- Feb 7, 2019
- Reaction score
A remedial look at American interestsSince the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the phrase “national interest” has become something of a blasphemy. Certain thinkers in the “realist” school of foreign policy analysis have drawn social media ire for articulating the interests which might motivate Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine or questioning whether the United States has a significant interest in intervening there.
Increasingly in our censorious modern world, any attempt to understand the behavior of an actor (in this case Russia) is treated as a de facto endorsement of that actor’s behavior. This is not a new development. During the Global War on Terror those of us who tried to articulate the ideological framework within which jihadists operated were accused of believing the same things as the terrorists themselves.
But to recognize that Russia has long opposed the expansion of Western power into its near abroad is not the same as defending its security claims. And recognizing the Russian demand in no way denies Ukraine’s own interest in preventing itself from being dominated by its larger neighbor. To recognize the interests of one nation is not to deny the interests of another, nor does it make a moral claim as to which set of interests are “right” or “wrong.”
But the idea of “national interest” itself is in profound opposition to the Progressive vision of the global order.
It may not be remedial enough for the empty headed who support the current thing