetris Security, Americas Time for America to ditch its whack-a-mole counterterrorism strategy. Of all of the candidates that President Donald Trump interviewed to be his next national security advisor, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster was by far the most unconventional. A veteran of multiple ...

CSPAN Just Released a New List of America's Best Presidents

Lee Edwards Politics, Where did Obama rank?  Abraham Lincoln, who preserved the Union and ended slavery, is our greatest president while immediate predecessor James Buchanan, who dithered and dallied while war clouds gathered, is the worst of 43 presidents. Ronald Reagan, who ended the Cold War ...

Why Asia Is Trembling Over a U.S.-China South China Sea Showdown

Richard Javad Heydarian Security, Asia ASEAN is afraid--very afraid.  As U.S.-China rivalry in the South China Sea is ringing alarm bells in littoral Southeast Asian nations, with fears rising that Donald Trump's administration could tilt the region's delicate balance towards conflict. China has ...

The Secret Service Needs a Big Overhaul

Garrison Rutledge, David Inserra Security, How can the problems get fixed?  The Secret Service Agency currently polls as the worst place to work in the federal government, as mistakes and disciplinary issues have become bigger and more public. It's been clear that changes needed to be made. Last ...

U.S. Air Force Chief Scientist: Stealth Drones and Killer Swarms Could Be Coming Soon

Kris Osborn Security, The future looks HUGE for the U.S. Air Force.  The Air Force Chief Scientist told Scout Warrior future drones will have better sensors and be more stealthy, autonomous and lethal. The drones of tomorrow will be stealthier, faster, more computerized, equipped for electronic ...

The One Thing That Might Doom South Korea: Babies

David Hundt Demographics, Asia Why immigration is the only answer.  It's going to take something radical to arrest South Korea's demographic and social decline. Societies can counter population decline by having more babies, allowing more immigration, or a combination of the two. The government has ...

Democrat Governor Wants to Cut Taxpayer Funding for Public Broadcasting to Zero

Fred Lucas Politics, DID YOU KNOW: U.S. taxpayers spend $445 million annually on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting At a time when President Donald Trump's administration is reportedly considering cuts to public broadcasting, one Democrat governor already has proposed to eliminate ...

Would Russia Really Sell the Deadly S-400 to Turkey?

Dave Majumdar Security, Middle East The possibility of Turkey purchasing a Russian system has dawn mixed responses from analysts. Russia is negotiating with Turkey to sell Ankara the advanced S-400 air and missile defense system. If the sale goes through, Turkey would be the first NATO member to ...

China's Second Aircraft Carrier Is Almost Complete

Dave Majumdar Security, Asia Should Washington and Tokyo be worried?  According to Chinese state media, Beijing's first domestically built carrier is nearing completion at Dalian. The vessel—which is expected to become operational in 2020—will be launched soon. Thereafter, the new carrier will ...

Why China Should Feel Good About Taiwan

Derek Grossman Security, Asia The main point: Chinese leaders should seek to engage in good faith discussions with Taiwanese counterparts. Recent developments in relations between Taiwan and China should bolster the confidence of Chinese leaders that Taiwan under President Tsai Ing-wen will eschew ...

Why Russia and China Never Want to Fight America's F-22 Raptor

Kris Osborn Security, There is simply nothing like it in the world today. Period.  The Air Force's stealthy F-22 Raptor fighter jet delivered some of the first strikes in the U.S.-led attacks on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, when aerial bombing began in 2014, service officials told Scout ...

The Islamic State's Greatest Wish: U.S. Combat Forces in Syria

Daniel R. DePetris Security, Middle East The presence of U.S. troops in Syria would be a morale boost for ISIS propagandists. The Defense Department might propose that the US send conventional ground combat forces into northern Syria for the first time to speed up the fight against ISIS,' CNN ...

Why Belarus Can't Afford to Be the New Ukraine

Nikolay Pakhomov Politics, Eurasia Is it too late for Lukashenko to defy Russia? On February 3 Belarusian president Aleksandr Lukashenko launched the fiercest of his rhetorical attacks against Russia—a country that has been financially underpinning Lukashenko's regime. Despite the audacious ...

China Rattles the Nuclear Saber

Lyle J. Goldstein Security, Asia Subtle hints that Beijing's new mobile ICBM is operational are widely ignored in frenetic Washington. Browsing a highly reputable bookstore the other day, I was somewhat surprised to come upon a pile of books set for display in a prominent location near the cashier ...

Take It from a European: NATO Is Obsolete

Tom Sauer Security, Europe The alliance's members no longer share common goals or interests. The recent visit by Secretary of Defense James Mattis to NATO allies does not erase the fact that, as a presidential candidate and president-elect, Donald Trump stated on many occasions that NATO is ...

The Incredible Shrinking John Bolton

Matt Purple Politics, Americas Trump's foreign-policy plan doesn't have room for a hawkish ideas man. Drop your pens, everyone. The John Bolton sweepstakes are finally over and the winners are those of you who marked private sector.' That's where Bolton will be employed after months of our nation's ...

Are China and America Destined for War?

Richard A. Bitzinger Security, Asia Xi Jinping has become more intransigent and assertive over promoting Beijing's self-perceived national interests while Trump has shown a new US hostility toward China. So, does this really mean war? Are Xi's China and Trump's America on a collision course toward ...

The Age of Strike Carrier Is Over

LT X Security, Aircraft carriers have a huge role in future wars, but the retooling of their aircraft and their operational concepts must begin now. The age of the strike carrier is over. As the United States enters an era where the potential for modern great-power war is increasing dramatically in ...

The Crazy Experiment That Proved the Battleship Was Obsolete

Kyle Mizokami Security, Like any good military exercise pushing the boundaries of contemporary technology, Project B was a window into the future.  The Project B tests were held in the Chesapeake Bay in July 1921. Airplanes of the First Brigade sank a captured German destroyer and then a an armored ...

How America's Mighty F-15, F-16 or F-35s Could Soon Be Firing Lasers

Kris Osborn Security, A big development is almost here.  Air Force leaders have said that the service plans to begin firing laser weapons from larger platforms such as C-17s and C-130s until the technological miniaturization efforts can configure the weapon to fire from fighter jets such as ...

Why Ukraine Is Dying A Slow Death

Nolan Peterson Economics, Europe Amid War, Ukraine's Population Continues to Dwindle.  KYIV, Ukraine—Ukraine's population decreased by about 170,000 people in 2016, the government reported last month, underscoring a demographic trend that began after the country declared its independence from the ...

Russia Has Its Own A-10 Warthog

Sebastien Roblin Security, Europe The Su-25 Frogfoot is one of those aircraft that may not be at the cutting edge, but still has seen widespread service around the world because it offers an effective and useful solution to the need to blast targets on the ground. Like the A-10, the Su-25 was all ...