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The idea of the national interest : a conceptual analysis in the context of the Gulf War Kersch, T. J. 1995-06-04

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THE IDEA OF THE NATIONAL INTEREST:A CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS IN THE CONTEXTOF THE GULF WARBy Terence Joseph KerschB.A. (Hons), The University ofBritish Columbia,1989M.A., The University ofBritish Columbia, 1990A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENTOFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESDepartment ofPolitical ScienceWe accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHEUNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAApril 1995©Terence Joseph KerschIn presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of therequirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree thatpermission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be grantedby the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It isunderstood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall notbe allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department ofPolitical ScienceThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate 3 April, 1995DE-6 (2188)11ABSTRACTInthisthesisI attemptto showthatthere is no apparent goodreasonwhy one ought toembracethe sceptic’s claimthat internationalrelations lies beyondthe pale ofmoralinquiry. The state, inthe sceptic’s view, grounds its foreignpolicy inthenational interestand notinmorality. To assert otherwise isto mistakethefundamental essenceofinternational relations--a claimresting onthe assumptionthat “morality” and “interest”are either antithetical or epistemologically distinct objects ofstudy.On reflection, however, one must have--attheveryleast--some kind ofconceptualunderstanding aboutthe idea “the national interest” before such a claim canbe sustained. Althoughmuchhasbeen said by many authors aboutthekindsofsubstantivepolicieswhich, intheirrespective views, actually serve the national interest--e.g., policieswhich contribute tothe maintenance or enhancementofnationalpower--theideaof“the national interest” itselfhas attracted very little conceptual scrutiny. Inthisstudy, then, I attemptto shiftthefocus awayfrom a concentration onthe standards fordeterminingwhetherthis orthat policy actually servesthe national interestto aconcentration on the ideaofthe national interestitself. Beforethis logicallypriortaskiscompleted--animmensetaskforwhich my contribution canbe interpreted as only asmallone--there is no reasonto embracethenotionthat “morality” and “interest” are eitherantithetical or categorically distinct. This is particularlytrue if, through suchan analysis,“the national interest” provesto be a categoricallymoral idea--viz., ifit provesto be aproper objectofstudyfor students ofmoral and political philosophy.111TAELE OF CONTENTSAbstractiiAcknowledgements.. . .vChapterone:Introduction1--The “apparent”paradox ofrealism4--The scope andorientation9--Thetraditionalassumption22--The argument29Chaptertwo:Employing andUnderstandingtheNationalInterest43--Employing“the nationalinterest”44(1) Generalsubstantive conceptions44(2) Specific substantiveconceptions46--Understanding“the national interest”50(1) CharlesBeard51(2) JamesN.Rosenau55(3) JosephFrankel61--The approach69Chapterthree:PreliminaryDistinctions83--Nationalinterests and thenational interest.84--Justificationsand reasons88--National interestas an explanatorytool. . .95--TheFallacyofSwappingHorses100Chapterfour:InternationalRelations asHuman Conduct.. . .113--Gettingtothebottom of“stateas actor”. . . 116--Interests andtheirbeneficiaries120--Societies andnon-social communities127Chapterfive:TheProblem ofChoice151--The nationalinterest andchoice153--The problemofchoice166--The natureand structureofchoice174ivChaptersix: TheApplication and Limitation ofRulesin Human Choice 186--The principle ofdouble effect 188--Thejustwartradition 193--The limitations ofrules 207--Thevirtue ofprudence 212Chapterseven: TheUnited States Senate and theProblem ofChoice 228--The problem 229--United States SenateResolution 318 (1990) 230(1) The world orderthreat 236(2) The security ofthe regionthreat 248--The Senate debates: 10, 11, 12 January 1991 255Chaptereight: Judgements About Choice 275--Joseph S. Nyc, Jr 285--ChristopherLayne 298Chapternine: Conclusion311--The questionof“vital0interests 311--Conclusion 329Bibliography 339VACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThere are a numberofpeople and institutions who, in additionto helpingto makethisworkpossible, easedthe process in significantways. These include themembers ofmyresearch committee, KalHoisti and BrianJob, who painstakinglyread earlier draftchapters and whowere always readyto offervaluable advice. Much ofmythinkingaboutthe GulfWarwas developed in collaborationwithmy research supervisor, RobertJackson. In additionto proof-readingthe work, Rev. VictorB. Brezik, CSB providedmanyinsights and challenged mythinking on some important points. Rev. NeilKelly,CSB encouraged me to reinvestigatethe classicaltradition ofmoral philosophy andhelped meto understandthethought ofSt Thomas. Althoughthese people helped toshape my ideas, any errorsinthework are my own. Mygood friendsMikeMeade, KimMeade, andKirsten Sigersonwere constant sourcesofencouragement, refuge, anddelightthroughoutthe period ofresearchand writing. Alan Cairns guided me throughsome ofthe more difficult and frustrating moments merelyby pointing out that allacademics share the same lot. Finally, I acknowledgethe financial support ofthe SocialSciences and Humanities Research Council andthe generous patronage oftheBasilianFathers ofToronto.1CHAPTERONEINTRODUCTIONThis study is an attemptto clarify a centralidea inthetheory andpractice ofinternationalrelations, namely: the national interest. BecauseIattemptto clarifythe idea inlight ofhowAmerican statesmen and scholarsemployedit duringthePersian Gulfwar(1990-91), my approachbroadly canbe describedas “historical-conceptual.” But my concernwith clarifyingthe idea ofthe nationalinterestis only instrumentalto a larger concernabout internationalmoral scepticism--aposition oftenidentified,Ithink erroneously, withtheRealist schoolofinternationalthought. Thus, bysetting outto clarifythe ideain thecontext ofthe GulfwarfromwithintheRealist tradition,I am concurrently, andpurposively, assaultingthe positionmaintainedbythemoral scepticthatinternationalrelations is beyond the pale ofethical inquiry. Ifitcanbe shownthattheideaofthenational interest is a categorically moral concept and,further, ifit canbe clarifiedbydrawinguponthatbody ofknowledge called moralphilosophy, a mainbastionofthesceptical position thereby collapses.By the expression “historical-conceptual” Imeanthat Ilookto a particularcrisisin orderto elucidate an otherwise conceptualargumentwith a specific and narrowrangeofexamples. The purposeforlimitingthehistoricalscope is notto achieve historicaldepthbut, rather, to makethe analysis ofan otherwiseintractable concept moremanageable. GiventhatIhave adoptedasmy primarypurpose anassault on moralscepticismin international relations, onlyone example is needed to cast areasonable2doubtupon its exclusive claim.Hence, althoughthehistorical scope ofthe followingargumentis both narrow and shallow, I suggestneverthelessthatthe conceptual claimsadvanced here canbe extended to embodythewider Americanforeign policy experience.I have doubts, however, whetherthey can embodythe foreignpolicy experience ofallcountries. This, ofcourse, raises serious questionsaboutthe validity ofthe concept as anexplanatorypivot for some internationalrelationstheories.Butthe entirethrust oftheargument challenges some conventionalunderstandings aboutthe idea.In particular, the national interest isthe conventionalfall-back position fromwhichthe international moral sceptic asserts hismoral scepticisminthe faceof“Idealist” assaults. Onthe other side, the “Idealist”viewsthe national interest as the key“Realist” stronghold and, hence, the primaryobjectofattack. And so thebattlebetweenthe defenders of“interest” andthe championsof“morality” ensues--abattle continuallyIhelled bythe great antithesis between “interest”and “morality.”However, greatlydisproportionateto its central importanceinthat perennialdebate, and thetheory and practice ofinternationalrelationsin general, the ideaofthenational interest has received surprisinglylittle conceptualtreatment. This in itselfoughtto raise at least some reservations aboutthe scepticalclaim. In his 1968 contributiontotheInternationalEncyclopediaofthe SocialSciences,JamesRosenau notes that “whiletextbooks oninternational politics continueto assertthat nations actto protect and realizetheir national interests, theresearchliterature ofthefield has notbeen increased and3enrichedby monographswhichgivecentral prominence to the concept,”1Producing asurvey ofthe state ofresearchintothe concept nineyears later, Fred Sondermann is onlyableto report one additional attempt at conceptual analysis, thus bringingthetotaluptothree.2No further attempts at conceptual analysis havebeen produced sinceJosephFrankel’s 1970 study.The paucity ofconceptual analyses is particularlytroubling giventhatthenationalinterestwas invoked asajust/1cation for mutually exclusive policy optionsduringthe January 1991 debates inUnited StatesSenate onthe question ofwhether ornotto go to war against Iraq. Senator SamNunn,for example, clearly expressed hisunease bynoting that “wethrowaroundtheword‘vital’ very carelessly.” And he addedthat on questions ofwar, it is cmcial to “think carefully aboutwhatwe mean” bythewordsweuse in ourdebatesbecause when we “politicians declare aninterestto be vital,our men andwomen inuniform are expectedto puttheir lives atrisk., ..“Ofcourse, thecontext ofapassionate debate on critical questionsofnational policy is hardlytheappropriatetime and placefor embarkinguponpainstaking conceptual clarification. Thattask is leftforthe scholarto pursuein reflection and inthe comfort ofhis orher study.‘James N. Rosenau, “National Interest,”InternationalEncyclopediaoftheSocialSciences(New York: Crowell Collier & Macmillan,1968),p.36.2Fred A. Sondermann, “The Concept oftheNational Interest,”Orbis 21 (Spring1977): 121-138. Thethree attempts include: CharlesA. Beard, TheIdeaofNationalInterest:AnAnalyticalStudy inAmericanForeignPolicy (Chicago: Quadrangle, 1966);JamesN. Rosenau, “National Interest,”InternationalEncyclopediaofthe SocialSciences(New York: Macmillan, 1968),pp.34-40; and, JosephFrankel,NationalInterest(London: PallMall, 1970).3United States, CongressionalRecord Vol 137 No. 7 (January11, 1991): S 190.4Consequently, Iview SenatorNunn’s remarks as anurgent invitationratherthan as anadmonition.The “apparent” paradoxofrealismThe paucity ofstrict conceptual analysesand SenatorNunn’s invitation,however, areonlytwo ofmy reasonsforattemptingtoclarijthe idea ofthe nationalinterest. Furtherconceptual clarification is needed inorderto resolve a pervasive paradox at thecore ofwhatNardin and Mapelreferto asthe realist ethicaltraditionininternationalrelations.4JackDonnellynotes that this paradoxcanbe expressed as a “moral imperativeto anamoral foreign policy.”5Further, he arguesthat “this paradoxofa moral ground for anamoral foreignpolicy isusuallyobscured byrealists.”6This paradoxtakes on a varietyofshapes and forms. “The essence ofinternational realism, StevenForde argues, “is its beliefinthe primacyofself-interestover moral principle” ininternationalaffairs.7Hethengoes onto explainthatthisstatement “can mean eitherthat self-interestconfers apositive right ofsomekind, aswhen ‘national interest’ is seen as amoralprinciple, orthat moralityiswholly4TerryNardin andDavid R. Mapel, eds., TraditionsofInternationalEthics(Cambridge: CambridgeUniversityPress, 1992).5JackDonnelly, “Twentieth CenturyRealism,” inNardinandMapel,eds., TraditionsofInternationalEthics (Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress, 1992), p.96.6Donnelly,p.96.7StevenForde, “ClassicalRealism,”inNardinandMapel, eds., TraditionsofInternationalEthics(Cambridge: CambridgeUniversityPress, 1992),p.62.5inapplicableto international politics.“In otherwords, some realists viewthe nationalinterest--ratherthan other substantive moral principles--asthemoralbasisforforeignpolicy choices, whereas otherrealistsview internationalrelations as an essentially amoralrealm ofhuman activity.AccordingtoForde, then, some realists are moral scepticswhereasothers are not.But how does one go about resolvingthis conclusionwith his initial assertionthattheessence ofinternational realism is its beliefinthe primacyofself-interest over moralprinciple? In otherwords, ifthe national interest is amoral principle--assome realistsmaintain--how can one continueto describethe essence ofrealism as theprimacy ofnational interest over moral principle? Hence, underthe headingofrealism oneencounters a paradoxinvolving the assertion ofamoral principle, ontheone hand, andthe denial ofmorality, onthe other.But this paradox is not limitedto attempts atgeneralizing aboutthe essence oftherealistworld view, It also appearswithinthe arguments ofsome oftherealiststhemselves. GeorgeKennan, forexample, arguesthat:The interests ofthe national societyforwhich government hasto concernitselfare basicallythoseofits military security, the integrity ofits politicallife and well beingofits people. These needshave no moralquality....Theyare unavoidable necessitiesof anationalexistenceandthereforenotsubjecttoclassficationaseither “good”or “bad“But having denied outrightthe moral quality ofgoods such as security, politicallife, and8Donnelly,p.62.9GeorgeF. Kennan, “Morality andForeignPolicy,” ForeignAffairs, 64 (1985/6): 206.My emphasis.6thewell being ofa country’speople, he goes onto outline the statesman’smoralimperativeto securethosegoods.When [the statesman] acceptsthe responsibilityofgoverning, implicit inthat acceptance is the assumptionthat it isright thatthe state should besovereign, the integrity ofits political lifeshould be assured, thatitspeople should enjoythe blessings ofmilitary security,material prosperityand a reasonable opportunityfor, as theDeclarationofIndependence putit, thepursuit ofhappiness. Fortheseassumptions, the [statesman] needsno moraljustification, nor need [he] acceptany moral reproach for actingonthe basis ofthem.’°AlthoughKennandoes not explicitly identifytheforegoing imperative as amoralimperative, it seems to methat ifhisargument is pushed a little further hewould notonlyhaveto admitthe categoricallymoral nature ofhis imperative, but hewould also havetoadmit thatthe goods he meansthe statesmanto secure are also moral goods. This canbedemonstratedby applying the “reverseproof’ to his arguments--viz., by assuminghisassertionsaretrue and followingthemthroughto logical conclusionsKennanhimselfcertainlywould not accept, thusleading to a retractionofthoseinitial assertions. Forexample, one might askKennan howhewould label a statesmanwho intentionallyrefusedto securethe goodshe identifies ascategoricallyamoralgoods? Is it meaningfulto call him abad statesman? It seems tomethatKennan must concedethat it ismeaningfulto do so. But one he hasconceded this, he has opened himselfto the furtherquestion: whywouldthe statesmanbebad for refusingto securethosegoods? Facedwiththis question, he must concedethatthey are indeed moral goods after all. And,having conceded that they are moral goods,he must retract his assertionthatthey arenot‘°Kennan,p.206.7subjectto moral classification.The apparent paradoxin realism, then, isjustthat--anapparentparadox. In manycases it simply involves a denialthat one is advancing a categorically moral argumentwhen infact one is advancing such an argument. ClearlyNardin andMapel recognizethisbecausethey identifyrealism as one ofmanytraditions ofinternational ethics.Further, TerryNardin concludesthatnot only does classicalrealismgo beyondmoral skepticismto embrace a definite ethical outlook, but thatthis outlook has bothprinciples and ahistory. Its practitioners argue abouttherelative importance ofrules and consequences, and eachhasarticulated his ownversionofamoralityofrules with an escape clause foremergencies. Each is participatingin an ongoing debate aboutwheretodrawthe line, howto define anemergency, and otherperennialtopics ofrealist discourse, All drawuponthe concepts and principles--necessity,security, vital interests, prudence, responsibility--thatdefme a particulartraditionofethicaljudgement, regardless ofwhethertheythinkofthemselves, or are thoughtofby others, as ‘political realists.’ Whattheyare rejecting is not [an ethical] tradition as suchbut the principles ofalternative ethicaltraditions.11Leaving asidethe questionofstructural or neo-realism, whyis itthatmanyrealists denythey are advancing a categorically moral argumentwhen in factthey areadvancing such an argument? Nye suggeststhat the reasonforthis originates in therealist’s attemptto avoid “hard questions aboutwhy he should treathis nation asthe onlyinternational value.”2Thebestway, in his view, to avoid asking (and attemptingtoanswer) messy moral questions is to banishthem from existence by assertingthatinternational politics is essentially an amoral realm ofhuman existence. There is,“Nardin, “Ethical Traditions,”pp.,16, 17.‘2Joseph S. Nye, Jr., NuclearEthics (New York: TheFreePress, 1986),p.10.8perhaps, sometruthto this. IsaiahBerlin, forexample, argues persuasivelythatthismovementtoward banishing moral questions from existence is a notorious peculiarity oftwentieth century scholarship. Accordingto Berlin, moral questions throughoutthehistory ofWesterncivilizationwere consideredtobe “ofvital importance forthe conductoflife.” Ofcourse, therewerethose “in everygenerationwho suggested thattherewere.• . no final answers,.,, Butthey. . . did not actuallydoubt the importance ofthequestionsthemselves.” However,it was left to thetwentiethcenturyto do something more drasticthanthis.Forthe first time itwasnowconceivedthat the most effectivewayofdealingwithquestions, particularlythose recurrentissueswhich hadperplexed and oftentormented original and honest minds in everygeneration, was not by employing thetools ofreason, still lessthoseofmore mysterious capacities called ‘insight’ and ‘intuition,’ butbyobliterating the questions themselves. And this method consists not inremoving thembyrational means--byproving, forexample, thatthey arefounded on intellectual errororverbal muddles orignorance ofthe facts--forto prove thiswould inturnpresupposethe need forrational methods ofphilosophical orpsychological argument. Rather, it consists in so treatingthe questionerthatproblemswhich appeared at once overwhelminglyimportant and utterlyinsolublevanishfromthe questioner’s consciousnesslike evil dreams and trouble himno more,13PerhapsthereasonsI offer are alittle moregenerous thanthose suggested byNyeand elaborateduponbyBerlin, I suggestthere arethreerelated reasons why manyrealists denythey are advancing a categoricallymoral argumentwhen in factthey are.13lsaiahBerlin,FourEssaysonLiberty (Oxford: Oxford UniversityPress, 1969),pp.,22, 23. On a similarpoint, see Berlin’steacher, R. G. Collingwood. Collingwood,however, notesthatthisprocess ofbanishingimportant and vital questionswaswellunderwayinthe nineteenth century. “KarlMarxwas such a person; and this iswhy,denying as he didthe existence ofsocieties, he spared himselfthe pains ofsolving socialand political problemsby simply denyingthatthey existed. TheNewLeviathan.’ OrMan, Society, CivilizationandBarbarism. Revised edition, DavidBoucher, ed., (Oxford:ClarendonPress, [1943] 1992),p.136.9These reasons include: an inadequateunderstanding ofthe nature ofmoral agency, amuddledunderstandingoftheideaofthe nationalinterest, andthepervasivenessofthetraditional assumptionthat interest and morality are antithetical. It is precisely onquestions such as thesethat I think students ofpolitical and moral philosophy havesignificant contributionsto make inthe study ofinternational relations. Thus, ifI mustplace myargumentwithin atradition ofinternational discourse, I place itwithintheclassical realisttraditionto the extent that “classical realiststend. . . to be morephilosophicalintheirapproach and orientation” and “are engaged in a serious dialoguewithmoral philosophy.”14ButI do so reluctantly and with some very seriousreservations. AlthoughI am prepared bothto arguefromwithinthattradition and todraw onthatbranch ofknowledge called moral philosophy in orderto demonstratethatthe concept ofthe national interest is a categoricallymoral idea--an argument supportingNardin’s claimthat realism is indeed an ethical (i.e., a categoricallymoral) tradition--I amnot quite preparedto make any claims about its moral quality. In other words, I cannotassertthatthe nationalinterest is either morallygood or evil. I am merely addressingthelogicallyprior question concerningwhetherthe ideais opento the kind ofinquiry forwhich such epithets are stated as conclusions.The orientation and scopeMy aim is to think aboutwhat people meanbythe expression “the national interest”‘4StevenForde, “ClassicalRealism,” inNardin andMapel, eds., TraditionsofInternationalEthics (Cambridge: CambridgeUniversityPress, 1992),p.62.10whenthey employ it in both direct and indirect forms ofpolitical argument--inadditionto thoseveiy few souls beforemewho have also attemptedto clariljthe concept--inorderto reach some conclusions aboutthe role it plays in foreign policydecisions. Inshort, to borrow thewords ofHedleyBull, I attempt here to deal with an apparentlyintractablebutnevertheless cmcial concept merely by thinkingitthrough.15Although onlythree attempts have been made atwhat I call strictconceptualanalysis, manymore havebeen made--althoughmuchfewerthanmightbe expected--tooffersubstantive conceptionsofnational interest. This is usually accomplishedbymerely prescribingmuchmoretangiblenational objectives or interests suchasthemaintenance or enhancement ofnational power, the defence against potentialoractualforeign militarythreats, the maintenance or enhancement ofeconomic well being, theprotection ofthe lives and property ofone’s citizens in foreign lands, andwhat haveyou,alongwithmaking hierarchical distinctionsbetween vital and lesserinterests.16This iswhyI do not identifyMorgenthau’s contribution on the subject asa strictconceptual analysis. Farfromtreatingthe concept as his primary objectofstudy,Morgenthau arguesthatthe primary objective a statesmanmust pursue is theenhancement and maintenance ofnational power. In short, he offers asubstantiveconception ofnational interest and not a conceptual analysis ofthe idea ofthe national15HedleyBull, TheAnarchicalSociety(London, 1977),p. x. I am also inspired byRobertH. Jackson’s remark: “My study is simply anattempt. . . to thinkthe newsovereignty regimethroughto some conclusions.” Quasi-States: Sovereignty,InternationalRelationsandthe ThirdWorld(Cambridge: CambridgeUP, 1990),p.5.‘6Afurther distinctionbetweengeneral substantive conceptions and specificsubstantive conceptions will be made below.11interest.Becausetheoryis the stepchild ofpractice,17it is important that any theorizingabout a concepttake place not only in the context ofatraditionofthought aboutthe idea,but also in the context ofparticularcontingent circumstances withinwhich it is employedinpolitical practice. The GulfWar(1990-91), as seenfromtheAmericanperspective,provides one such set ofcontingent circumstances. My choice ofthe GulfWar, however,is farfrom arbitrary.Indeed, my inquiry aboutthe concept ofthe national interest arose inthe courseofreflecting about the Gulfwar. In particular, the inquiryarose in the course oftryingtoresolvethe contrary arguments advanced byUnited States senators intheirdebate aboutwhetherto commit troopsto combat inthePersian Gulf, and the contrary argumentsadvanced by ChristopherLayne and Joseph S. Nye intheirpost war debate aboutwhetherthewar servedthe Americannational interest, Threebasic questions drove myreflections atthat time. Isthe occurrence ofwar open to moral approbation anddisapprobation? Ifso, what implications doesthis haveforthe scepticalpositionwhichstipulatesthat suchrelations lie outsidethe realmofmoral inquiry? Finally, iftheoccurrenceofwar is indeed opento moral approbationand disapprobation, wasthe GulfWara °just” war as mostworld leaders, including thePresident oftheUnited States, hadstipulated? In the course ofattempting to answerthese questionsI found that although17See, for example, R.G. Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan: OrMan, Society.CivilizationandBarbarism, Revised edition, DavidBoucher, ed., (ClarendonPress:Oxford, 1992),pp.5, 99-110, 125-129; and, GilbertRyle, The ConceptofMind(London:Hutchinson, 1955), chapter II.12thevocabularyofthejustwarwas particularly salient at theinternational level, thevocabularyofthe nationalinterest dominatedthe American domestic debates--inparticular, theJanuary 1991 debate intheUnited States Senate, and a subsequent debatebetween ChristopherLayne and Joseph S. Nye Jr. onwhetherthe Gulfwarindeed servedthe American national interest.What is striking aboutboth ofthese debates, however, is thatthe participantswere essentiallyattemptingtojustfy(in contrastwith giving mere reasons for) theirrespective positionswhileneverthelessusingthe vocabulary ofthe national interest.SinceI assumed atthetimethat foreign policygrounded inmorality is antitheticaltoforeign policy grounded inthe nationalinterest, Iwonderedifthesepeoplewere fallingpreyto category errors and, hence, confusingtheir discourseby employing aninappropriate idiom. Onthe other hand, Iwondered ifthe national interest really is acategoricallymoralidea after all and, ifit is, whatkind ofimplicationsthatmight haveonthe conventionalantithesisbetweenthe nationalinterest and morality. Further, whatimplications might this have forthe moral scepticwho embracesthenational interest as acentral value, but who nevertheless asserts thatinternationalrelations liebeyond the paleofmoral argument? The first step toward answeringthese questions, I decided at thetime, is to acquire some understanding aboutwhatthe idea ofthe national interest is allabout.The natural coursetotakewhen such a question arises isto immerse oneselfinthethoughtsofotherswho havetakenup the same concernforthemselves. Ifound,however, thatthe idea ofthe national interest remained relativelyunexplored. The13existing attempts at conceptual analysis, althoughto some extent helpful, did not seemtoapproachthe kind ofunderstanding I needed in orderto pursue my initial questions--thatis, those questions which led me to inquire into the meaning ofthe national interest inthefirst place. AlthoughBeard, Roseneau, and Frankel all suspectthattheidea is intimatelyrelatedto thevaluespeople hold, their attempts do not sufficiently establishthisrelationship. And thereasonthey do not sufficiently establish it isbecausethey do notdrawupon the bodyofknowledgenecessaryto do so, namely: moral philosophy.What does “the national interest” mean? What, in conceptual ratherthanpurelysubstantiveterms, is “the national interest?” I askthese questions inthe same spirit asonewould ask: what is “sovereignty?” What is “gravity?” Or, what is “the good?” Inotherwords, to what genus and species does itbelong? Is it ajuridical concept, likesovereignty? Is it a natural scientific concept, likegravity?’8Or, is it a moral concept,like “the good”? Itbecame clearto me that any comprehensive answer aboutthemeaning ofthe national interestwouldtake manyyears ofcareful inquiry in additiontofilling manyvolumes. InK. J. Holsti’s terms, the national interest as an object ofinquiryis abottomless pit. Consequently, I have limited my answerto establishingtheepistemologicalcategoryto whichthe idea properlybelongs.I concludethatbecause it is best conceived as an intrinsic principle ofhumanconduct--i.e., a motiveforactionwhich, intermsofconventional Americanpoliticalmorality, ought to be embraced bythe agenttakingthose actions--it is a categorically‘81notherwords, can it be understood and explained inthe idiom ofthenaturalsciences?14moral idea. By “categoricallymoral idea,” however, I do not meanthatit isa morallygoodidea, thus distinguishing it from a morallyevilone. Instead, I meanthatthe idea ofthenational interest is aproper object ofstudy forthatbranch ofknowledge called moralphilosophy or, more commonly, ethics.Ifit is universallytruethattheideais a categoricallymoral idea,to the extentthatthe national interest is indeed a central concept in the study and practiceofinternationalrelations, one musttherefore concludethat international relations itselfis at least ageneric object ofstudy for moral philosophy. In otherwords, anyversion ofa claimthatmorality or ethics have nothingto do with international relations must be patently false ifit is universallytruethatthe ideaofthe national interest is indeed a categoricallymoralidea. Becauseofthe limited scope ofthis study, however, I cannot make.such adefinitive claim. The only claimI canmake is that--strictlybyvirtueoftheway in whichthe concept was employed by American politicians and scholars inthe contextoftheGulfWar--thenational interest is a categoricallymoral idea. But eventhis claim, at aminimum, raises serious questions aboutthe sceptical position.Inthe context ofthe GulfWar, conceiving thenationalinterest as a categoricallymoral idea helps to shed light onthe overall discourse inwhich it was employed. That isto say, it helpsto clarifythe concept as well as amyriad ofotherissues raised duringthecrisis, Nevertheless, it remainsto be seenwhether ornot it helpsto clarifythe idea in allcontexts. Hence, the claimI make is not auniversal claim, it is only potentiallyso. Thetestwould beto applythe national interest, conceived as an intrinsic principle ofhumanaction, to other Americanforeign policy contexts as they arise and seeifthat conception15fits with one’s experience ofthe situation. I suspectthat it can.To appealto aparticularbranchofknowledge--namely, moral philosophy or,more specifically, metaethics--in orderto help informmy analysis ofthe concept couldstrike some readers as unusual, ifnot misconceived, becauseit directly contradictsthetraditional assumptionthat interest and moralityare antithetical. Further, it couldbeobjectedthat one must first showthe ideato be a categorically moral one beforeappealingto moral philosophy in orderto help clarify it. InresponseI canonly point outthatthetruetest does not rest upon any preconceived notions aboutwhether ornotinternational relations is a proper object ofstudyformoral philosophy. Instead, it restsupon the degreetowhichthat branchofknowledge helpsto clarify an otherwiseintractable idea. Ifmy approach and the idiomI employ actually sheds conceptual lightonthe ideaofthe national interest, the objection, it seemsto me, isunwarranted.Besides, as I shall argue inthe next section, there is no evidentgood reasonto embracethetraditional assumption in the first place.Moral philosophy, or ethics, is abranchofknowledge. And like all branches ofknowledge, it has its properobject ofstudy--viz., somethingthat distinguishes it fromotherbranches ofknowledge. The overarching question guidingthis conceptual analysisoftheidea ofthe national interest, then, iswhether ornot international relations canbe aproper objectofstudyforthatbranchofknowledge called moral philosophy. I arguethatit can. But this holds true only ifinternational relations is conceived in a certain way,namely: as human conduct. Ifinternational relations is conceived in the abstract as a“system,” or as relations among equally abstract “states as actors,” it cannot be the proper16object ofstudyforethics, One ofthe tasksneeded to establishinternational relations as aproper object ofethics, then, isto showthat it indeed canbe conceived as humanconduct. Butthe key argument is to showthat theidea ofthe national interest, a centralconcept inboththe study and practiceofinternational relations, is an intrinsic principleofhuman action--viz., a categoricallymoral idea. Consequently, ifthe ideaofthenational interest is a central concept in the study and practice ofinternational relations,and; ifit is indeed a categoricallymoral idea; thenit is reasonableto conclude thatinternational relations is aproper object ofstudyfor ethics,As indicated inthe openingparagraph, my argument is directed not onlyto theconceptual debate aboUtthe ideaofthe national interest, butthelargerissue ofmoralscepticism inthe studyofinternationalrelations.’9Neither ofthese questions is new, norare theyunrelated. Forthat matter, I am fi.illy convinced that the least controversialwayto addressthe questionofmoral scepticismis by clarifjingthe conceptofthe nationalinterest. Mybasic point is that moral scepticism, onthe one hand, and self-righteousmoralizing, on the other, are each grounded in conceptual misunderstandingsofbothmoralityandthe national interest. Boththe moral sceptic and themoralizerground theirrespective assertions onthe traditional assumptionabout the relationship (orlackthereof)‘9Forafilleraccount ofthis scepticism, see CharlesR. Beitz,Political TheoryandInternationalRelations(PrincetonNJ: PrincetonUniversityPress, 1979); MarshallCohen, “Moral Skepticism and InternationalRelations,” PhilosophyandPublicAffairs,Vol. 13, (Fall 1984); Joseph S. Nye, Jr.,NuclearEthics (NewYork: The FreePress,1986),pp.2-13; TerryNardin, “Ethical Traditions inInternational Affairs,” in TerryNardin and David R. Mapel, eds., TraditionsofInternationalEthics(Cambridge:Cambridge UniversityPress, 1992),pp.14-19; and, RobertW. McElroy,MoralityandAmericanForeignPolicy(PrincetonNJ: PrincetonUniversityPress, 1992),pp.13-29.17between interest and morality.20Inthe study ofinternational relations, themoral sceptic raises the question aboutwhethermoral questions legitimately canbe asked. He answersthatthey cannotbecause,in his view, international relations is an essentially amoral enterprise. Iconfrontthemoral scepticwith afar less controversial question and claim. Instead ofdirectlyconfronting the sceptic’s assertionwiththe counter-assertionthatinternational relations isan essentiallymoral enterprise, oreventhe muchmoremuted claimthat internationalrelations embodies an ethical “dimension” in additionto its other “dimensions”(whateverthey are), I simply askwhether internationalrelations is a proper object ofstudyforthatbranch ofknowledge called moral philosophy or, more commonly, ethics. And I answerthat it probably is because the idea ofthenational interest--at least from the American20Essentially, I adoptNye’s distinctionbetweenthe practices ofmoral reasoningand moralizing as well as his definitionofamoralizer as one who has a mistakenunderstanding aboutthenature and projectofmoral philosophy, namely: a selfrighteousmoral crusaderwho passesjudgements onthe actions ofothers onthe basis ofanoversimplified and absolute set ofabstract moral rules. Joseph S. Nye Jr.,NuclearEthics(NewYork: The FreePress, 1986), pp. xi-xii, 1-13. What I referto as moralizing,HerbertButterfield refers to as the moralistic approachto international affairs, “TheScientific Versus theMoralistic Approach inInternational Affairs,InternationalAffairs,XXVII, no. 4 (October, 1951): 411-422. Perhapsunaware ofthe distinction, Butterfielddoes not distinguishthe projects ofmoral philosophy and moralizing and thus contributesto themistakennotionthat the two projects are identical Further, it is argued that byvirtueofNiebuhr’sinfluence, HansMorgenthau, farfrom being opposedto morality ininternational affairs, was opposed to moralizing in such affairs. Unfortunately, andperhapsunwittingly, he helped to confuse the issuebyidentifying the entirelylegitimateproject ofmoral philosophywiththe illegitimate project moralizing. SeeKenneth W.Thompson, “BeyondNationalInterest: A CriticalEvaluation ofReinholdNiebuhr’sTheory ofInternationalPolitics,” Review ofPolitics, XVIII (1955): 167-188; Robert C.Good, “TheNational Interest and PoliticalRealism: Niebuhr’s ‘Debate’ withMorgenthauandKennan,”JournalofPolitics(November 1960): 567-619, and; Robert W. McElroy,MoralityandAmericanForeignPolicy (Princeton: PrincetonUniversityPress, 1992),Chapter 1, especially,pp.,19-29.18perspective inthe context ofthe Gulfwar--is a categoricallymoral concept.One might betempted to object atthispointthat my claimamounts to merelyrestatingthe usual moralist response to the sceptical claim--viz., it is no differentthanarguingthatinternationalrelations either embodies a moral dimension or is an essentiallymoral enterprise. TerryNardin, forexample, states one versionofthe moralistproject asan attemptto understandthe ethicaldimension ofinternational affairs,21I do not adoptNardin’s conceptionbecauseit is not clearto me inthe first place what an ethicaldimension ofhuman activity in general, let alone ofinternationalaffairs in particular,might be. Further, ifone postulates an ethical dimension, one must presupposeotherdimensions aswell. What are these other dimensions? Howare all these dimensions(whatevertheyare) related to each other? I do notknowhowto beginto answer suchquestions and, as far as I cantell, Nardindoes not answerthem either.To speak ofdimensionsofhuman existence is an exceptionallytricky business--thebusinessofthatbody ofknowledge calledthe philosophyofbeing or ontology--whichultimately forces one to make a decisionaboutthefhndamental essence ofthatexistence. Isthe humanperson essentially a “soul” enslavedin a body, asPlatoasserted?22Is he essentiallya compositebeing made up ofbody and soul, as Aristotleand Aquinas asserted?23Is his existencebest conceived as a “field” extending in space21TerryNardin, “Ethical Traditions in International Affairs,” in TerryNardin andDavid R. Mapel, eds., TraditionsofInternationalEthics (Cambridge: CambridgeUniversityPress, 1992),p.1.22See,forexample,Phaedo, 65c-68b.23Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I, q. 76, aa. 1-4. See his referencestoAristotle’sPhysicsand deAnima.19and time, asHeideggerasserted?24Or is heBrahman, as the Hindu sages asserted?25Ifathinker ofthe statureofR. G. Collingwoodwasunable to make a decisionabouttheessentialnature ofthat beingwhichis potentiallyand intimately knowableto all persons--namely: his orherself-Imust at leastdeferjudgementnot only aboutthe fundamentalessence ofhuman existence, but aboutthefundamentalessence ofinternational affairs aswell,Further, once one has made a decisionabout the essence ofinternational affairs--whichNardin must have done ifhe postulates anethical dimension--a significantdiscursive gulfis created and maintainedbetweenothers who postulate a differentessence. This largely explains whatRobertMcElroyidentifies as the everwideninggulfbetweenthe so called empirical and normative treatmentsofinternational affairs.Theresultof[therecent] resurgence innormativetreatmentsofinternational relationshas notbeen a substantivedialoguebetweenempirical students ofinternational affairsand ethicalthinkers. Rather,there have emergedtwo separate scholarly communities,each operatingfrom a different woridview, using different languages, and arrivingatdifferent conclusions aboutthe essential nature ofthepolitics amongnations,26A central divisive issue, then, concerns the differentanswers givento the questionofthe essentialnature ofinternational affairs. And howone labels himself--e.g., as arealist, an idealist, a rationalist, orwhat haveyou--orthe particular“school ofthought”24WilliamBarrett,IrrationalMan: A StudyinExistentialPhilosophy(New York:AnchorBooks, 1958),pp.217-218.25The Upanishads, Trans., SwamiPrabhavanandaandFredrickManchester (NewYork: Penguin, 1975). See, for example, Katha, Isha, Kena, andPrasna.26McElroy,pp.3, 4.20one wishes to defend or propagate, largely depends onthe decision one makes abouttheessential nature ofinternational affairs. And, as indicated, divergent decisions abouttheessence ofinternational affairs contributes to the divisiveness inthe discipline.27My claimthatthe national interest is a categoricallymoral idea doesnotexacerbate this divisiveness. It is far less controversialthan it might appearat first, forIam notmaking any claims aboutthe essence ofinternationalrelations. Instead, I ammaking a claim aboutthe kinds ofquestionsthatlegitimately canbe asked aboutinternational relations, and the particularbody ofknowledgethat must be drawnuponinorderto answer such questions. Ratherthan confrontingthe moral sceptic’s claimbypostulating a contrary essence--a kind ofclaimthatwidens, in myview, the discursivegulfbetween empirical and ethicalthinkers--I am asking whether it is meaningful toconsiderthe ideaofthe national interest as a properobjectofstudyformoral philosophy,broadly conceived.The inspirationforasking the question in this wayis receivedfromR. G.Collingwood. To further demonstratethis kind ofthinking and the problems it is meantto avoid (orat leasttemporarilypostpone) consider, for examplethe questionaboutthefundamental essence ofhuman nature. Ifone arguesthatthe human personis partbody(a “physical” dimension) and part mind (a “thought” dimension), one is immediatelyconfronted with complicated and, perhaps, unanswerable questions abouttherelationbetween thesetwo dimensions. Likewise, thenotion ofstudying an ethical dimension of27Mdthis divisiveness has not servedto improvethetone ofmoral debate. Nye,NuclearEthics,pp.10-13.21international relations suggeststhe presence ofother dimensions thusleading to thequestionoftheir relationship. Collingwood suggests away aroundthis kind ofimpasse.Insteadofaskingwhether man is part body and partmind and, consequently, confrontingthe question oftherelationship betweenthetwo, he assertsthat man is either all body orall mind depending onthebranchofknowledge employed to study him. Ifone employsthatbranch ofknowledge called natural science in orderto study him, man is all body.If, onthe otherhand, one employsthe scienceofmind (what he refers to as history), manis all mind. The question then, is notwhatman is essentiallybut, rather, what is the mostappropriatebody ofknowledgeto employ in orderto answerthe kinds ofquestions onehas set outto answer. Ifone starts out with asking abodily question--e.g. what causesthe arm to break, orthe skull to crack, orthepersonto drown--one employsthat branchofknowledge most suitable foranswering such questions, namely: natural science. If, onthe otherhand, one sets out with the “mind” question--e.g., why did he breakthatperson’s arm, crackthat person’s skull, orthrowthatperson offthebridge?--onehastoemploy an entirely different branch ofknowledge. Inthe case ofinternational relations, Iconsiderthe question aboutthe meaningofthe idea ofthe national interest. Sincethisidea evidentlyplays some kind ofrole inthe decisionsthat statesmenmake, and sincetheproblemofhuman choice is aproperobject ofstudy formoral philosophy, I speculatethat the idea can be addressedwiththatbody ofknowledge.But such a reply leadsto immediate objections, particularly the kind stemmingfromthe “traditional assumption” thatinterest and morality are fundamentally opposed.And this assumption is embraced equallytightlybymoral sceptics and thosewho set out22to studythe ethical “dimension” ofinternational relations. I will now considerthisobjection.Thetraditional assumptionSuppose an alien visitorto earth sits in on an international relations seminar and listenstoa debatebetween proponents ofthe “Realist” and “Idealist” schools. What questions ishe likelyto askduringthe debate? Chances arethat his firsttwo questions will be aboutthe central concepts aroundwhichthe debatepivots, namely, the national interest andmorality. TheRealist, onthe one hand, asserts with great convictionthat foreign policyought to be grounded inthe national interestwhiletheIdealist, on the otherhand, assertswith equal convictionthatforeign policy oughtto be grounded inmorality.28Thedisputants assert theirpresumed mutually exclusive claims with such convictionthatthealien supposes the respectivemeaningsofthe national interest and moralitymustbeblatantly obvious to everyone else present inthe room. But, being an alien, he is notafraidto excuse himselffrom interruptingthe fray and to ask: “What, precisely, isthenational interest? and what, precisely, ismorality? Ifyou conveyto me yourknowledgeabout eachofthese apparently antagonistic concepts, maybethenI canmake some senseaboutthe relative merits ofeach ofyourpoints ofview.”28Thereare, ofcourse, more fruitful waysofframingthe debate. Robert Osgood, forexample, posestheproblem as one ofresolvingideals and selfinterest. Stated inthisway, one can remain opentotheunderstandingthatthe opposition is not so muchbetweenmoralityand interest, as it isbetweentwo distinct but nevertheless explicitlyethicaltraditions. RobertEndicottOsgood, IdealsandSelf-InterestinAmerica’sForeignRelations: The GreatTransformationofthe Twentieth Century (Chicago: UniversityofChicagoPress, 1953).23How does one go about answeringthese questions? Clearlythey cannot beansweredthe sameway as one would answer questions such as: “what isa chair?” or“what isatable?’1To answerthose questions, one needs only to lead thevisitor into aroom and point out a chair and table by saying “this is a chair” and “this is atable.”However, whatifthevisitorthen says: “O.K., this is a chair and this is atable, but whatis the chair? and what is the table?” Facedwiththis last pairofquestions, the earthboundscholar has two choices. Recognizing thatthe visitor is inappropriatelyaskingconceptualquestions about common-place material objects, he can dismissthe questionas irrelevantby saying: “here on earth, at least sincethetime AristotlerespondedtoPlato’s doctrineofthe “Forms,” it does not really matterwhat the chair is orwhat thetable is, all thatreally matters is that thisis what a chairlooks like and this is what atablelooks like,” Or, again recognizingthatthe visitoris asking conceptual questions, he canengage in painstakingphilosophical discourse aboutthe concepts ofchair and table.The scholar, however, does not havethe same rangeofchoices withrespect toquestions aboutthe national interest and morality. That is, he cannot chooseto dismissthe questions bytakingthevisitorto a room filled with objects and pointing outthenational interest and morality. The national interest and morality are notmaterial objects:they are not formed by matter. Therefore, themethods and techniquesused for obtainingand conveying knowledge about materialthings are insufficientfor acquiring knowledgeabout immaterial things like ideas such as thenationalinterest and morality. Ifthescholartakesthe visitor’s question seriously and hopes to answerthem, he must appealtothe philosophical branches ofknowledge.24The questions “what is the national interest?” and “what is morality?” are notempirical questions. They are conceptual questions. Concepts, unlike matter, are notcreaturesofnature. Instead they are creaturesofhuman artifice--that isto say, theyarecreaturesofthe human mind. Chairs andtablestoo are creatures ofthe mind, butwithnature as its object--the mind shapingmatterfor its own purposes, resulting in artifactscomposed ofmatter. A concept, onthe otherhand, is anartifact composed ofthought--onlythoughtbut, inthis case, with history (which isto say human conduct) as its object.This isthe first and fundamental pointthat must be kept in mind when embarking onconceptual analysis. The object ofconceptual analysis is to rethinkthethoughts ofthosewho employthe concept. It is an attemptto answerthe question: what do peoplemeanwhentheyuse thewords signi1ring the concepts in question? But, as far as I cantell, thenature and extent ofanalysisof“the national interest” and “morality” that is needed inorderto sustain sufficientlythe “traditional assumption” has notbeenpursued byinternational relations scholars. Put differently, there are no apparent good reasons forembracingthetraditional assumption. InK. J. Holsti’s words:Regardless ofhistorical context, commitmentsto self-interest or ethicalprinciples have, to most observers, appeared incompatible. . . . Thedifficultywiththis sort ofview is that it oversimplifies reality.29Althoughtheview is oversimplified, what does someone actuallymeanwhenthey assert that interest and morality are opposed? It seems to me thatthis can onlybemeant in one oftwoways, namely: categorically or qualitatively, Categorical opposition29T(JHoisti,InternationalPolitics: AFrameworkforAnalysis. FifthEd. (EnglewoodCliffs, NJ: PrenticeHall, 1988),pp.380-381.25is capturedbythe expression: “essentially, international relations is aboutinterests andpower. Hence, to askmoral questions about international relations is to misconceive theessential nature ofthose relations.” Qualitative opposition, onthe otherhand, is capturedbythe expression: “Selfinterested and moral actsbelong to the moral categoryofhumanactions--that is to say, they are bothimputable actions inthattheyissuefrommoralagency--butthey differ intheirmoral quality. The ‘selfinterested’ act is a qualitativelyimmoral act andthe ‘other interested’ or ‘altruistic’ act is a qualitativelymoral one,” HansMorgenthau appearsto have adopted the “categorical” view onthe oppositionbetweeninterest and morality--that is to say, actsgrounded in morality are categoricallydistinctfrom acts grounded in interest. Charles Beitz, onthe other hand, clearly embracesthe“qualitative” view.Morgenthau, in light ofhis sixprinciples of“scientific realism” and his“objectivist” viewofthe national interest, arguesthat:intellectually, the political realist maintainsthe autonomyofthe politicalsphere, as the economist, the lawyer, [and] themoralist maintaintheirs.Hethinks in terms ofinterest defined as power, as the economistthinks intermsofinterest defined as wealth; the lawyer, ofthe conformity ofactionwith legal rules; the moralist, ofthe conformity ofactionwith moralprinciples. The economist asks: “Howdoesthis policy affect thewealthofsociety, or a segment ofit?” The lawyer asks: “Isthis policyin accordwiththe rules oflaw?” Themoralist asks: “Is thispolicyin accordwithmoral principles?” And the political realist asks: “How doesthis policyaffect the powerofthe nation?”3°In otherwords, because the political realist, moralist, lawyerand economist ask differentquestions, theirproper objects ofstudy aretherefore presumed to be different. Ifthe3°HansMorgenthau,PoliticsAmongNations, Fifth ed., (New York: Alfred A. Knopf,19’73),p. 11.26proper objects ofstudy are different, a distinct branchofknowledge correspondsto each.Therefore questionsofinterest, morality, law, and economics are categoricallydistinct.The problemofdistinguishing differentbranches ofknowledge byvirtue oftheirgenericandproperobjects ofstudy and the methodsusedto studythose objects is, in manyways,attheheartofmy analysis and it is evidentMorgenthau would agreethatgenericallydistinct objects ofstudybelong to distinct categories. The point at issue, however, iswhether economic man, political man, moral man, and legal man are indeed genericallydistinct. Heappearsto thinkthatthey are. Butifhe indeed doesthinkthis, and ifhe isright, he deserves credit for a magnificent intellectual achievementbecausethis thinkingwould contradict a 2500year-oldtradition ofWesternthinking onthe question. Indeed,formanyWesternpolitical and moral philosophers “ethics and politics were [consideredto be] one subject.”3’Morgenthau, in contrast, appears to suggestthey are differentsubjects. But appearances here are deceiving.Morgenthau nowhere deniesthe relevance ofthe economic, legal, and moral“spheres” onhuman action. It is clearthatthe “political sphere,” as he conceives it, is anabstraction from reality. “Real man,” accordingtoMorgenthau, “is a composite of‘economic man,’ political man,’ ‘moral man,’ ‘religious man,’ etc.”32 Morgenthau’spurpose, then, is notto distinguish “moral man” from “political man” as distinctgenericobjectsofstudy. Instead, his purpose isto abstract from “real man” the politicaldimension ofhis total experience. In otherwords, hewantsto narrowhis field ofenquiry31pH. Nowell-Smith,Ethics(Middlesex: Penguin, 1954),p.15.32Morgenthau,p.14.27by abstracting fromthe total human experience. One cannot conclude fromthis thatMorgenthau is a moral sceptic. Onthe contrary, the basicthrust ofhis argumentis thatstatesmenoughtto act onthe basis ofnational interest (defined substantively interms ofpower), and that he oughtnotto act onthe basis ofabstract moral principles.Morgenthau, then, opposestwo distinct substantive moralities andnotmoralityandinterest as distinct categories. Hence, ifonewishesto sustainthetraditional assumptionaboutthe antithesisbetweeninterest and morality, one must lookelsewherethantoMorgenthau’s arguments.33Incontrastwiththe “categorical” view, CharlesBeitz, advancesthe “qualitative”view ofthe oppositionbetween interest and morality. He sets outto challengetheview--which, incidentally, he incorrectlyattributesto Morgenthau, among others--that“normative internationaltheory is not possible, since forvarious reasons. . it is thoughtto be inappropriate to make moraljudgements about international affairs.34He does notdo this, however, by engaging metaethical questions, but by assuming thatpeople “sharesome basic ideas about the nature and requirementsofmorality”--what he refersto asmoral intuitions--and by seeing “whether international scepticismis consistentwiththem.”35Thebasic moral intuition he has in mind is this:33Further on this point, RobertMcEfroy argues that, farfrom intendingto widenthegulfbetween normative and empirical thinkers, Morgenthau attemptedto bridgethe gulf. MoralityandAmericanForeignPolicy (Princeton: PrincetonUniversityPress, 1992),p.4.CharlesR. Beitz,Political TheoryandInternationalRelations (Princeton: PrincetonUniversityPress, 1979),p.5.35Beitz,p.17.28a [moral] theory must distinguish morality from egoism and explain howitcanbe rational to act on reasonsthat are (or might be) inconsistentwithconsiderations ofprudence or selfinterest. Indeed, the idea thatconsiderationsofadvantageare distinctfrom those ofmorality, andthatitmightbe rationalto allow the latter to override theformer, seems to beatthe coreofourintuitionsaboutmorality.36Although it is questionableto do so, evenifone does concedethat a morallygoodact is onethatbenefits others ratherthan one’s self, one cannot conclude fromthisthatthe selfserving act is beyondthe pale ofmoral analysis andjudgement. Onthe contrary,ifonejudges the selfserving as morally evil, one must have alreadymadethe logicallyprior conclusionthat selfserving actions arewithinthe purviewofmoralknowledge anddebate--viz., a proper object ofmoral philosophy.Beitz, however, does not arguethat allselfserving acts are necessarilymorally evil acts. Instead, he arguesthattherequirements ofa substantivemoralitymay require a personto sacrifice his orher owngood foranother’s good in some circumstances. Whetherornot this is true will dependlargely onwhat Beitzmeans by “good” here--viz., the substantive morality he employs.Butmy purpose inthisworkis not to dispute substantive moral claims. It isto performthe logicallypriortaskofestablishing the idea ofthe nationalinterest as a categoricallymoral idea, thus rendering it alegitimate objectfor substantive moral claims.In addition, when internationalrelations is conceived in terms ofhuman conduct,one sees clearlythat an actby a statesman in the national interest is not necessarilyidentical to an act in that statesman’s personal, or selfinterest. At the levelofhumanconduct, national interest and selfinterest do not meanthe same thing. Forthat matter, at36Beitz,p.16. Myemphasis.29least interms ofAmerican conventional morality, the statesman is obligatedto sacrificehis personal interest forthe national interest ifand whentheyhappento conflict. EvenUnderBeitz’s account ofmoral intuition, then, the national interest can beviewed notonly as a categoricallymoral idea, but as a qualitatively moral one aswell. Forto act inthenational interest can often entail acts ofextreme altruism.In orderto sustainthetraditionalassumptionthatthe national interest isopposed--either categorically orqualitatively--to morality, one must advance anargument grounded in a clear conceptual understanding ofbothideas. As far as I cantell,no such argument has been madethat can adequately sustain such anassumption. Butuntil such an argument is made, it isunsafe to hold the assumptionthat interest andmorality are antithetical. Consequently, the traditional assumption is a veryweakbasisforgrounding the assertionthatthe nationalinterest is not a categorically moral idea.The argumentI again emphasize thatby arguing that the national interest is a categoricallymoral idea, Iam not suggesting that it is a morally good idea, I am simply saying that, as acategoricallymoral idea, the national interesttherefore is subjectto thejudgements ofany substantive morality. In otherwords, in orderto vindicatethenational interest as amorallygood idea, onthe one hand, or in orderto condenmit as a morally evil one, onthe other, one needsto employ substantive moral arguments. And it is conceivablethatone substantivemorality mightjudge itto be amorallygood idea, whereasanother mightjudge itto be a morally evil one. This, it seemsto me, isthe real point ofcontention30between internationalRealists and Idealists. Nevertheless, although differentsubstantivemoralities clearly are proper objects ofstudyfor metaethics, I shall not pursuesuch ananalysis in this work. Instead, I merely demonstratethat the ideaofthenationalinterestis a categorically moral idea and, consequently, it is aproper object ofstudy formoralphilosophy. And this, it should be emphasized, is an exerciselogicallypriortothat ofimputing morallygood or evil qualitiesto the idea.However, to be ableto appealto moral philosophyin orderto assistthe analysisofthe national interest, one first must conceive international relations ina special way.“States,” although legalpersons, are notmoralpersons. Norare “systems.” States andsystems, then, cannot be properobjects ofstudy formoral philosophy. Individualhumanpersons, onthe otherhand, canbe such objects. More specifically, human conductasgood or evil, and humanactions to be done ornot to be done, areproper objectsofstudyforthisbranch ofknowledge.37In the contextofthis analysis, however, I am not interested in inquiring into allhuman conduct. Instead, I am interested in aparticular class ofpersons and only inso faras the ideaofthe national interestbears upontheir conduct. In short, I am interested instatesmenintheir active capacity as statesmen.Butwhyjust statesmen? For it appearsthat “the national interest” signifiestheaggregate ofshared purposes or interests ofall citizens. The body politic, inthis view, isan associationofpersons. Further, the ideaofassociation presupposes sharedpurposes37MartinD. O’Keefe, S. J., KnownFrom the ThingsthatAre:FundamentalTheoryoftheMoralLfe (Houston, TX: CenterForThomistic Studies, 1987),p.8.31orinterests. Consequently, in orderto clarifythe national interest, one must considerthecitizens and theirinterests, Thisview, however, is mistakenbecause its conceptionofthebody politic is based on a dubious politicaltheory. More specifically, it is aviewbasedon a sociologymasquerading as apolitical theory. It supposesthatthebodypoliticis asocietyinthe classical sense oftheword, when really it is only a society inthesociological sense oftheword. Hence, there aretwo senses oftheword “society” thatneedto be distinguished. Ifthe body politicwere a society inthe classical senseoftheword, it would then, and onlythen, be meaningful to speakofanaggregateofsharedpurposes and interests among citizens.The Americanbody politic, however, clearly isnota societyinthe classical senseoftheword. Althoughit can properlybe conceived as a societyinthe sociological sense.But societiesofrocks orplants are also societies inthe sociological sense, and it wouldbe meaninglessto speakofrocks orplants, asthe case maybe, as having sharedinterestsor purposes. Nevertheless, it is entirelymeaningful to speakofsuch societies ashavingshared characteristics, Thatthere is verylittle agreement, except at an impractically highlevel ofgenerality, aboutwhat American citizens’ sharedpurposes orinterests are, is areasonableindicationthatthere are none, Without shared purposes or interests, theAmericanbody politic, by definition, cannotbe a society inthe classical sense ofthewordbecause suchinterests define society inthis sense. And thosewho value pluralismthink it is averygood thingthattheAmericanbody politicis not a society inthe classicalsense. Consequently, “the national interest,” ifit means anything at all, must signifysomething otherthan an aggregate ofshared purposes or interests among American32citizens. Further, that some people continueto searchforthat substantively definedaggregate ofshared interests, indicatesthatthey mistakenly supposethe Americanbodypoliticto be a society inthe classical sense ofthe term.Nevertheless, American statesmen continueto invoke thenationalinterest as thecrowningjustification fortheir actions. Thiswasparticularly evident duringthe Gulfcrisis. But giventhatthe Americanbody politic is not a societyinthe classical sense oftheterm--hence, no reference properlycanbe madeto an aggregate ofshared interestssince there are none--doesthis suggest aprofound ignorance ontheir part? Notnecessarily, becauseAmerican statesmenindeed are members ofa society (intheclassical sense oftheword)withinthe Americanbodypolitic, namely: thegoverningbody. And one ofthe purposesofthisbody--apurposepresumably sharedby itsmembers--is pursuing policiesthat presumablybenefitthe country in general. Butthis isanopen-ended purposebecausewhatthe statesman specifically needsto do in any givensetofcontingent circumstances is in large part defined and constrained bythe details,subtleties, and nuances ofthose contingent circumstances, Regardless, onething doesremainconstantwhen a personbecomes member ofthe governingbody. And that istheobligation he or she takesupon him or herselfbyvirtue ofmembership. The Americanstatesman (and not necessarilythe statesmen ofall countries), inlight ofthe sharedpurposesofthegoverning association, is obligedto incline his or herchoicestowardthenational interest, and nottowardthe particularinterestsofa sub-nationalperson orgroup,theinterestofan extra-national person orgroup, orhis orher ownpersonal interest. Thenational interest, then, is an intrinsic principle ofaction. Interms oftheinterioractofthe33will, it is the end toward whichthe statesman’s actions ought primarilyto be directed--viz., the motive which oughtto guide his or her actions in the capacity orpersonaofstatesman. Defined as such, it is a categorically moral idea. I emphasize again, however,that merely establishingthe idea as a categoricallymoral one says nothing about its moralquality. Onewould needto employ substantivemoral arguments eitherto vindicate orcondemnthe idea as morally good or evil, respectively.EventhoughI assert mywork is an attempt merelyto “thinkthrough” a difficultand hopelesslytangled concept, the orderofpresentation inthe following chapters shouldnot be confused withthe orderofdiscovery. Instead, the chapters are ordered in such awayto lead the readertothe same conclusionsIhave already reached. In chaptertwo Ioutline existingthinking aboutthe idea and pointto some problems and deficienciesmyargument is meantto remedy. The reasonfordoing this is to learn from and build uponwhattheygotright and to find away aroundwhatthey got wrong. Inotherwords, Icannot hopeto transcend existingthought aboutthe national interest unless I knowsomething about the existing successes and failures inthatthinking.Abroad distinction canbe drawnbetweenthosewho primarily employtheideaandthosewho primarily attempttounderstand it, and I examine each halfofthisdistinctioninthe next chapter. Ofall the authors referringto theideaofthe nationalinterestthere are onlythreewhoseprimarygoal istounderstand the idea. Inthevastmajorityofcases, onthe other hand, the authors attemptto employit for avarietyofreasons, such as vindicating and condemning foreignpolicies,justifying proposedpolicies, or simply using it as an analyticaltool in orderto aid one’sunderstandingof34international relations ingeneral.Inchapterthree I outline some important distinctions employedthroughoutthework. Ofcourse, these distinctionsweregenerated only afterthinking throughtheideaofthe national interest. ButI present them atthe outsetbecause they are instrumental foranunderstanding ofthe remainderofthe argument. Inhighlightingthese distinctions, Ihave in mind a critique ofa particularview ofthe national interest which, ifnot dealtwithat an early stage ofthe argument, can impede one’s understanding ofthe remainder.The view I criticize is “national interest” conceived as a “scientific” or “value free”analytic orexplanatorytool. Not only do those embracing such aview fail to distinguishthe national interestfromanationalinterest, theyfail to recognizethat statesmen do notusetheformula merely to give reasonsfortheir policy choicesbut, rather, theyuse it asanimpassionedjustfication. Thus, Ibeginthis chapterby distinguishing the nationalinterest andanational interest and then distinguishreasons andjustifications. Finally,following Collingwood andRyle, I suggest a moretheoretical reasonwhy conceiving“national interest” as a scientific explanatory or analyticaltool is mistaken, namely: it isbased on a logical fallacy calledthe fallacyofswapping horses.Withthe preliminary distinctions aside, Iturnto establishingthe idea ofthenational interest as an intrinsic principle ofaction. The overall argument is carried out infour stages: I beginwith an argumentforviewinginternationalrelations interms ofhuman conduct as a preliminaryto conceivingforeignpolicy problemsas problems ofchoice (Chapter4); I offer an account ofthe problem ofchoice indicatingtherole “thenational interest,” conceived as anintrinsicprinciple ofaction, plays inthe problem of35choice and raise the issue ofrules or criteria forhelping the decisionmakermakethebestpossible choices (Chapter 5); I thenturn to an account ofthe uses and limitations ofrulesin making choices (Chapter 6) and, finally; I test the clarified conception ofthe nationalinterest suggested here in light ofthe Senate debates on thewar (Chapter 7) and thejudgements ofChristopherLayne and Joseph S. Nye, Jr. onthe decisionto go to war(Chapter 8).The national interest is clearly bound upwith choices statesmen make, ifonlybecauseit is employedtojustify choices made in the hereandnow about objectivesto bepursued andthe appropriatemeans forpursuing them. Further, it suggeststhattheconcept plays a central role in rendering those choices. However, in light ofmysuppositionthat abstract state and system level theories ofinternational relations are notentirely helpfiul to a statesmanwho is tryingto decide, in the here andnow, between, say,continued sanctions ortheuse ofoffensive militarypower, I suggestthat a far lessabstract level ofanalysis is needed in orderto clarifythe idea. For example, eventhoughit is an entirelylegitimate conclusionmade bybalance ofpowertheory, that states alwaysbalance does not help anindividual senatorto decide between specific courses ofactionin a given set ofcontingent circumstances. Thatthe senator has been put in a positiontodecidebetween courses ofaction inthe first place presupposesthatthe decisionto offsetorbalance existing states ofaffairs has alreadybeentaken. The question, then, is notabout whetherbalancing will orwill not occur. Instead, the question confronting thesenatorconcerns choosing the best means for achieving the desired balance--thekind ofbalancethat benefitsthe Americanbody politic. It seemsto me thatthemost appropriate36level ofanalysisto account for such questions andthe answers givento them is notthestate orthe system level but, rather, the individual level. In short, one must conceiveinternational relations in terms ofhuman conduct.Hence, in orderto conceivethe idea ofthe national interestas an intrinsicprinciple ofhuman action, one must conceive international relations ina special way.International relationsviewed fromtheperspective ofstate or system levels ofanalysishave not been sufficiently forclarif’ing the idea ofthenational interest.Conceiving international relations interms ofhuman conduct, onthe other hand,doesyield some fruit. However, once internationalrelationsisconceived intermsofhumanconduct, some difficult questions arise which do not arise inthe othertwo perspectives--questions aboutthe relationship between domestic and international politicaltheory,questions about who those people are thatmake foreignpolicy choices,questions aboutthe nature oftheirrelationshipto the body politicthey are charged to govern and,finally,questions aboutthe problem ofhuman choice and howthe national interest relatesto thatproblem. Not only isthis level ofanalysisthe mostappropriate for addressing theproblem ofhuman choice, conceivinginternationalrelations interms ofhumanconductdemandsthatthe problem ofchoice be addressed. It couldbe argued thatthe moreabstract levels ofanalysis conveniently circumventthe pressing and perplexingproblemofchoice.Having selectedthe level ofanalysisbest suited fordealing withtheproblemofchoice, Ibeginto addressthat problem directly in Chapter 5.The problemofchoice--aproblem not expressly addressedbyBeard and Rosenau,and expressly avoidedby37Frankel--is the keyto gaining conceptual insight into theideaofthe national interest.AlthoughFrankel correctly suspectsthatthenationalinterest, value, choice, and foreignpolicy are intimately related, he arguesthatthe solution liesbeyond thepale of“scientific” reasoning. Hence, he circumventsthe question altogether. However, havingnotbound myselfto amethod grounded in an analogywithnatural science, there is noreasonforme to avoidthe question. Forthat matter, my conclusionthatthe nationalinterest is an intrinsic principle ofaction depends onsome kind ofan answerto thequestion; butnot necessarilythe answer I advance in Chapter 5 and subsequent chapters.Thus, although I drawuponthe insights ofAristotle, Aquinas, Hobbes, and Collingwoodto provide my answerto theproblem ofchoice, I do not suggesttherebythat it isthe onlyanswerto the question. Nor do Ibind myselftherebytothe entire bodyoftheirrespective systematicphilosophies. Other answers to the problemofchoice couldverywell be equally suitable fordevelopingthe ideaofthe national interest as an intrinsicprinciple ofhuman action.Essentially, I arguethatwhatever a person actuallychooses in agiven set ofcircumstances is in large part a function ofhis orhermotive for action inthe first place.Thus, if“the national interest” is theproximate motivefor one’s choice, it is highlypossible (butnot necessarilythe case) thatthe substantive objectofdesire and thesubsequent means chosento acquire it would be differentfromthose chosenif“personal”or “selfinterest” wasthe proximate motive. Inlight ofconventional Americanpoliticalmorality, the “right” motivefor a statesmanwhile acting inthat capacityis the nationalinterest and not his personal or some other interest. The extentthat a statesmanembraces38the “right” motive formaking choices in hiscapacity as statesman isthe same extenttowhichthe national interest istheintrinsicprinciple ofhis actions.Butthe problem ofchoice does notend here. For it is also possible--indeed,it islikely--thattwo individual statesmen,each embracing the “right” motive,can disagreeabout which policy alternative is the bestalternative in anygiven situation.Thus, there isnothing inherently contradictoryabouttwo statesmen, each proposing mutuallyexclusivepolicy options,justifjingtheirchoices interms ofthe nationalinterest. Ifeachindeedembraces the “right” motive, each is equallyjustified in assertingtheirrespectivemutually exclusive choices as servingthenational interest.Nevertheless, evenifone is convinced thateachofthetwo policy options isgenuinelyfounded uponthe “right” motive,athird party--also embracing thenationalinterest as his intrinsic principle ofaction--stillhas to confrontthe painfhl choiceaboutwhich ofthetwo alternativesto employ. This was preciselythe problemfaced byUnitedStates Senators inJanuary 1991 whentheyhadto choosebetweenthe Dole-Warnerresolution (authorizing the presidentto use armed force against Iraq in accordancewithUN Security Council resolution 678)and theMitchell-Nunnresolution(continuing theeconomicblockade indefinitely). Howdoes one facedwith such a choicego aboutdeciding which alternative is bestforthe country?Many commentators might respondto theforegoing question by assertingthat,whateverthe choice is, the criterionthatthe statesmanmustemployin rendering it isthenational interest. This is the conventionalwisdom aboutthe national interest,namely, itis the criterionthat must beemployedin deciding among foreignpolicy alternatives. It39should be evident, however, thatthis is preciselywhere the conventionalwisdomrunsaground. The foreign policy observermust make a choice here. Eitherthenationalinterest is the “right” motive behindthe policy proposals inthefirstplace, or it is thecriterion fordecidingwhich alternative is indeedbest forthe country. The choice here,however, should be selfevident. This canbe demonstrated bythe answerto anotherquestion, namely: what is the motive for choosingthebest alternativeforthe countryinthefirst place? Clearly, the answer is: the nationalinterest. Thus, ifthemotive forchoosingthe best alternative is the national interest, thecriterionformakingthebestchoice cannot also be the national interest. In short, the conventional wisdom confusessomethingthat is actually asubjective motive--anintrinsic principle ofaction--for makingthebest choicewith an objective criterion—an external standard orrule--formakingthebest choice.Thus, the adherents ofthis “objectivist” view ofthe national interest supposethatthe proper standard, rule, or measurementto beused in decidingbetweenpolicyalternatives is the national interest. Despitethis mistake, they nevertheless recognizethatthe formula “the national interest” on its own is not very helpfi.uluntil itisinfisedwithsubstantive content. Consequently, the “objectivist” project is to seekout and articulatethat content. Forexample, HansMorgenthau definesthe national interest in terms ofpower. Thus, when a statesmanis attemptingto decide among policy options, he needsonlyto askhimselfthe question: whichofthese alternatives contributes mostto thepreservationor enhancement ofnational power? And, presumingthe question canbeansweredwith absolute certainty(which, undermost circumstances, it probably cannot),40the best alternative is determinedthereby.By answeringtheproblemofchoice inthis way, however, the “objectivist”clearly does not recognizethatthenational interest enters into the scenario much earlierthan he allows. Forone might inquire ofthe objectivist: whywould you evenbotherseeking outthe criteriaofchoice inthe first place? Inthe case ofMorgenthau it isevident (but by no means absolutely certain)that his project itselfis motivated, ifonlyinpart, bythe nationalinterest. In otherwords, thenational interest evidentlywas hismotive for seeking out criteriato help statesmen make betterchoices inthefirst place.Again, the national interest cannotbe a subjective motive as well as an objectivecriterion. Further, in an attempt to infuse substantive content into “the national interest”withthe ideaofpower, Morgenthau is confusing meanswith motives, Whereas themaintenance orenhancementofpoweris the means, the national interest isthemotiveforpursuing those means. “The national interest,” then, is not in need ofsubstantive content.It is the idea of“motive” that needs substantive content and, intermsofAmericanconventional political morality, the national interest isthat content.Farfrom beingthe solutionto theproblemofchoice, then, the national interest isthe sourceofthe problem. Nevertheless, thereare criteriathat canbe used in ordertohelp the statesmandecide. Butthey do onlyjustthat--viz., they onlyhelpthe statesmanto decide. They do not makethe choiceforhim. Thus, when it comesto the problemofchoice, the inherent limitations ofrules, standards, or measurementsofchoicebecomemost painfully evident--regardless ofwhat rules one employs. Whatthe statesmandecides depends ultimately onwhat he himselfbrings to the choice situation--i.e., his41total makeup as a personhereandnow. To the extent that he is possessed bythevirtueofprudence isthe extentto whichthe choice he makes is the bestthat canpossiblybemade. The qualityofan actual choice, then, doesnotultimatelydepend onthe rulesemployedin makingthat choice. Instead, it depends onthe qualitiesofthepersonmakingthat choice.In Chapter6, I examinethe limitations ofrules andtheroleofprudence in detail.I articulatetwo sets ofrules that a statesmancould have employed (and, aswillbe shownin Chapter 7, that many senators did infact employ), and demonstratethat choice cannotultimatelybe reducedto rules. Presuming a senator is genuinelymotivated bythenational interest, which isthebest choice to make? TheDole-Warnerresolution? TheMitchell-Nunn resolution? In hindsight, it appears that the former mayhavebeenthebest choice. But I do not know ofanywayto determinethiswithabsolute certainty.Regardless, theUnited States Senators did not havethebenefitofhindsightwhentheyhadto confrontthe choice facing them. Thatluxurywas left forJosephNye andChristopherLayneto enjoy sevenmonthslaterwhenthey set outto passjudgement onthe choice actuallymade bythe members ofUnited States Senate, among others.I examinethe arguments among the senators andthosebetweenNye and Layne inChapters 7 and 8, respectively. The purpose ofexaminingthese arguments is nottodeterminewhetherthe choice madebythe senatorswas indeed thebest choice, noris itto determinewhich ofNye andLayne’sjudgementswas indeed thebestjudgement.Instead, these two chapters constitutethe “testingground,” so to speak, for myconception ofthenational interestunderstood as an intrinsic principleofaction--viz., as a42motive in the act ofchoice. Tothe extentthatthisunderstanding clarifiesthe realsubstantive issuesraised in the respective debates is the extentto which it canbeconsidered an accurateunderstanding. Ifthe national interest can accuratelybeconceived as an intrinsic principle ofaction, one must concludetherebythat it isacategorically moral concept. Further, ifthe central concept in the studyand practice ofinternational relations is indeed a categorically moral concept, it is reasonabletoconcludethatthe conduct ofinternational relations is a proper object ofstudyformoralphilosophy or, more commonly, ethics. Nevertheless, it remainstobe seenwhethertheideaofthe national interestis amorally evil ideaoramorally good one. This thesismerely helpsto settheterms inwhichthe perennial debatebetween internationalrealistsand idealists must eventuallybe resolved.43CHAPTERTWOEMPLOYINGAND UNDERSTANDING“THENATIONALINTEREST”Inthis chapterIwill set out thenature ofthe existingliterature dealing, in oneway oranother, withthenational interest. I distinguishtwo broad categoriesofliterature: one inwhichthe authors primarily employthe concept, and one inwhichthe authors primarilyseekto understandit. The first categoryis practically orientedwhereasthe secondcategory is theoretically oriented. The basic question drivingthe authorsofthe firstcategory is: How should (ordoes) a statesman conducthis business? Andthebasicquestion drivingthe second categoryis: What doesthe national interest mean? Inthefirst category, theprimary objects ofconcern are the standards ofconduct for statesman,whereas in the second categorythe idea ofthe national interest itselfis the primary objectofstudy. Hence, the literature in eachofthetwo broad categoriesreflects a distinctivedispositionofthe authorstowardthe idea.Ofcourse, in an attemptto understand the idea one must pay attentionto how itisemployedinpractice and, conversely, in an attemptto employtheidea one presumablymustunderstand it. The authors in each category, then, are not engaged inmutuallyexclusive enterprises. Butthis does not negate thebasic distinction--adistinctionestablished by asking: what is the primaryconcernofthe author? Is it aboutthe ideaitself? Is it about using theidea as an analytical tool? Oris it about providingprescriptive rules and principles forthe conduct ofstatecraft attheinternational level?44Employing “TheNationalInterest”Ofthegroup employingthe concept, I distinguishthosewho advancegeneralsubstantiveconceptions fromthosewho advancespecfic conceptions aboutwhat substantivepolicyoptions arebest in light ofthe motive “the nationalinterest.”Ofthe authors advancingspecific substantive conceptions, Iidentifjtwo groups. First, there arethosewhoadvance their conceptionsafteraparticularforeignpolicy decisionhas beenreached,apparentlywiththe aim ofassessingthatdecision. The argumentsofJoseph S. Nye Jr.and ChristopherLayne fall into this category.1Second, therearethosewho advancetheirconceptionsduringthe process ofreaching aforeignpolicy decision. TheUnitedStates Senate debatesheld on 10, 11, and 12 January 1991fall into this category.2GeneralSubstantive ConceptionsGeneral substantive conceptions, like specific substantiveconceptions, are not so muchconcerned with “the national interest” asthey are with“national interests.”3Unlikethespecific substantive conception sub-category, however, the authorsinthis sub-categoryare not concerned withnational interestsin any particularhistorical context or inthecontext of any particularforeignpolicy problem. Instead,they are concerned withwhat1Joseph S. NyeJr, “Whythe GulfWar ServedtheNational Interest,”TheAtlanticMonthly (July 1991): 56-64, and ChristopherLayne, “Whythe GulfWarwas not intheNational Interest,” TheAtlanticMonthly (July 1991): 65-81. Iwill examineindetail their respective argumentsin chapter eight.21will examinethese debatesin detail in chapter seven.3The distinctionbetween the nationalinterest and nationalinterestswill be explainedmorefilly in chapterthree. I mentionthe distinctionnowmerelyto drawthe reader’sattentionto it.45I call °standing” national interests. This body ofliterature remains opento the questionabout howto apply abstractprescriptiveprinciples and rules to specific cases. GeorgeandKeohane,4for example, begintheirtreatment ofthe conceptofnationalinterestsbynoting that:Foreignpolicyproblems. . . typically engage a multiplicity ofcompetingvalues and interests, so much so that policymakers often havegreatdifficulty in attemptingto reduce themto a single criterionofutilitywithwhichtojudge which course ofaction is “best.” Inprinciple, the criterionofnational interest, which occupies so central a place in discussions offoreign policy, should assist decisionmakers to cutthroughmuchofthisvalue complexity and improvejudgements. . . . Inpractice, however,national interesthasbecome so elastic and ambiguous a conceptthat itsrole as aguideto foreignpolicy is problematic and controversial. [Inthisworkwe examine] some ofthe reasons forthis development and pointtoways inwhichthe concept canbe clarified in orderto strengthentheguidance it can giveto foreign-policymakers.5George and Keohane’sprimarypurpose, then, isto assistthe statesman in makingbetter decisions. But althoughthis is theirprimary purpose, they necessarily set outtoachieve some kind ofunderstanding about the idea. As a direct consequenceoftheiraim--hence, their dispositiontowardthe idea ofthe national interest--theyproceedtobreak downthe idea into whattheybelieve to betheirreducible nationalinterests(orvital interests) ofphysical survival, liberty, and economic subsistence.6The reasonfordoing so--again, astheir aim suggests--is “to introduce discipline and restraint into the4AlexanderL. George andRobertO. Keohane,”The Concept ofNationalInterests:Uses and Limitations,” inAlexanderL. George, ed.,PresidentialDecisionmakinginForeignPolicy: TheEffective Use ofInformationandAdvice (Boulder: WestviewPress, 1980),pp.217-237.5George and Keohane,p.217.6Georgeand Keohane,p.224.46formulation offoreign policy” in orderto prevent other interestsfrombeing “smuggled”into the process “underthe legitimizingumbrella ofthe term ‘national interests.”7The immediate issue here is not to examine George and Keohane’s substantiveclaims--althoughthey are probablyright. Nor is itto devaluetheirproject in anyway.Insteadthe point ofthe immediate discussionisto draw a distinctionbetweenthenatureoftheirproject--whatI referto as ageneral substantiveconception8--fromspecificsubstantive conceptions. Thebasic distinction isthat George andKeohane advancesubstantive conceptions ofnationalinterestthat ideallywould apply in all foreignpolicysituations. Specific substantive conceptions, onthe other hand, are specificto aparticular set ofcontingent historical circumstances.SpecificSubstantive ConceptionsSpecific substantive conceptions, then, are not concerned so muchwithnationalinterests inthe abstract as they arewith one or more ofthese interests in aparticular setofcontingent circumstances. Unlike the authors ofgeneral substantiveconceptions,these persons do not ask and attemptto answerthe “abstract” and, hence, quasi-practicalquestion, namely: what should leaders do ingeneral? Instead, theyaskand attemptto7George and Keohane,p.227.8Otherexamples ofgeneral substantive conceptions include: GraysonKirk, “InSearchoftheNational Interest,” WorldPolitics(1952): 110-115; JohnL. Chase,“Defining theNational Interest ofthe United States,”JournalofPolitics(November1956): 720-724; Hans J. Morgenthau, “Another ‘GreatDebate’: TheNational InterestoftheUnited States,” AmericanPoliticalScienceReview (December 1952): 961-988;and, PoliticsAmongNations: The StruggleforPowerandPeace, 5th ed., (New York:Alfred A. Knopf, 1973).47answer a concrete practical question, namely: What should leaders do (orhavedone) inthese (orthose) concrete contingent circumstances as theyface(orwhentheyfaced) this(orthat) specific practical problem? Forexample, questions like: giventhepredicamentwefind ourselves in, should we goto waror not? Or, giventhepredicamenttheyfoundthemselves in at the time, should they havegone to war or not? Thesetwo kindsofquestions, however, pointto anothercrucial distinction, namely: specific conceptionsadvanced afterthe fact and specific conceptions advanced duringthe processofreachinga decision.a) Specific ConceptionsAftertheFact: Intemporalterms, the question “giventhepredicamentthey found themselves in at the time, should theyhavegoneto warornot?” can only ariseafteraparticularchoicewas made and executed.In short, it is anhistorical question and, as such, requires the skilful application ofhistorical methods inorderto answer it correctly. But it is a special kind ofhistorical questionbecause it doesnot seekhistorical knowledgeforits own sake, but, rather, forthe sake ofevaluatingdecisions already made, Forhistorical knowledge is essentially “theoretical knowledge,”andtheoretical knowledge is knowledgethatsomething is orhas been--it is knowledgeoffact.9Butthe question, althoughit presupposes an answerto it, does not ask“did theyinfactgo towar?” it asks instead “shouldthey havegone to war ornot, giventhefactthatthey did (or didnot)go to war?” In short, the question does not seektheoretical9ThomasHobbes,Leviathan, p. 40; Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan: OrMan,Society, CivilizationandBarbarism, Revised edition, DavidBoucher ed. (Oxford:ClarendonPress, 1992), chapterXIV; GilbertRyle, The ConceptofMind(London:Hutchinson, 1955), chapterII.48knowledge about someone’s actual conduct forits own sake,but forthe sake ofjudginghuman choices. Inthis case, the authors groundtheir respectivejudgements inspecificsubstantive conceptions ofnational interest. Fromthisbodyofliteraturewelearnthat, atthevery least, the national interest is often employedas a standard against whichparticularforeign policy choices are evaluated andjudged.But why would someonewantto tryto determinehow someone else shouldhaveconducted themselves in a given set ofcontingent circumstances? Forregardlessofwhatstandard ofconduct is applied afterthe fact, it cannot changewhathas already occurred.Apersonmight wantto do thisfor a couple ofreasons. One mightwanttopassjudgement, forwhateverreason, onthe personorpersons responsible forthe decision.Orone might wantto learn from another’s experiencewhat needs tobe done, and howitcanbe done, ifa similar set ofcircumstances arises again. JosephS. Nye andChristopherLayne’s respective repliesto the question ofwhether ornotthe GulfWarwasinthe Americannational interest aretwo examplesofthiskind oftreatment.’°b) Specific Conceptions DuringtheFact: This second halfofthedistinctionseeksto answer apractical questionofchoice, exemplifiedbythe question: giventhepredicament we find ourselves in, should we go towar or not? Whereasthe question“giventhe predicament theywere in, should theyhavegoneto war or not?” can ariseonly afterthe fact and, consequently, seeks historical knowledge,the question “shouldwe‘°Another example is: Stephen D. Krasner, DefendingtheNationalInterest:RawMaterials, Investments, and US. ForeignPolicy (Princeton: PrincetonUniversityPress,1978). Krasner, however, does not examine one particularforeign policy choicebut aseriesofchoices in one particularpolicy area.49go to waror not?” seeks practical knowledge. One possessestheoreticalknowledgethemoment he “makesup his mind that” something is orwas.” One possesses practicalknowledge, onthe otherhand, themomenthe “makesup his mind to” do some particularthing--thatis to say, the momentheformulates a specialtype ofpropositioncalled anintention.’2An intentionusuallytakesthe shape ofsomething like: “I will closethewindow,” or, “I will securethe liberation ofKuwait,” or, “I will lead my country intowar,” or, “I will continue sanctions indefinitely.”But formulatingthe intention is only part ofthe decisionprocess. Once the agenthas decided uponthe object to be secured, he mustthendecideuponthebestmeanstoemploy in orderto secure it. The processofmakingup one’s mind--that is, thethoughtprocessthat occursbefore an election is made about means--is called deliberation. Aperson’s capacityfor deliberating well iswhatAristotlerefers to as “practical wisdom,”“phronesis,” or“pdence.”1311Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan. p. 99.‘21tshould be evidentthat mostofa person’s routine activities are not preceded(temporally orlogically) bytheformulationofanintention. Most activities stemfromhabit. This is equally truewith complex and difficult activities. We are consideredskilled at an activitywhenwehave acquiredthe complexhabitsofactionpertainingtothat activity. Hence, the expression “practical knowledge” oftenrefersto skills acquiredthroughtraining and habit, and this isthe sense inwhichRyleusestheterm “knowinghow.” ConceptofMind, chapterII. Butthis clearly is notthe sense in whichI amusingithere. HereIunderstand by “practical knowledge” the knowledge ofwhat one eitherintends orwillsto do in a given situation. And such knowledge is expressed intheformofa special proposition called an “intention.” The ideaofan intentionwill be addressedin more detailwhenI examinethe problem ofchoice in chapterfive,13Aristotle,NicomacheanEthics, 1 140a25-35. The idea ofprudence and how it relatesto the problemofchoicewill be explored in greater detail in chapter six, Imention itnowmerelyto indicate apoint ofcontactbetweenthe questions addressedbythephilosophyofthe humanperson, moral philosophy, and questions addressed about50Thus, the people who have set out to answerthe question “what should we do?”are intheprocess offormulating an intention--thatis, they are deliberating aboutwhattodo. Manybodies politic have incorporatedthis practice into their collectivedecisionmaking not onlyby allowing, but insisting, that public deliberationtakeplace onimportantquestions such as whetheror notto committhe countrytowar, TheUnitedStates Constitution, for example, requires thecollectivewills ofCongressforadeclarationofwar.The record ofthe deliberation processfor a country’s particular decisionin aparticularset ofcontingent circumstances in light ofa particularproblem, is the kind ofliteratureI am referringto here. The best, butby no meansthe only literature available inany set ofcontingentcircumstances isthatproduced bythe authors ofthe decision itself.In the case ofthe GulfWar, I drawupontheUnited States CongressionalRecordoftheJanuary 1991 Senate debate onwhether or not to employ offensive militaryforce againstIraq. As indicated, I shall examine theirdeliberations in chapter seven.Understanding “TheNationalInterest”Inkeeping withthebroad distinctionbetweenthosewho employthe idea andthosewhoexplicitly set outto understand it, I shall nowturnto the lattergroup. Inparticular, Ishall examine theworksofCharlesBeard, JamesRosenau, andJosephFrankel.Althoughthesethree authors have made animportant contributionto ourunderstandingofthe idea ofthe national interest, they do not addressthe question ofhowthe ideaforeign policy decision making.51relatesto the problemofchoice. The key to reachingthe kind ofunderstandingIhopetoachieve is determiningjust howthe notion ofnational interest relatesto the problem ofhuman choices--human choices, that is, ofpersons acting intheir capacity as Americanstatesmen.CharlesBeardBy far, the most impressive and sustained attempt at clarifyingtheideaofthe nationalinterest was originally published in 1933 by CharlesBeard.14Inthatwork, Beardexamines what American statesmenand publicists meantwhentheyinvokedtheexpression “the national interest”--viz., he examines and distinguishesthekindsofpoliciesthatthe expression reflected.ForBeard, “the national interest” is merely anabstract formulathat ismeaningless outsidethe contingencies ofthe situation and the actual complex ofvaluesembraced bythe individual person employing the term. Inthe words ofCharlesE.Hughes: “foreignpolicies are not builtupon abstractions,” but “arethe resultofpracticalconceptionsofthe national interest arising from some immediate exigency or standingoutvividly in historical perspective.”15Hence, it is akind ofshorthand expressionpresumably embodying a deeper meaning intimately known bytheperson employing theterm inthe context ofcontingent circumstances. Beard, therefore, sets outto establish14Charles A. Beard, TheIdeaofNationalInterest:AnAnalyticalStudy inAmericanForeignPolicy, reprinted, (Chicago: Quadrangle, 1966).15CitedinBeard,p.1. My emphasis.52these meanings fromthe foundingoftheRepublicuntil the early 193Os and, in keepingwith Charles Hughes’ dictum, the onlyway hethinksthis canbe done is by examiningwhat people said and did inthe contextwithinwhichthey said and did it. Determiningthe substantive practical meaning ascribedto the national interest in any set ofcircumstances is, forBeard, an historical problem--that is to say, a problemto beaddressed by historical methods.Although he argues effectivelythat a “traditional thesis” canbe discerned aboutitsuse as a formulato “explain andjusti1,rpolicy,” it is notablefrom his overall accountthat thenational interest did not have the same substantive meaning for all Americans inall concrete historical circumstances. Nor did it havethe same substantive meaning forall Americans even in identical circumstances. Forexample, AlexanderHamilton’ssubstantiveconception ofthe American national interest “meant a consolidationofcommercial, manufacturing, financial, and agricultural interests at home.” In foreignpolicy, it meant “thepromotion oftrade in all partsoftheworld bythe engines ofdiplomacy, the defense ofthattrade by a powerfhl navy, the supremacyoftheUnitedStates intheWesternHemisphere, and theuse ofmilitary and naval strength in therivalry ofnationsto secure economic advantages forthe citizensoftheUnited States.” Inshort, Hamilton conceived Americaninterestsin termsofmachtpolitik.16ThomasJefferson, onthe other hand, “was essentiallyisolationist in outlook andopposed to territorial adventureswhichbroughtthe United States into economic rivalrywiththe imperialist powers ofEurope and hence into the diplomatic entanglements16Beard,pp.48-49.53inevitably associated withit.”17 Eventhoughthesetwo views are inherentlyincompatible, their respectiveproponentsjustified and articulatedthem in terms ofthe“iron law” ofnational interest. However, despite its (divergent) employment bystatesmen and publicists “asifitwere afixed principle, somewhatlikethelaw ofgravitation,” Beard notesthatit cannotbe such a lawifonlybecause “the idea ofnationalinterest is, relatively speaking, a newcomeramongtheformulas ofdiplomacy andinternational morality.”18FromBeard’sbroad historical study one learnsnot onlythatthe expression“national interest” displaced olderformulas ofdiplomacy--such asraisond’etatandthenational honour--butthatthere is rarelyuniversal agreementaboutwhatthe nationalinterest means in substantive practical terms. The nationalinterest has no fixed andpermanent substantivepractical meaning. There is no “objective” substantive conceptionthat can hold true in all times and circumstances. In addition, the national interest merelyunderstood inthe abstract is virtually meaningless. InKennethWaltz’sterms, “to saythat a state seeksits ownpreservation orpursuesits national interest is interesting onlyifwefigure outwhatthenational interestrequires a countrytodo.”19 But despiteitsdivergent meanings in practice and its relativemeaninglesswhenemployed in theabstract, there does appearto be a common thread in itsuse--that is, it is usedbystatesmen and commentatorsalike asajustficationfor (often divergent) policy options.‘7Beard,p.87.‘8Beard,p.4.‘9KennethN. Waltz, TheotyofInternationalPolitics, First edition (New York:NewberyAward Records Inc., 1979), p. 134.54In this particularwork, CharlesBeard doesnot fulfil his ultimateobjective toproduce a conceptual, ratherthan purelyhistorical, treatmentofthe idea andconcedesthatthetaskmust be leftto a sequel--something which heunfortunatelyneverproduced.Nevertheless, his starting point is a fruitful one. Herealizesthatthe only wayto reachaconceptualunderstanding ofthe national interest is first to examine thewaytheformulais employedin practice, determine itssubstantive meaning inthose contexts in light ofthe actual policies appended to the expression, and thento proceedwith an analysis ofamore conceptual nature. ForBeard, the startingpoint ofany conceptual analysis, then,ishuman conduct in an historical context--thatisto say, onemustfirst employ historicalmethods and thenmove onto more conceptual ones.UnlikeBeard, however, mytreatment cannot claimthe same degree ofhistoricalscope and emphasis. This taskhas afready been performed, and performed expertly,byBeard himself. Instead, I shall examinethe employment ofthe idea in the contextofasingular historical event, namely, the GulfWar. Nevertheless, I drawupon his insightthat no conceptual analysis canbeundertakenwithout referenceto concrete historicalcircumstances.Perhaps as a consequence ofnot addressingthe questionofhowthe nationalinterest relatesto the problem ofchoice, Beardmay not havebeen dealingspecificallywiththe ideaofthe national interest after all. Instead, hewas dealingwiththesubstantive nature ofAmerican foreignpolicies presumablymotivatedbythe nationalinterest. He attemptedto distil Americanforeignpolicies downto a common setofideasand found thatthis could not be done. However, he could not denythat allofthose55divergent policieswere probably motivatedby the nationalinterest. Peoplewiththesame motiveto do what isbestforthebodypolitic can make differentjudgements aboutwhat is best. Hence, Beard clearly distinguisheshumanjudgements fromhumanmotivesinthe sense thatthe same motive shared bytwo differentpeople does not necessarily leadtothe same policy choices.JamesN RosenauIn his analysis of “the nationalinterest,” Rosenau clearly is not using the concept “todescribe, explain, or evaluatethe sources orthe adequacyofa nation’s foreignpolicy.”Instead, he is attemptingto claril,’the concept and determine its suitability as ananalytical tool. Althoughhe argues convincinglythat it is not suitable as such, heconcedesthat “its use in politics will long continueto be a datum requiring analysis.”2°Keeping in mind thebroad distinctionbetween employingthe concept andunderstandingit, Rosenau’s account clearly fits into the latter category; eventhoughheapproachesthe problem in a primarily negativeway. In otherwords, he showshowtheconcept cannotbe used instead ofdeveloping apositive accountofwhat its role mightbein a concrete decisionmaking context. Regardless, Rosenau’s account serves asaneffective critique ofsome oftheways inwhich the concept is employed. And a largepart ofany understanding aboutwhat a concept means can be obtained by learninghowitcannotproperlybeused.Inthe course ofdemonstrating itsinadequacyas an analyticaltool, he attempts20Rosenau,p.39.56first to distinguish analytical from politicalusages ofthe idea.As an analytic tool, it is employedto describe, explain, orevaluate thesources or adequacy ofanation’s foreignpolicy. As an instrumentofpolitical action, it serves as a means ofjustifjing, denouncing, orproposing policies. Bothusages. . . refertowhat is best for anationalsociety.21There is a problemwiththis distinctionbecauseRosenau groupstogetherunderthe headingof“analysis” the activitiesof“explanation,” “description,” and“evaluation.”Formuch ofwhat is produced undertheguise ofevaluationis veiy difficult todistinguishfrom political action. Layne andNye, for example, evaluate theAmericandecisionto go to war and theyusethe ideaofthe nationalinteresttojustif,rtheirmutually exclusivejudgements--aform ofpolitical action in myview. Nevertheless,Rosenau’s mistaken distinctiondoes not affectthe remainder ofhis analysis. The activityofevaluation aside, Rosenau essentially agreeswithbothBeard and Waltz’s critiquethatthe national interest employed as a description or explanation offoreign policy does nottell usvery much.Anational interest, in his view, iswhatever a country’s decisionmakersdecide,22Rosenau refersto this .sthe “subjectivist” account. Rosenau’s most formidable critique,however, is directed againstwhat he callsthe “objectivist” accountofthe nationalinterest. Andthe “objectivists,” in myview, are primarily engaged in a form ofpolitical21Rosenau, p. 34.22Althoughthis is stated in universal terms, it is clearthatRosenau’s “subjectivist”emerges from withintheWesternLiberal-Democratic experience. Hence, the subjectivistpresupposesthatthe decision about interestswas reachedby due political process. Ifthesubjectivist notion is extended to embodythe decisions ofall national leaders--includingthe most malevolent oftyrants--it merelybecomes apurely descriptive statement.57action, ifonly an indirect form.Ofthe objectivists, Rosenau identifiesHans Morgenthau as themostsophisticated member.23Intracingthe developmentofthe objectivist account, henotesthat although thetermwas employedby American political actors sincethe late 18thcentury, it was during theinterwarperiodthatthe first serious attemptto clarifrtheconceptwasmade,24AfterWorldWarII, however, many analysts beganto employtheconceptto criticizetheBritish, French, and American policies which, theybelieved, ledto thatwar. It seemed obvious to these analysts “thatthebest interest ofanation is amatter ofobjective reality andthat by describingthis reality one is ableto usetheconcept ofthe national,interest as abasis for evaluating the appropriatenessof thepolicies which a nation pursues.”Perhaps the most penetrating criticismofthe objectivistperspective is thatitsadherents merely enjoy “the benefitsofhindsight tojustifythe superiority,of[their] ownvalues overthoseoftheBritish andFrenchpolicy makerswho decidedto acquiescetoHitler (obviously, the policy makerswould have acted differentlyifthey could haveforeseenthe consequences ofacquiesence).” Further, it is entirelyunreasonabletocriticize another’s conceptionofthe nationalinterest on the basis ofhindsight because “iftheBritish and theFrenchbelieved theywere satisfyingtheirwants and needs whentheycompromised atMunich, who is to saytheywerewrong and acted inviolationoftheirRosenau,p.3524Rosenau,pp.34-35. That attemptwasmade by CharlesBeard.58nationalinterests?”25In contrast with the objectivistview, Rosenau arguesthat “[w]hat is best foranation in foreign affairs is never selfevident. More important, it is not even potentiallyknowable as a singular objective truth. Persons are bound to differonwhatthemostappropriate goals forthe country are in any given set ofcircumstances. For, to repeat,goals and interests are value laden. They involve subjectivepreferences, and thusthecumulationofnational interestinto a single complexofvalues isboundto be as variableasthenumberofobservers who use differentvalue frameworks.” That objectivistsholdsuch avalueframework is clearbecausethey “proceed onthe assumptionthat somevalues are preferable to others (for example, that it is betterforthenation to survivethannot to survive).”26The thrust ofRosenau’s critique is clear. There is no universal substantiveconception ofthe (presumably American) national interestthat applies to allcircumstances. There are simply competingviews aboutwhat itthebestthing forthecountryto do in anygiven set ofcircumstances. Andtheholder ofoneview is notnecessarily acting any more or less inthe national interest thanthe holder.ofanother--thatis, as long asboth are genuinely concernedabout doingwhat is bestforthecountry.The subjectivists, on the other hand, convergeduponthe national interest as ananalytic conceptwhen “the discipline ofpolitical science gave increasing emphasis toscientific explanation.” This group was concerned “less with evaluatingtheworthof25Rosenau,p.36.26Rosenau,p.36.59foreign policies and more withexplaining why nationsdo what they do whentheyengage in international action. . . .“ The subjectivists“reasonedthat nations do whattheydo in orderto satisfytheirbestinterests andthat by describingtheseneeds andwantstheanalyst would be in apositionto use the concept ofthe national interestas atool forexplanation. These analysts. . . deny the existenceofanobjectiverealitywhich isdiscoverablethrough systematicinquiry.” National interestis not “a singular objectivetruththat prevailswhetheror not it is perceived bythe members ofanations, but it is,rather, a pluralistic set ofsubjectivepreferencesthat change whenevertherequirementsand aspirations ofthe nation’s members change.”27The decisionmaking approachpioneered byFurniss and Snyderprovided anadditional rationaleforthe subjectivist approachtothe national interest.The “students ofdecision making contend that the national interest, being composedofvalues (whatpeoplewant), is not susceptibleofobjective measurement even ifdefinedinterms ofpower and that, accordingly, the onlywayto uncoverwhat peopleneedandwant is toassumethattheir requirements and aspirations are reflected inthe actionsofa nation’spolicy makers.” In otherwords, “The national interest iswhatthe nation, i.e., thedecision-maker, decides itis.”28 Thebetter ofthesubjectivist approaches “rely onthesociety’s political process” to determine what ofthe many conflictinginterests are indeednational interests. There is little doubt in his mind“thatthe national interest is rooted invalues (‘what is best’).” Andthisvalue laden characterofthe conceptis why analysts27Rosenau,p.35.28Rosenau,p.36.60have found “it difficult to employ as a tool ofrigorousinvestigation..ii29Rosenau’s critique ofthe “subjectivist” account probably could havebeen morepenetrating had he distinguished the national interest from national interes’ts, andbothofthese from “foreign policies.” For a country’s leaders do not decidewhat thenationalinterest is in agiven situation. Instead, they decidewhatthe nation’s interestsare--that isto say, the specific goals to be pursued. Further, they decide onthemeansto beemployed in pursuit ofthosegoals and these are embodied in foreign policies. Finally,they employthe expression “the national interest” asajustUication forthe chosenpolicy.Hence, strictly speaking, it is a mistake to saythat the national interest is whata country’sleaders decide. But it is not necessarilyamistaketo saythat in any given situationthat acountry’s leaders genuinely aretryingto do what is bestforthe countryby choosing thispolicy and not another. Perhaps this is what statesmen meanwhenthey saythat theyareacting in the national interest--theyare merely claiming thatthey are tryingto do whattheythink is best forthe country.Hence, by asserting the national interest as ajustification for a givenpolicychoice, the statesman merely is reaffirmingthat his or herchoice is inclinedtowardthegood ofthe country. Ifhe or shewereto respondto the further question “butwhydo youthinkthis ratherthanthat policy is bestforthe country?” with “because it isinthenational interest,” he or she simplywould be arguing ina circle. In short, “the nationalinterest” isthe statesman’s answerto the question aboutwhose goodtowardwhich his orherintentions are inclined in choosing the given policy. But itdoes not answerthe29Rosenau,p.34.61question about why he or she thinksthat choice isthebest inthe circumstances.Nevertheless, Frankel offers a penetrating critiqueofboththe subjectivist andobjectivist views. He does not, however, addressthe notion ofthenational interest as “adatumrequiring analysis.” It is not clearwhathe means bythis. But ifhe meansthatfi.irther investigationis needed intothe role the ideaplays inthe practice ofmakingforeignpolicies, I havetaken up that challenge inthisthesis.JosephFrankelJosephFrankel’s conceptual analysis ofthe national interest is difficultto summarize.Thebookis essentially a collectionofdiffusethoughts onthe national interest unifiedonly by the factthat they all have some bearing onthe idea. For example, in his reviewofFrankel’sbook, WernerLevi concludesthat “it brings confusion into chaos,” and thatanyone looking “for clarificationofthe concept will not find it inthisbook--mostlybecause, as the author conveys fairly convincingly, it cannotbe found anywhere.”3°Frankel himselfadmits, albeit obliquely, that his diversethoughts onthe subject lackedan elementoffocus. In his conclusion, he concedesthat:With a subject ofthisnature, it would beimpracticableto attempt asummary and conclusion ofthebookinthe customaryway. The argumentis muchtoo condensed to allow a meaningful briefsummary; so manyconclusions could be drawn from itthat any selected bythe author maystrikethe readers as idiosyncratic and arbitrary. Thetask offormingconclusions as to the nature ofthe conceptwill thenbe leftto theindividual readerwho can, ifnecessary, easily refresh his memory oftheargumentby looking againthroughthewhole bookwhich is, after all,30WernerLevi, Review ofJosephFrankel’s, NationalInterestin TheAmericanPoliticalScienceReview 65 (June 1971): 588.62quite short.31Frankel’s inabilityto give form and structureto the idea, however, is no reflectionon his scholarly abilities. It merelyreflects the nature ofthe concept--a conceptwhich,by all accounts, is exceedingly difficult to untangle. But, unlikeWernerLevi, one oughtnot fall victimto misology. It is onethingto saythatthe concept is difficultto c1ariy,but quite anotherto say that it is impossible. Hence, Frankel should be commendedratherthan criticized forhis pains.The onlygeneral critique one can reasonably offer aboutFrankel’s attempt is thathe triesto do too much intoo littletime and space. But such a critique must go hand inhand with a sincere acknowledgementthat at least he has said something about it, andthatwhat he has said--although diflhse andvaried--is certainly relevant. Nevertheless, Ihave learned from Frankel’s attemptthat in approachingthe ideaofthe national interest,one has to limit one’s objectives. Consequently, I have limited myinquiryto establishingthe epistemological category to whichthe idea ofthe national interest properly belongs,namely: the moral category.Further, to the extentthatFrankel canbe consideredto be an authority onthesubject,32his diffuse discussionpermits avarietyofwaystojointhe debate--thatistosay, he opens up numerous “entry points” for someone elsetojointhe conversation abouttheidea ofthe national interest. Inviewofthis, I shall takeup the issues he raises in31Frankel, p. 141.32Because his workis the only existing monograph onthe subject, perhaps he shouldbe considered as such.63chapters seven and eight onthe questions ofhumandecision and choice, and in chapterone onthe question ofmethodology.Frankel arguesthat “theultimatemysteryofdecisions which, in some cases atleast, are clearly actsoffree will and products ofimagination, escapefill explanation.Consequently, he makes no attempt at providing one.”33This statement, however, israther surprising giventhat Frankel indicates an importantrelationshipbetween humandecisions and values, on the one hand, and values and the national interest, onthe other.“Thevalue component ofdecisions,” he argues, “is probablymuchmore significantthan[the] information [component].“ And, “national interest,” he argues further, “is the mostcomprehensive descriptionofthe wholevalue complexofforeignpolicy.”35But, havingpostulated a relationship between values, decisions, the national interest, and foreignpolicy, he forestalls any attemptto probethe “mystery” ofhuman choicebecause,apparently, it escapesfill explanation. This cannotbetruebecauseifthere is anyproblemthat has preoccupiedthegreatest minds ofmoral and politicalphilosophy fromdawn ofWestern civilizationto the present, it isthe so-called “mystery” of humanchoice.What is the answermoral and politicalphilosophyhave givento the question?Ishall answerthisby means ofan analogy. Whereasmoral and political philosophersfromthe dawn ofWestern civilization have beenpreoccupiedwiththe “mystery”of33Frankel,p.119.34Frankel,p.113.35Frankel,p.26.64human choice, natural philosophers--oftenthe same people--have been preoccupiedwiththe “mystery” ofnature. The question: “what is the answerthey have givento the“mystery” ofnature?” is an historical question. Consequently, one needs tolookto thatbody ofknowledge called “the historyofthought” in orderto answerit.Onemust enterthe conversationby rethinking the thoughts ofPlato, Aristotle, Galileo,Descartes,Newton, and Einstein, among many others, in orderto answerit. Have thesethinkersfully explained the “mystery” ofnature? No, they have not, Despitethemagnificentachievements ofnatural science in the lastthree centuries, the caretakers ofthatbodyofknowledge still remain committedto explainingthe “mystery” ofnature. The “mystery”ofnature is an ongoing conversationamong natural philosophers and scientists.Likewise, the caretakers ofmoral and political philosophyhave not fullyexplained the “mystery” ofhumanchoice. The mystery is still at the centreofconversation among moral philosophers. Hence, whenFrankeljustifies circumventingthe question by assertingthat it escapes full explanation, perhaps whathe meansto say isthat he finds little agreement among those who have attemptedto answer it. Ormaybe hemeansto say that, in his view, existing answers areunsatisfactory. He cannot meantosaythat no answers havebeen offered.Probably themost significant differencebetweenFrankel’s attempt at c1arifjingthe idea and mine is that I amunwillingto circumventtheproblemofhuman choice.EvenFrankel, perhapsunwittingly, admitsthe centralityofthisproblembypostulatingthe relationship betweenvalue, choice, national interest, and foreignpolicy.Let mesuggestthatFrankel’s attempt to clarifjthe ideafalls short because he circumventsthe65question aboutthemystelyofhumanchoice. Butwhy is the provision ofsome kind ofanswerto this problem a crucial part ofany attempttoclarifS’the ideaofthe nationalinterest? It is crucialbecause, ifit is usedfor anything, the idea is usedas a ground orjustificationforforeign policy choices, And thiswasparticularlytrueintheUnitedStates duringthe Gulfcrisis.Thus, although it is one ofhis most important insights aboutthe nationalinterest,Frankel does not explorethe relationship he stipulatesbetweenvalue,choice, the nationalinterest, and foreign policy. Perhaps the two overridingreasonswhyFrankeldoes notattemptto developthis relationship in any systematicway is because ofthe distinctivebodyofknowledge he appealsto in orderto clarifythe national interest,onthe one hand,andthenature ofthe question he asks about it, onthe other. Althoughit is not evident inhis opening arguments, thebodyofknowledge he ultimately appealsto is painfully ill-equippedto deal withrelationshipsofvalue, choice, the national interest, and foreignpolicy.Frankel asserts that his book “is writtenintheAristoteliantraditionofpoliticaltheory,” and addsthat “the argument is structured around a logical analysisofthemajoraspects ofthe concept.”36Ifthiswereindeedthe case, thebody ofknowledgebothheandI appealto wouldbe identical. Butthis evidently isnot the case. WhereasI drawsignificantly on Aristotle’s answerto the problemofchoice, Frankel circumventstheproblem altogetherand never mentions Aristotle againinthe remainderofhis work.What, then, does Frankel meanbythe Aristoteliantradition ofpoliticaltheory? It is not36Frankel, p. ii. My emphasis.66clearto mewhat he means by it. Perhaps he meansthat, unlike Plato, he is convincedthattheworld apprehended bythe senses is not a mere shadow ofultimatereality and,consequently, amore or less empirical ratherthan a purelyconceptual approachto theproblemis warranted. But ifthiswereindeed the case, ourtwo approachesagainwouldbe identical.Athrtherclue to his approach canbe found in his chapter on methodology. Thebasic methodological distinctionFrankel makes isbetweenthat ofthe so called“intuitionist” and “social scientist.” He arguesthat “peoplewith atheoretical,philosophical biastake more interest inthe aggregate, whereasthosewith an empirical,scientific bias put more emphasis uponthe single dimensions ofthe concept,” This latter“bias,” he arguesflirther, “is an example ofthe generaltendencyofcontemporary socialsciencesto break downintractable social problems and conceptsinto more manageableelements.”37Frankel leaves little doubt aboutwhich approachhe intendsto adopt. Thenational interest, he argues:is an exceptionallyunclearconcept. Like all other difficult concepts itgives risetothetemptationto go to extremes. We can saythat it isintractable, beyond ourpowerofanalysis, and hence rely on ourintuition;ifdetermined to be ‘scientific,’ we can simpli1,’ and modifythe concept,break it up into elements and componentsuntil it becomes manageable,hopingthatthe analyzed concept is still identical withthe real one. Anattempt is made here to pursue the second approachwhile avoiding itsextremes,38By “science,” it appears thatFrankel has in mind avery narrowdefinition ofthe37Frankel,p.43.38Frankel,p.26.67term. More specifically, he appears to have in mind akind ofmethodbased on ananalogywiththe natural sciences--that isto say, the applicationofnatural scientificmethods not to “matter” but, rather, to theproblems ofhuman conductwithin and amongtheircommunities, Frankel evidently recognizes, however, thatthe applicationofnaturalscientific methods can leadto absurdities whichultimatelydetractfromany reasonableunderstandingofconcepts such as the national interest. How does one go about avoidingsuch absurdities? He argues that:The most promising solution seemsto lie in employing clearly definedmodels which concentrateupon one or a few dimensions selected asindependent variables, leaving other significant and frequently stillunexplored dimensions as constants.39Inotherwords, Frankel aims “to break downthe concept ofnational interest into factorswhich mayultimatelybe used infactor-analysis.”4°Whether such anapproachultimatelywould serveto avoidthe absurdities generated by applying themethods and assumptionsofnatural scienceto the problems ofhuman conduct remainsunprovenbecauseFrankeldoes not deliver onhis promise. No matterhow hard one looks forthese “factors” in hissection entitled “National Interest and its components” one cannot findthem.4’But this isnot surprisingbecause, on reflection, there are noneto be found. His errorrests inemploying amethodwhich is entirelyappropriateforfiguring out, say, howa clockworks, whereas it is entirelyinappropriatefor explaining thingsthat are not madeupwithmatter. In short, he fails to drawuponthatbody ofknowledgewhich I thinkis best39Frankel,p.27.40Frankel,p.29.41Frankel,pp.42-44,68equippedto deal withthe problem ofclari1ying the relationshipbetweenvalue, choice,thenational interest, and foreignpolicy, namely: moral philosophy or ethics.The second overridingreasonwhyFrankel does not exploretherelationship is thenature ofthe questions he asks and sets outto answer regardingthe national interest.The first specific objective ofthis study isto assistinthe analysis oftheforeignpolicyofany singlestate.... Second, inthe analysis ofinterstate relations, the specific objective is to use national interest as anorganizing concept forthe comparisonofforeignpolicies.,42Hence, the questionFrankel seeks to answer aboutthe concept is entirely differentfrommine. Andthenature ofthe questionFrankel seeksto answer largely informsthemethodologyhe actually employs in orderto answer it. Likewise, the natureofthequestionI seekto answer largelyinforms mine. Whereashe seeks to establishhowtheconcept canbe employed more effectively inthe analysis offoreign policy--and,consequently, to assistthe policymaker informulating more effectivepolicies--I seektoestablishthe rolethe idea plays in decisions. Hence, keeping in mind thebroaddistinction outlined at thebeginning ofthis chapter, Frankel’s workclearlyfits into thecategoryof“understanding” thenational interestbutwiththe aim ofemploying it as ananalytical tool. EvidentlyFrankel was not convincedbyRosenau’s critique.Myworkalso fits into the categoryof“understanding” the national interest. Butone ofmy aims fordoingthis is not to employ it more effectivelyinpolitical actionbut,rather, tobring into light the issuesthat widespreaduse duringthe Gulfcrisisofanunclarifiedversion ofthe idea effectively obscured. In otherwords, by clarifyingthe42Frankel,p.29.69concept in light ofthe Gulfcrisis, I am suggesting that other issues can be clarifiedaswell.TheApproachThefundamental issue at stakebetweenFrankel’s approach and the one Iproposehereconcernsthemost appropriatebody ofknowledgeto drawupon in orderto clarifytheideaofthe national interest. But how does one distinguishvarious bodiesofknowledge?Generally, bodiesofknowledge are distinguished bytheirgenericobject ofstudy, theirproper object ofstudy, andthemethod inwhichthat object is studied.43Forexample,physics and English literature are easily distinguished as distinctbranches ofknowledgebecause they have distinct generic objects ofstudy. Physics has as its genericobject“matter” and English literaturehas as its object the language and writings ofaparticulargroup ofpeople.Bodies ofknowledge are a little more difficult to distinguishwhenthey sharethesamegeneric object ofstudy. The medical sciences and the philosophyofthehumanperson, for example, share the same generic object ofstudy. They studythe human43Thefollowing discussion onthe distinctionbetweenbranches ofknowledgeis asynthesisbased on the argumentsofMartinD. O’Keefe, KnownFrom the ThingsthatAre: FundamentalTheoryoftheMoralLfe (Houston TX: CenterforThomisticStudies,1987), pp. 1-12; andR. G. Collingwood, NewLeviathan,pp. 1-18. The followingdistinctions are approximations and are meant onlyto isolatethe approachItakeas wellas some ofthe assumptions upon whichthat approachrests. To advance a definitiveaccount ofthe distinctions betweenthe variousbodies ofknowledge wouldbe amajorundertaking in itself--not to mention a highly contentious one.440’Keefe, p. 6.70person as a living being. They differ, however, intheirproper object and method. Themedical sciences have as theirproperobject the humanpersonprimarilyconceived as“body,” whereasthe philosophy ofthe humanperson has as its proper objectthe humanpersonprimarily conceived as “soul” or “mind,” Sincethebody is composed of“matter,”the medical sciences admit the methods employedbythe sciences ofmatter such asphysics, chemistry, and biology--that is to say, medical science admits the methodsofnatural science.It remains an open questionwhetherthe philosophy ofthe human personeffectivelycanbe served bythemethods ofnatural science. R. G. Collingwood andPlatowere convincedthattheycannot.45ThomasHobbes, in contrast, arguablywasconvinced thattheycan,46 Regardless, I shall adopt Collingwood’s position and assumethroughout thisworkthat the philosophyofthe humanperson cannotbe served bythemethods ofnatural science. It will become evidentthat this assumptionhelps to cutthroughmany ofthe confusions surroundingthe idea ofthe national interest. In short,whether Collingwood’s assertionisultimatelytrue is notthe issue. Instead, the issue iswhetherhis assertion, employed as an assumption, helpsto clarifythe idea ofthe nationalinterest,45R. G. Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan.’ OrMan, Society, Civilization &Barbarism,RevisedEdition. DavidBoucher, ed. (Oxford: ClarendonPress, 1992),pp.1-18; TheIdeaofHistory (Oxford: Oxford UniversityPress, 1946),pp.205-231. Plato,Phaedo97c-99d;RepublicV, VI, VII.46This, however, is disputed. See, forexample, the discussioninRichard Tuck,Hobbes (Oxford: OxfordUniversityPress, 1989), ChIII; Michael Oakeshott, HobbesonCivilAssociation (Oxford: Oxford UniversityPress, 1975).71In addition to the branches ofknowledge ofmedical science andthephilosophyofhuman nature, moral philosophyalso sharesthe samegeneric object ofstudy. Havingdistinguished medical science and the philosophyofthe human persononthegroundsoftheir respective properobjects and methods, a further distinction is needed betweenmoral philosophy and the philosophy ofhumannaturebecause these two branchesofknowledge often sharethe samemethod, Whereasthephilosophyofhumannature has asitsproper object man as “mind” or “soul,” moral philosophy has as its proper objecthuman conductas good or evil, actionsto be done ornot to be done.Human psychology also sharesthe same generic objectwiththephilosophy ofhuman nature, moral philosophy and, in some cases, medical science. Nevertheless, theydiffer intheirproper objects. Whereasthe proper object ofmoral philosophyis humanconduct--i.e., actushumani--psychology has as its proper object human behaviour--i.e.,actushominis.47The differencebetweenbehaviourand conduct is that the first concernsnon-imputableactions and the latter concerns imputable ones. And the differencebetween an imputable and anon-imputable humanact isthattheformer is takenbyvirtueofknowledge and choice whereas the latter is not--aperson canbe held responsibleforan imputable actwhereas he cannotfor a non-imputable one. The actofeating, forexample, might be considered as a non-imputable actbecause nourishment requires470’Keefe,p.12. It should be noted that some attempts have been madeto combineboth psychology and moral philosophy in orderto account forhuman conduct as good orevil, actionsto be done ornot to be done. Thetwobranches ofknowledgehave provedvery difficult to reconcile. Collingwood would arguethat any attempt is misconceivedfrom the outset. However, I am still not sureif! am preparedto follow him onthisclaim.72eating out ofnecessity. On reflection, however, formost adults eating is an imputableact--that is, one chooses to abide by community norms regardingwhere, when, how, andwhatto eat, That eating is an imputable act is most evident when a person choosesnottoabide by communitynorms while eating.That an imputable act is distinguishedfrom anon-imputable one byvirtueofknowledge andthe exerciseofchoice presupposesthe doctrine offree will. Andthequestionofwhether or not humanbeings indeed possess afreewill belongstothephilosophy ofhuman nature. Hence, moral philosophy not only presupposesthephilosophy ofhuman nature, butthosephilosophies whichpostulate the existenceoffreewill. Foriffreewill is denied, it is meaninglessto engage questionsofmoral philosophybecausetherewouldbe no suchthing as an imputable act. Further, by embracingthedoctrine offreewill, one is logicallybound to reject the doctrine ofnecessity asgoverning human conduct. Hence, ifan action canbe shownto issuefrom necessityratherthanfrom choice, that action cannotbe conceived as an imputable act.Consequently, such an act is not the proper objectofmoral philosophy.Sincethenational interest appearsto be related intimatelyto value, choice, andforeign policy, the first question concernswhetherornotthe formulation and executionofforeign policies are indeed human acts. One can safely assumethattheyareforit isdifficult to imaginewhat elsethey could possiblybe. But having establishedthem ashuman acts, the next question concernswhether or notthey are imputable acts. For, ifthey are, theythenbelong to moral philosophy as aproper object ofstudy. There is goodreasonto supposethat the choice and execution offoreign policies are imputablehuman73acts, ifonlybecause it is normalto hold statesmenresponsiblefor such acts. The onlyreasonone can be held responsiblefor any action is becausethat action is indeed animputable one. Hence, ifthe choice and executionofforeignpolicies areimputablehuman acts, and ifimputable human acts aretheproper object ofstudyofmoralphilosophy, the choice and execution offoreignpolicies are theproperobjectofstudyofmoral philosophy or, more commonly, ethics.But afurther distinction needsto be madebetween moral philosophy and moraltheologybecauseboth have as theirproperobject imputable human acts--that is, actstowhichthe epithets ofgood and evil meaningfully canbe applied. Herethetwo bodiesofknowledge are distinguished by method. “In ethics,” accordingto O’Keefe, “the method(broadly speaking) is human reasoning, independent ofauthority; inmoral theology, themethod is humanreasoning relying upon (divine) authority,”48Although it is debatablewhether anysubstantive morality canbe advancedwithout referenceto a moral theology,Ineed not addressthat questionherebecause my object is not to establish, in substantiveterms, whetherthe national interest is amorallygood idea. Instead, my purpose islimited merelyto establishingthattheideaofthe national interest is theproperobject ofstudyofethics: viz., that the idea ofthenationalinterest is a categorically moral idea,This, it should be emphasized, is a question that is logicallypriorto the questionofwhetherthe idea is a morallygood orbad one. It is only afterthe idea is established as acategoricallymoral one thatthe question ofits moral goodness (orbadness) canbeaddressed,480’Keefe,p.7.74Thus assuming (on reasonablegrounds)that the ideaofthe national interest is acategorically moral idea, and assuming further(on admittedlydebatable grounds) thatmoral philosophy does not admit natural scientific methods, the approachI adopt heretoclarify the national interest is fundamentally opposed to that adoptedbyJosephFrankel,It is an applicationofthe methods and idiom ofwhatloosely canbe referredto asclassical moral and political philosophyto aproblemofinternational relations, namely:the clarificationofa central ideain itstheory and practice. It is an approachthat isparticularly suitedto the problemofconceptual clarification--whetherit be the conceptofthe state, the mind, thegood, law, liberty, property, sovereignty, virtue, prudence, orthenational interest. Alarge partofconceptual clarification concerns thetaskofelaboratingthe relationshipbetweenthe idea in question and concretehuman action at thelevel ofindividual moral agency inthe context ofparticular contingent circumstances. Becauseamong suchthinkersthere are avarietyofschoolsofthought, it is perhapsbetterdescribed as a particular style ofthinkingratherthan as amethodology. The aim ofthisparticular styleofthinking is to achieve the degree ofprecisionthe subject matter admits.And in doing so I drawuponthe insightsofthinkers, such as Aristotle, Augustine,Aquinas, Collingwood, and otherswho have dealtwiththesekindsofquestions, althoughnot this question in particular. Further, inthe wordsofAristotle:Our discussionwillbe adequate ifit achieves claritywithinthe limits ofthe subject matter. . . . For awell-schooled man is one who searches forthat degree ofprecision in each kind ofstudywhichthe nature ofthesubject athand admits. ..49Aristotle,NicomacheanEthics, 1094b10-25.75JosephFrankel is unquestionably awell-schooled man and, consequently, hesought a degreeofprecisionwhichthe nature ofthe subject admitted. The body ofknowledge he drew upon, however, frustrated his attemptbecausethe methods ofnaturalsciencewere designedto achieve amuch higher degree ofprecisionthan his subjectmatter allows. Consequently, he achieved a muchlower degree ofprecisionthan hecould have ifhe had drawnupon abody ofknowledgemore suitedto the task. Thesuccess ofthebody ofknowledge I drawuponwill be determined bythe degreeofclarityit achieves, and one ofthetestsofclarityis introspection. InthewordsofThomasHobbes:But let one man read anotherbyhis actions never so perfectly, it serveshim onelywith his acquaintance, which arebut few. Hethat is to govern awholeNation, must read in himself, not this, orthatparticularman; butMan-kind: whichthoughit be hard to do, harderthanto learn anyLanguage, or Science; yet, whenI shall have set down my ownreadingorderly, and perspicuously, the pains left another, will be onelytoconsider, ifhe also find not the same in himself. Forthiskind ofDoctrine,admitteth no otherDemonstration.50In short, thetest ofwhetherornot my account ofthe nationalinterest is satisfactorydepends onthe degreeto which it clarifies the role oftheidea in light ofthe readers ownreflectionuponthe Americanforeign policy experience. Doesthe clarificationI offerhere allowthe Americanforeign policy experience during the Gulfwar “to reveal itself,”so to speak, to the reader more easily?Oneofthe mediate tasks in achievingthe degree ofclarityintended here is to getto thebottomofsome ofthe commonplace abstractionsused ininternational discourse.50ThomasHobbes,Leviathan, p. 2.76The most important ofthese is the notionof“state as actor.” This notion establishes aconvenient dividing line betweenthe academic sub-disciplines of“domestic” politics and“international” politics. Inthe “domestic” halfofthis distinction, actors are usuallyconceived as individuals, sub-state groups ofvarious kinds, and institutions ofgovernment. Inthe “international” halfofthis distinction, onthe other hand, actors aregenerally conceived as states and other entities calledNGO’s. On reflection, however, toconceive such an entity as an actor is merely an abstraction. The only real tangible actorsthat exist in human relations are humanbeingsthemselves. Groups, no matterwhatthespecification, do not act in anytangible way. Only individual humanbeings act.Granted, they might act on behalfof, or in concert with a specified grouping ofhumanbeings. But this does not changethe fact that only individual humanbeings canactinanytangible sense.Neitherdo humanbeings act inthe abstract. Instead, human action always takesplace inthe context ofcontingent circumstances. And contingent circumstances are theanswersto the questions ofwhat, where, why, when, and how. Takethe act ofeating, forexample. The actofeating, conceived inthe abstract, could be consideredas a morallyneutral activity. But a humanbeingnever eats inthe abstract. He eats aparticularthing,at a particulartime, in a particularplace, forparticularreasons, and in a particularway.We think ofeating as an amoral activity onlybecausewethinkofit being done in anormal way in normal circumstances in orderto fill normal social and biological needs-like eating aturkey dinnerwith one’s family on Christmas day. Butthis does not renderthe activity ofeating amoral, we simplyjudge itto be normal inthose circumstances. It77is equally conceivabletojudgethe activity to be immoral if, for example,a person isgorging himselfwiththe limited food available in orderto murder hisstarving children.Likewise, one does not defend himselfunlessthe situationsuggests such anaction. And he defends himselfat aparticulartime, in aparticularplace, againstparticularindividuals, and in a particularway. Nordoes one prepareto defend himselfunlessthe situation suggests it. Such circumstances not only place constraints onparticular actions, they also give alarge part ofthe meaningto such actions. In addition,not all humanbeings will chooseto act inthe sameway in the same circumstances. Thesituation, then, is only a part ofthe storyabout humanaction--albeit an essential part.Althoughit is an infinitely complexpartofthe story, the contingent circumstances arethe extrinsic principlesto human action.In orderto act at all, apersonmustbe able to focus his attention--that is to say, hemust select from an infinite range ofcomplexitythosefactors inthe here and,nowthatarethe mostimportant to him as an individual. Apainter sitting downto paint apanoramic landscape, for example, will selectthe nuance ofcolourlying before him. Alargepart ofhis artistictalentrestswith his abilityto “recoverthe innocenceofthe eye”and reproducethe image on canvas. A seasoned infantryman, on the otherhand,observing the same landscape no less intentlythanthe artist, instead will select lines ofadvance and likely enemy positions. Further, a couple intent ona romantic picnic willselect entirely different features fromthe landscapewhile choosinga place to settle downto relax. The point here is that the subjective purpose, talents, and acquired skills oftheindividual agent determinesthe finite complexity selected fromthe infinite complexityof78thegivensituation.Hence,in additionto theextrinsicprinciplesofactionthereareintrinsicprinciplesofactionembodiedby themindoftheindividualagent--i.e.,hissubjectivepurposeor motive.One oftheseintrinsicprinciplesis the purposeor endthattheindividualbringsto thesituation,as wesee inthe examplesoftheartist,theinfantryman,andthepair oflovers.Whereasthe artist’smotiveis toproduceaworkofart, theinfantryman’smotiveisto neutralizeenemyresistanceon agivenline ofadvance,andthelover’smotiveisthenurturingofa relationship,the statesman’smotiveis (oroughtto be)to pursueobjectivesthatbenefitthebodypolitic.The nationalinterest,then,is anintrinsicprincipleofactionfor astatesmanloyaltohis roleas statesman.Butfidelityto hisrole doesnot guaranteethat hewill performthatrolewell. Inadditiontohis adoptedend ofaction,rightactionalsodependsonthevirtueshe possesseswhichmakehim capableofperformingthat activitywell.To saythat astatesmanis agoodstatesmanis to saythat hepossesses--toa satisfactorydegree--thenecessaryvirtuesofstatesmanship.Perhapsthe mostimportantoftheseis themoralvirtueofprudence.Anydiscussionaboutintrinsicprinciplesofhumanactionknowsno disciplinaryboundariesbetween,say, internationaland domesticpolitics.Granted,the substantiveproblemsthe statesmanencountersin hisrelationswith statesmenofforeigncountriesareoftenverydifferentfromthe substantiveproblemshe encounterswiththe membersofthebodypolitiche ischargedto govern.Findingthe tigersin the tallgrassofdomesticpoliticsrequiresa differentcognitiverepertoireand observationalskillsthanthoserequiredforfindingthetigersinthejungleofinternationalpolitics.5’Hence,an79argument can be madeforan academic disciplinarydistinctionbetween internationalanddomestic politics. Aprudent statesmanwouldseek counsel from the caretakersofeachofthese cognitiverepertoireswhen confrontedwithinternational problems--which,bydefinition, have domesticsignificance, otherwisetheywould not be problemsinthe firstplace--and domesticproblems ofinternationalsignificance. Unlikethe academic,then,thegood statesmancannot affordto divide hispersonabetween domestic andinternational relations.For him, presuming he subscribesto what can bedefined broadlyas a “liberal-democratic”notion ofhis role inthe bodypolitic, internationalrelationsismerely a function ofdomestic relations. The statesmanconceived as an individualmoralagent--that is, ahumanbeing in his capacityand activity ofmakingchoices--occupiestheno-man’s land betweentwo broad academic disciplines:international politics anddomestic politics.Since my purpose is toclarify one ofthe intrinsic principlesofaction ofindividual statesman--namely,the national interest--Imust follow himinto thatno-man’sland, The dangerhere isthat apiece ofworkwillbe producedthatappearsneither likeinternational relationstheory norpoliticaltheory--adanger ofendingupbetweentwostools, so to speak.However, as any goodsoldierwill attest, there isalways a danger inroaming about in no-man’sland regardlessofwhich side one initially emergedfrom, for51Thesemetaphors, howeverconventional, might bemisplaced. On reflection,thenotion ofdomestic ordercontrasted withinternationaldisorder does not seemto me tofitthe factsofourexistence.The threat posed to the securityofone’s person and propertyisat least as great(in notgreater) among one’sfellow nationalsthan it isbetween nations.It seemsto me thatthe probabilityofbeing robbed,mugged, or killed by afellowcitizenis at least asgreat assuffering violence atthe handsofthe armed aggression ofaforeignnational.80anymotionin no-man’sland alwaysspooksthe occupantsofthetrenchesonbothsides ofthe divide.Unfortunately,somebodyhas to doit becausethat iswherethesolutionstootherwiseintractableproblemsoften lie.To recapitulate,becauseinternationalrelationsis conductedby individualmoralagents, albeitonbehalfofthe membersofa bodypolitic,it is neverthelessacategoricallymoralenterprise.Ifit werenot, wewould notbe ableto apportionpraiseorblametothe conductofstatesmenintheirformulationand executionofthe country’sforeignpolicy.Internationalrelationsis a categoricallymoralenterprisebecauseitinvolveshumanchoicesand action.Granted,we oftenuse abstractionsto helpusunderstandand explaininternationalrelations--abstractionssuch as“state asactor” whichlead tofurther abstractionssuch as“billiardballs”or “systems.”These abstractionsmayormaynotbehelpfulas heuristicdevices.But regardlessofwhetherthey helporhinderourunderstanding,we mustnever letit pass outofour sightthat individualpeople--notabstractentities--conductinternationalrelations.52And theydo notconducttheserelationsinthe “grey”world oftheabstractbut, rather,inthe contextof“green”worldcontingentcircumstances.And this isthe startingpointofmy analysis;thetheoreticalperspectiveuponwhichit rests.When itis heldin the forefrontofone’smind thatinternationalrelationsis aboutreal peoplewho are,to the bestoftheirabilities,workingthroughreal circumstances,one521nthewordsofStanleyHoffmann:“We mustrememberthat statesare led byhumanbeings whoseactions affecthumanbeingswithinandoutside:considerationsofgoodandevil, rightorwrongare thereforeboth inevitableand legitimate.”DutiesBeyondBorders(Syracuse:SyracuseUniversityPress,1981), p.xii.81cannot avoidtheconclusionthat internationalrelations, like all otherforms ofhumanrelations, belongultimatelyto the moral realm.Humanrelations do notbelong to therealm ofnecessity. Theybelongto the realmofchoice. What it is thatdefines acategoricallymoralact--that is, an act forwhich praise orblame canbe apportioned--ischoice. To saythatchoice is dictated bynecessity isto speaknonsensebecausenecessity, by definition,precludes choice. Whena statesman saysthathis choicewasdictatedby necessity,then, what he reallymeansto say is thathischoice, inview ofthecontingent circumstancesas heunderstandsthem, wasthe bestchoicehe could make.Andtojustifyto othersthat it was indeedthe best choice, he coucheshisjustificationinterms ofthe motiveforwhichit was made,namely, thenational interest.While he isdeliberatingthealternatives with himselforwith others he is stillin theprocess ofmaking a choice--thatis to say, he is engagedinthe activity ofdeliberating.Like allhuman activities, itcanbe done eitherwellor poorly. Ifhe deliberateswell, the choicefollowing suchdeliberationwill bethebest choice that canbemade. Ifhe deliberatespoorly, he still mustmake a choicebutitwill not necessarilybe thebest choice, Thequality, orvirtue, ofbeing able to deliberatewell is called prudence.Aprudentstatesman, then,is onewho deliberateswell aboutthe alternatives--andhence choosesthebest alternative--forachievingtheultimateend ofstatesmanship,namely: the nationalinterest.The national interest,then, is the endofstatesmanship. Theextenttowhichastatesman achievesthatend depends on hisvirtues as a statesman. Aprudent statesmanrecoilsfrom moralideals as determinantsofactionbecause, as extrinsicprinciples of82action, he knowsintuitivelythat they cannot ordain action. The onlythingthat canordain action is his choice. He also knowsintuitivelythat moral ideals are formulated inthe abstractbutwhat he is dealing with “inthehere and now” are specificproblems ofchoice inthe context ofparticularcontingent circumstances. For example, a categoricalimperativetelling himneverto lie does nottell him how muchofthetruthto divulge in aparticular set ofcontingent circumstances. Likewise, atactical prescriptiontelling asoldierto always use flanking ratherthanfrontal manoeuvres does not tell himwhichflankto use, or evenwhether a flanking manoeuvre isthebest alternative; in “these”concrete circumstances “here and now.” This is notto suggest, however, that everysituation will yield an infinite rangeofalternativesto choose from. Fornot only is thesituation interpreted in light ofthe end, the end itselfsuggests afiniterangeofchoices.Fromthe point ofviewofthe American Senate, for example, the national interest in midJanuary 1991 duringthe Gulfcrisis yielded two alternatives: eitherto continuethe armedembargo ofIraq indefinitely orto employoffensivemilitaryforce against Iraq at atimeto be determinedbythePresident. Cancelling the embargo wasnot anoption. Norwas anewtrade agreementforIraqi dairyproducts. Ifdevelopments sincethe summerof1990had no bearing on American concerns, theywould have done nothingbecause all humanaction--thatis, all action resultingfrom choice--is orientedtoward an end. This, it seemsto me, adequatelyjustifies an appealto moral philosophy in orderto help clarifrtheideaofthe national interest.83CHAPTERTHREEPRELIMiNARYDISTINCTIONSThe purposeofthis chapteris to set out some preliminary distinctionsbeforethe moreintensive theoretical discussionbegins in chapterfour. It is particularlyimportantto setout in advancethe distinction between “the national interest” and “national interest”becauseIusetheseterms inthe specific sense outlined herethroughout theremainderofthework, I also explainherethe differencebetweenreasons andjustifications in ordertoshow themoral “character” ofthe idea as it is employed in common practice. Not only isthisthe most obviousindicationthatthenational interest is a categoricallymoralidea,but also it is perhapsthemost accessible argumentto that effect. The purpose ofthisdistinction is to strengthenmy contentionthat the national interest must be acategorically moral idea. I do thisby showing thattheidea commonly is used as ajustfication, and not as a mere reason, forwar.Withthese initial distinctionsin place, I canthen deal more effectivelywiththepracticeofusingthe national interest as an explanatorytool. I arguethat one cancontinue the practiceifone wishes, but one must do so at the expense ofusingit as ajust/Ication. In otherwords, one must decide betweenusing it eitheras ajustificationoras an explanatorytool. One cannot have itbothways. Forto have it bothways is to fallvictimto afallacywhich is probably the main cause ofall the confusion surroundingtheidea. Further, giventhatthe national interest as anexplanatorytool does not tellusverymuch anyway, one does not lose muchby abandoning it as such. Finally, Iwill examine84in detailthe fallacythat appearsto bethe main culprit ofall the conflision surroundingthe concept. R. G. Collingwood calls it the “fallacy ofswapping horses,” and GilbertRyle simply calls it a “categoryerror.”National interests and thenational interestWhereasanational interest refersto a stateofaffairs, the national interest refersto anintrinsic principle ofhuman action--i.e., an internallyembraced motive. Security, forexample, is a state ofaffairs ofa certainkind, and wealthis a state ofaffairs ofa differentkind. Bothofthese states ofaffairs canbe actively pursued by statesmen.inthe courseoffblflllingtheir special role inthebodypolitic.But securityis not a state ofaffairs achieved once andfor all. It is a state ofaffairs pursuedinthe context ofongoing and changing contingent circumstances. Eachnew situationwill give riseto new requirements and, hence, new means are neededtoachieve securityon an ongoingbasis. Nevertheless, theunderlyingmotiveforpursuingsuch a stateofaffairs is the national interest. The same applies inthe case ofnationalwealth. Inthis sense, national interests are particularobjectives, conceived as states ofaffairs, pursued inthe ever-changing context ofcontingent circumstances. Likewise, themotiveforpursuing such objectives is the national interest.An interest cannotbe conceived as an activity. Instead, it is a stateofaffairspursuedby an activity. Whereasthe activityis the means, the desired state ofaffairs isthe objective toward whichthat activity is directed. National interests, then, are identicalto national objectives--whetherthey are defined in general terms such as “security,” orin85context specificterms such as “a liberatedKuwait.” And theunderlying motive forsecuringthosenational interestsis the nationalinterest.The distinctionbetween “standing” national interests and “context specific”national interests largely correspondsto the distinction outlined inthe last chapterbetween “general substantive conceptions” and “specific substantive conceptions” ofanational interest. “Standing” national interests are merelygeneral statements aboutthegood life ofthebody politic. Forexample, it is difficultto imagine any kind ofgood lifewithinthebody politicunless one has a sense ofsecurity from foreign acts ofaggressionorarmed coercion. Securityofperson and property from foreign aggressionand armedcoercion is one ofthe goodstheUnited Statesgovernment is charged to provideforitscitizens. Andthat it is a “standing” requirement and not merely anadhoc one isreflected inthe permanentinstitutionsofgovernment. The AmericanDefenseDepartment along with an array ofintelligencegathering agencies are permanent fixturesofgovernmentthus suggestingthat defence is apermanent concern andnot merely asituational one. As a permanent orstanding national interest, it is not surprisingthat animmensebodyofspecialistsinboththe public and private sectorwould emerge and serveas “caretakers” ofthis particular standingnational interest. When any situation ariseshaving significantbearing onthis standingnational interest, it is not surprisingthat manyofthose specialists will have something to say about it. Further, by no means is itguaranteedthat all these specialistswill have thesame advice to offer. Depending onthesituation and the nature ofthe decisionthat needs to be made, it is the statesmanwhomust decide andtake fill responsibilityforthe decision. The same canbe said aboutthe86standingnational interest ofmaterial well-being orwealth.Perhaps one wayofdetermining preciselywhat a country’s standing nationalinterests are is to examine the list ofits government departments--each ofwhich ischargedwiththe care ofaparticular standing national interest. In otherwords, ifsomeonewanted to drawup anexhaustive list ofAmerican standing national interests, heneed only look at the namesofall the government departments.“Context specific” national interests, onthe other hand, arise outofthecontingencies ofthe given situation, and are defined in muchmore specificterms. Theyare a statesman’s response to the question: giventhe situationwe find ourselves in, whatarethe specific objectiveswe should pursue forthebenefit ofthebody politic? Forexample, should we allowKuwait and its oil reserves to remainunderIraqi control? Orshould we seeka liberatedKuwait? Similarly, substantive conceptions ofcontextspecific national interests are the answersgivenby commentators onforeign policyto thequestion: giventhe situationthe statesmenfound themselves in, what objectives shouldtheyhave pursued forthebenefit ofthebody politic?National interests, then, are specific objectiveswhich can also be couched ingeneralterms such as security, power, world order, economicwell being, andwhat haveyou. Forexample, securityisanational interestbecause it is in the nationalinterestto besecurefromforeign military attacks, But it is not the national interestbecause one caneasily conceiveofother objectivesthat also benefitthebody politic as well.It is perhapstempting to conceive ofsecurity (anational interest) as a dimensionor element ofthe national interest. Onreflection, however, this is amistake. Further, to87conceiveanational interest as a dimension or element ofthe national interest, is toconceivethelatter as a kind of“basket” withinwhichtheformer are contained. But this,I shall argue, is also a mistake. An element is amaterialthing specified as a part ofalargermaterialthing. A dimension is a spatial measurement ofathing or a referencetothe locationofone ofits sides in space. The national interest, however, is not athing.Consequently, it cannot be constitutedby elements nor can it have any dimensions. Onemight objectthatI am being overlypedantic here because everybody knowsthatthenational interest is not a materialthing, and the expressions “element” and “dimension”simply referto other ideas, activities, and statesofaffairs which, takentogether,somehowmean “the national interest.” Itwill be recalled, however, that one ofmytasksis to getto thebottom ofcommonly used abstractions, One may continue to usetheexpressions ifhe so wishes, but it must always remain intheforefront ofone’s mindthat“security,” although convenientlyreferredto as an element or dimension ofthe nationalinterest, is not athingbut a state ofaffairs pursued by an ongoing purposive activityofacertainkind--namely: the activityofsecuringthebody politic from armed attackorcoercion.The national interest, onthe other hand, does not referto a state ofaffairs.Instead, it is an end toward which a particular agent’s actions canbe inclined--an endwhich canbe distinguished from other ends such as “the selfinterest” or “the humaninterest.” As such, it is an intrinsic principle ofhuman actionwhich definesthe role ofthe statesman--just like “the family interest” is the intrinsic principle ofaction whichdefinesthe roleoftheparent, “the corporate interest” definesthe roleofthe company88associate, or “the teaminterest”definesthe role ofthehockey player.Giventhat anactivity (e.g., fighting) cannot bean interest, thequestionofwhetherornotthe GulfWarwas inthe American nationalinterest is a perplexing one.Forwhenwe saythat something is in thenational interest, we are saying that“something” isanational interest. And that “something”is not athing or actionbut,rather,.a desired state ofaffairs. In this question, theGulfwar appears asthat state ofaffairs in which Americans haveaninterest. But how can a state ofwarbe in anyreasonable person’s interest? It cannot.The objective soughtbywar, however, canbe insomeone’s interest. And this objective isalways conceived as a particularstate ofaffairs.The interest referredto in theforegoing question, then,is not the state ofwaritselfbut,rather, the particular stateofaffairs soughtbygoing to war. To answerthe questionaboutwhether or notthe GulfWar served American national interests, one mustfirstestablish the intended objectivesofthewar. Further, oncethose objectives havebeenidentified, one hasthereby establishedthenational interests at stake inthe situation.Finally, ifthose objectives havebeen achieved, one can concludethatthewar servedthose interests. The question, however, iswhetherthese interestsjustfj’war orwhetherthey are simplyreasonsforgoingto war.Justifications and ReasonsLogically,justifications and reasonsrelate as a speciesto agenus. Whereas a reason isthegenus, ajustificationis a species ofreason. Therefore, somethingthatwewould callajustification is a specialkind ofreason, ground, or end. Whereas alljustificationsare89reasons, not all reasons arejustifications.What, then, distinguishes ajustificationfrom amere reason? The distinctionis simplythat ajustification is areasonwith moral force.Put differently, ajustificationis a reason offeredwhenmoral reasons, and not merereasons, are demanded bythe circumstances--thatis, when a reason is demanded foranimputable act. War is but one ofmany circumstanceswherejustifications, and not merereasons, are demanded. In a democratic state,justificationsforhostile acts by that stateare demandedboth by the citizenryand the internationalcommunity. In a dictatorialstate,justificationsforhostile acts bythat state are demanded onlybytheinternationalcommunity.Reasons andjustifications canbe eithertrueorfalse depending onwhethertheirutterance reflectsthe actualintentions ofthe agentoffering them. In otherwords, anagent can liejust as much as he cantell thetruth. Afalsejustification is a liejust asmuch as afalsereason is a lie. Likewise, ajustificationoffered in place ofa reasonwhenthe agent really only has amere reasonforthat actionis also a lie. Among students ofgovernment, particularly among students ofgovernment whose primary object ofstudy isinternational relations, this kind oflie is often called °windowdressing”--that isto say, itis an indictmentthatthejustifications offered aremerely attemptsby governmenttoobscure morally dubious actswith moral language inorderto rallypopularsupportforthose actions; supportthat otherwise would not beforthcomingifthetruthwere reallyknown. Often many students ofgovernment canjustifytheircharge. But perhapsequally often many cannot.As it will be shownin chapter eight,ChristopherLayne curiously appearsto turn90theusual “window dressing” argument onits head. Whereas politicians are often accusedofusing moral rhetoricto obscure--or “window dress”--Layne suggests, paradoxically,thattheBush administrationcamouflaged anintentionbased on moral principle behindtherhetoric ofnational interest, He argues that sinceBush’s national interestjustificationdoes not stand up to examination, “it canreadilybe inferred that [moral principle]actually droveU.S. policy.” Hence, he impliesthattheBush administration actedimmorallyby “window dressing” what he consideredto be a moral actwiththe rhetoricofthe national interest. In short, Layne believes it is immoral forgovernmentsto groundforeign policy in moral principles, whereas he believes it moral forthemto ground policyinthe national interest.If Layne really means to saythatforeignpolicy oughtto begroundedin thenational interest and not in abstract moral ideals, thenwhat he says makes completesense. But he must recognizethat saying this is entirely consistentwithunderstanding“the national interest” as a categoricallymoral idea--thatis, as the endtowardwhich astatesman’s actions ought to be inclined. Hence, Layne does notturnthe “windowdressing” argument onits head after all. Althoughhe evidently is not conscious ofit,ultimatelyhe understandsthenational interest as a categoricallymoral idea,It should be evidentthatLayne is alittle confused here. Eventhoughhe stumblesinto recognizingthatboththe national interest and moral principles are indeed motivesfor action, he does not recognizethat by asserting governmentsoughtto be motivatedbyformer instead ofthe latter, he himselfis asserting a moral principle.Althoughhe fails to recognize it, Layne is not so much concerned aboutmoral91principles driving foreign policiesbut, rather, he is concerned aboutwhich moralprinciple ought to drive it. Let me suggestthatLayne’s confusionhere is dueto thetraditional assumptionthat moralityand the national interest are opposed. Although it isvaguely implied, Layne, however, stopsshort ofaccusingtheBush administrationoutright forlying about itsjustifications. Instead,he suggeststhatthenational interestjustification offered was mistaken.Besidesbeing eithertrue orfalse, then, both reasonsandjustificationscanbeeitheraccurate or mistaken. Reasons andjustificationsstand averyhigh chance ofbeingmistaken whenthey are offered byoneperson or state on behalfof, or inthe place ofanother person or state in an attemptto explainor make sense oftheiractions. This isoftentheproblem that an historian recognizesand confrontswhenhe or shetakes onthetaskofreconstructingan event interms ofthethoughtsand actionsofthe personsinvolved inthat event.’ Adiplomatrecognizes and confrontsthis problem almost dailyin his orher dealings with other states, andoften serious consequences arise out ofmiscalculations. It is also a problemrecognized and confrontedbythose chargedwithdeliveringjusticein the law courts.Ifthey are mistakenabouttheintentions oftheaccused, an otherwise innocentperson may sufferpunishment, or an otherwiseguiltyperson may walkfree. In short, it is a problem encountered byall human beings, withgreater or lesser consequences, in almost everymomentoftheir lives.Finally, bothreasons andjustifications canbe eithersufficient orinsufficient.The sufficiency ofreasons andjustificationsis highlycontingent onthe circumstances in‘Collingwood, TheIdeaofHistory, pp. 213 - 220.92which the actstake place. Iwill discuss here onlythesufficiency ofjustiflcations,2In aparticularset ofcircumstanceswherejustifications are demandedbut reasons are onlyoffered, those reasons are consideredto be insufficientjustifications. For example, let ussuppose that amanbreaks awoman’s armthrough an act ofintentionalviolence. Whenasked the question: why did youbreakthe woman’s arm? he mighttruthfully respond,among otherpossibilities, that he did it because hewantedto teachhera lesson aboutwho is boss inthe household. It should immediatelybe evident,however, that althoughthis reasonmaybebothtruthfiul and accurate, it ismerely a reasonfor his action and assuch it is an insufficientjustification.Alaw court, after duly establishingthetruth ofthematter, would have sufficientjustificationtofind the man guilty ofan offense and punishhim accordingly.Letus also consider Saddam Hussein’sdecisionto move his armed forces intoKuwait on August 2, 1990. Letus supposethatherespondedto the question aboutwhyhe did it by explainingthat Iraq’s economic well being dependedon its control overKuwaiti oil reserves. Again, this is clearly a reasonwhich, evenifit werebothtrue andaccurate, is neverthelessaninsufficientjustificationforthe action. This, however, wasnot oneofthe reasons offered. Instead, theRCCinitiallyexplainedto the internationalcommunitythat its actionwas a response to aninvitation bythenewgovernmentof“freeKuwait” to send Iraqi forcesto help in putting down acivil insurrection. Incontemporary international relationsthis is a sufficientjustification--ifit did indeed2Fora discussion onthe sufficiency ofreasons, seeCollingwood, TheNewLeviathan,pp.99-130.93reflectthe bonafide motives oftheRCC--forsending armed forces across thefrontierofanothercountry. The only problem, however, isthatvirtually everygovernmentontheface ofthe earth--includingthat ofYemen and Cuba--was not convinced.Theymayhavebelieved that SaddamHussein had unexpressed reasons, and perhapsevengood reasons,to invadeKuwait; but they did notbelieve that any ofthemwas a sufficientjustification.Consequently, theycondemned the action as naked aggression.Curiously, ifSaddamHussein had merely invoked “the Iraqi national interest” it is unlikelythattheinternational communitywould have accepted it as a sufficientjustificationeither.Although members oftheBush Administration rarelyreferred to nationalinterestsorthe national interest duringthe international debate, theuse ofthe conceptwaspredominant duringthe domestic debate, particularlyamong members ofCongress. At asuperficial level this may appearto be duplicitous--thatis, using one kind ofjustificationforthebenefitofthe internationalaudience and using a different kindofjustificationforthe domestic audienceto garnermaximummoral support forits actions--but it is unlikelythat any duplicity could havebeen intended here,Forifduplicity was intended by eitherthe executive orby members ofCongress, there must have been atleast an expectationthat thewrong informationwould not reachthewrongaudience. Dueto massmediacoverage, practically the whole world might aswell havebeen America’s domesticaudience, and virtually everyUS citizentheinternationalaudience.Whenever aUSofficial speaks publicly in an international forum, heor she realizesthatjust about everyUS citizen has the meansto scrutinizethoseremarks.Similarly, whenevera SenatororRepresentative speaks in Congress, he or sherealizesthat any government around the94world has themeansto scrutinizeand comparethem.Why did American statesmen employthe ideaofthe national interest atthedomesticbutnot theinternational level?Werethey merely explaining somethingtothedomestic audience inthe same sense that ateacher explains differentialcalculusto a classofstudents? In otherwords, by theiruseofthe idea, did American statesmen supposethat it was merely an explanatorytool? Certainlynot.Wardemands sacrifices. Amongotherthings, the prospectofwarincreasesthe likelihoodthat spouses, parents, relatives,orfriends enrolled inthe country’s armedservices might notreturnto love another day.Or, ifthey do, they may return maimed inboth body and spirit. War, then, demandsmuch morethan merelytechnical explanationsfromthe country’s leaders. It demandsjustification. And American statesmenjustified the war in termsofthe benefits forthosefrom whomthe sacrifices wererequired.The short-hand expression signifyingthis isgenerally the national interest. But, as indicated,all this canreally signifyis thatthestatesman merely is reaffirmingthat he or she istryingto dowhat is bestforthe country.It does not tell the citizenswhy he or shethinksthat course ofaction is bestforthecountry. To explainwhy he orshethinks it isthebest course, the statesman must refertoand specifythe national interestsbeing pursuedbywar and howthose objectives benefitthebody politic.At the international level, however, the story isquite different. Rightly orwronglytheinternational community either assumes or isindifferent aboutwhetheragovernment leads its citizens into warforthe goodofthat country. Instead, what it isconcerned about is whether or not that country is rightfullywagingwar interms of95existing international norms. Hence, the statesmanwearstwo hats. He is responsibleforthe particulargood ofhis country’s citizens while concurrentlyholdingmembership in asociety responsibleforthegeneral good oftheworld as awhole.3Two kinds ofjustification, then, are required: one forthe domestic communityand one fortheinternational society. Hence, It appears that a sufficientjustificationforwarrequiresbothkinds.National Interest as an Explanatory ToolThe thesis that national interests are necessarybut insufficient componentsofanycompletejustificationforwar again raisesthe question aboutwhetherthe notionthateither “the national interest,” or “national interests” also canbe used as avalue free or“scientific” explanatory tools. DespiteRosenau’s criticisms, there still maybeatemptationto use “national interest” in this way. In orderto dispel confusionaboutwhatis meant by “explanatorytool,” let me beginbyindicatingwhat isnotmeantby it,Inthe section entitled “Criterion orJustification” oftheir article, GeorgeandKeohane arguethatthe conceptof“national interest” (theydo not distinguishnationalinterests and the national interest) is generally used “intwo differentways: first,as acriterionto assesswhat is at stake in any given situation andto evaluatewhat courseofaction is ‘best’; second, asajustcationfordecisions taken.” Theygo onto note,however, that “particularlywithrespectto the latteruse ofnational interestthereis3Namely, theUnitedNations.96reasonto beuneasy and dissatisfied.”4Here George and Keohane account for onlytwo uses ofthe concept and appeartobe settingup a dichotomybetween an explanatory or “scientific” usage, onthe one hand,and ajustificatory or “moral” usage, onthe other. Butthis appearance is deceiving, forGeorge andKeohane are not interested in explainingthe sources ofa country’sforeignpolicy. Instead, they are interested in advancing ageneral substantive conceptionofnational interest--i.e., national interest conceived as anaggregate offhndamental standingnational interests--that statesmen can referto as a standard against whichforeign policyalternatives can be measured. Althoughthere are difficultieswith this viewas well, it isnottheview I referto as one that conceives the idea as an explanatorytool. It onlyappearsthey are conceivingit as such becausethey setup an oppositionbetween theconcept’suse as criterion andjustification.Butwhat they are setting out is standard forjustifying certaintypes offoreignpolicies--thatis to say, they are setting out “to specify a means bywhich policymakerscanmake disciplined choices among interests andtherefore among policyalternatives.”5Ifthe standard is the means for making policy choices, it istherefore theground orreasonforthose choices. Since a statesman’s choices are imputable acts, the reasons forthemmust be categoricallymoral reasons--that isto say, justifications. When George4AlexanderL. George andRobertO. Keohane, “The ConceptofNationalInterests:Uses and Limitations,” in AlexanderL. George, ed.,PresidentialDecisionmakinginForeignPolicy: TheEffective Use ofInformation andAdvice (Boulder: WestviewPress,1980),p. 218.5George andKeohane,p.227.97andKeohane oppose criterionandjustification, they must have something else in mindbythe lattertermbecause, objectively speaking, whatthey referto as criterion is ajustification.6Consequently, whenthey referto the idea as a criterion, they clearlyarenot conceiving it as avaluefree explanatorytool. Nordo theyintend to referto it assuch. George andKeohane’suse, then, is notwhatI have in mind whenI set outtocriticizethe notion of“national interest” as avalue free and “scientific” explanatorytool.WhatI have in mind is this. Somewhatlike “gravity” is the answerto thequestion: “why does a rockfall to the ground?” thenational interest (national interests,or, simply “national interest”--the distinctions are not normally drawninthisview), intheexplanatory sense, is the answergivento the question: “why do states do whatthey do?”Hence, far frombeing a categorically moral idea, national interest, inthis view, is merelya short-hand explanation ofhowthings are. National interest as an explanatorytool is anexpression ofwhat is consideredto bethe flindamentalnature ofinternational politics,namely, that states act intheirnational interest. Consequently, inthis view, it makesnosense to speak ofinternational ethics: forto speak ofinternational ethics mistakes thefi.indamental nature ofinternationalrelations. Inviewofhowthings (presumably) are,questions about value are misplaced.Although it is bothvacuous aswell as a classic statement ofthetraditionalassumption, there is undeniably a small advantage in holdingthisview, For example,6lnstead, theyhave in mind by “justification” the practiceofusing “the nationalinterest” as a rhetorical device. Asindicated, suchuse is merely a reaffirmation onthepart ofthe statesmanthat his choice is merelywhat he thinkstobe thebest choiceforthecountry. It does not explainwhy hethinks it to be thebest choice. George and Keohane,then, are fi.illyjustified inbeing dissatisfiedwith such ause.98having asserted that national interests are part ofany sufficientjustificationforgoingtowar, ifit can be shownthat the invasion ofKuwait served Iraqi national interests, can oneconclude therebythat itwasjustified? And, ifit wasjustified, was theworldjustified inresponding to Iraq the way it did? Hence, ifnational interestsjustilywarin Americ&scase, is there any reasonwhythey should notjustif’warin Iraq’s case? The simplestwayto get around this awkward question is to assertthatnational interests really havenothingto do withjust/Icationsafter all. Instead, national interests areexplanations ofwhy statesgo to war--notunlikethe waythe law ofuniversal gravitationis a scientificexplanation ofwhy things fall tothe ground.There is nothing inherentlywrongwith conceivingnationalinterests asexplanations ratherthan asjustifications. Ajustification is, after all, a special type ofexplanation. But one must think seriously aboutthe implications and limitationsinvolved in adopting such aview. As explanatorydevices, national interests are notverymeaningful, although they provide quick and easy answersto difficult questions aboutwhy states do whatthey do. For example, in response to the question “why did state Ago to war against state B?” one can reply “because it was in state A’s national interest.”Similarly, in responseto the question “why did state A intervene inthe internal affairs ofstateB? one might reply “becauseit was in state A’s national interest.” Such answers arepresumed to be “scientific” answers inthatthey are foundedupon an apparently“scientific” law about thebehaviour ofstates, namely: that states always act intheirnational interests. But ifthislawwere indeed true, why doNye andLaynebothertoconsiderthe question aboutwhether ornot the GulfWar served Americannational99interests? For such a questionpresupposes thattheUnited Statesnightnot have actedinits best interest after all. Further, why did theUnited States Senate evenbotherdeliberatingabout what course isthebest course ofaction forthe United States inthecircumstances? For such deliberation presupposesthatthebest course ofaction isnotimmediatelygiven and that decision-makers canbe mistaken about Americaninterests.Finally, why do George and Keohane evenbotherto propose criterionto helpstatesmenmakethe choicesthat arebest forthe countryifthey supposedthattheiractionswould beinthe national interest anyway. Hence, ifone supposesthatthe questions addressedbyNye, Layne, the United States Senate, and George and Keohane are at all meaningful,one cannotadopt theviewthat national interests are mere explanations. Conversely,ifone holdstheviewthatthe national interest (ornational interests) are afi.indamentalscientific explanation ofwhat states do, onecannotalso find meaning in the questionsaddressed byNye, Layne, theUnited States Senate, and George and Keohane.The second limitation in adopting the explanatoryview ofnational interests is thatin orderto remain consistent withthatview, one also must refrain fromhaving anyopinion onwhetherornot awaroughtto be fought inthe national interest. Onenevertheless is still welcome to make moraljudgements about particularwars ifhewishes, but he must purgethewords “national interest” from hisvocabularywhile doingso. For in his chosenunderstandingofthe concept, it makes no moral difference whethera war is fought inthe national interest ornot. Ifhe decides that national interests makeno moral difference onthe questionofwar, he must cease employing them as ifthey did.Forexample, one cannot consistently say that a particularwarwas “bad” because itwas100not fought in the national interest and at the same time insistthat national interests areexplanations ofwhat states do. The acid testfor determiningwhether a person adopts anunderstanding ofnational interest as either ajustification or an explanation is his answerto this question: Doesit make any moral difference whether a state goesto war in thenational interest? Ifso, thatpersonunderstands national interest as ajustificationandtherefore he cannot chooseto understand it as an explanation, regardless ofhowtemptedhe is tO do so when confrontedby perplexing questions like: whyis itthat nationalinterests canjustif’war in the American case but not inthe Iraqi case? Facedwithdifficult and perplexing questionslike this, one is temptedto commit what is known as“the fallacy ofswapping horses.” And, as I shall explain in greaterdetail inthenextsection, this fallacy is one ofthe major commonimpediments obstructing.abetterconceptualunderstanding ofthe idea ofthe national interest. Forthe moment, anexample ofwhenthis occurs will suffice. Ifa person starts out by holdingtheviewthatnational interestsjusti1’ (or ought tojustit’) America’sinvolvement in war and, whenconfronted withthe issue ofwhat is good forAmerica oughtto begood forIraq aswell,the personthen shifts his understandingofnational interestfromjustificationtoexplanation in orderto circumvent the difficult question, one hastherebyfallenvictimtothe fallacy ofswapping horses.TheFallacy ofSwapping HorsesPutbriefly, thefallacy consists in switching categories inthe course ofanswering aquestionwhich arose in the category onebeganwith. More specifically, it involvesthe101attempt to import ideas properlybelonging to the natural scientific category (such as“scientific laws” ofstate behaviour) into discussions ofideas properlybelongingto themoral category (such as the question about why national interestsjustfyAmericanactionsbutnotIraqi ones). Inthis case, it involves switching one’sunderstandingofnational interest asajustficationto anunderstanding ofnational interest as anexplanation, thusbypassingthe difficult moral question altogether.Generally, the fallacy serves eitherto create an illusionthatthe initial questionhas been answered when in fact one is reallyno further ahead fromwhere one started, orto obliteratethe original question altogether. Ifan explicitlymoral question arises inthecourseofone’s discussion, that discussion must necessarilybelong to the moral category.Ifsuch a question arises, whether one wants to admit it or not, one is engaged in acategoricallymoral discourse. To introduce natural scientific conceptsthemoment onerecognizes a categoricallymoral questionin an attempt eitherto answer orto bypass thatquestion, one commitsthe fallacy ofswapping horses. In Collingwood’sterms, “the[horse] that has startedthe hare must catch it.” Hegoes onto argue:Ifthewretched [first] horse. . has stuckyou in mid-streamyou canfloghim, oryou can coax him, oryou canget out and lead him; oryou candrown asbettermenthanyou have drowned before, Butyou must notswap him evenforthe infinitely superior horse calledNatural Science.Forthis is a magicjourney, and ifyou do thatthe riverwill vanishandyou will find yourselfbackwhere you started.7The basic errorcommitted when one fallsvictimto the fallacyis to treat “mind” (or“soul”) as ifitbelongedto the same category as “matter,” whereas each arethegeneric7Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan, p. 13.102objects ofentirely different branches ofknowledge. Intuitively, we already know this.Consider, for example, why it does not make sense to ask moral questions aboutthebehaviourofa falling rock.That “mind” (or “soul”) and “matter” (that which constitutes “body”) aregenerically different is not a recent discovery. Plato, for example, argued thatthe soul isa non-corporeal entitythat is enslaved in a body, but which is neverthelessthat body’slife principle. ForPlato, one could never haveknowledge (intheproper sense oftheword) ofmatter--thatwhich is apprehendedbythe senses--becausethe materialworld isin a constant state offlux--i.e., in a state ofbecoming. Theworld of“forms” or“essences,” on the other hand, constitutethe realworld--i.e., the world ofbeing. To haveknowledge ofanything is to have knowledge ofthatwhich is, notthat which is becoming.Consequently, ofthematerial world, one can onlyhave opinion not knowledge. ForPlato the relationship between mind and bodywas not so much atheoretical problem as itwas a practical one. “Ifwe are everto havepureknowledge ofanything, wemustgetridofthebody and contemplatethingsbythemselveswith the soul byitself.”8Aristotle and Aquinas, onthe otherhand, tookthe materialworld muchmoreseriously. Nevertheless, they still employedPlato’sbasic distinctionbetween “mind” and“body.” Forboththesethinkers, the human personwas a compositebeing. Not a soulimprisoned in and using a body asPlato insisted, but bothbody and soul.9Collingwoodtakesup the same distinction. But largelyto avoid questions about the relationbetween8SeePhaedo, 66c-e.andRepublic, books V, VI, VII.9Aristotle, DeAnima, III, 4; Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I, q. 75 a. 4, q. 76.103body and soul, he conceives the humanperson asallbody andallsoul (mind) dependingonthebranch ofknowledge employed. Hence, manis body in so farthatthe science ofnature is employed to study it, andman is mind in so far as the science ofmind isemployedto study it. To employthe science ofnature to studymind, orthe science ofmind to studybody, is to forgetthat man is mind,in thefirst case, andthatman is body,in the second. The same reasoningwould apply ifever it was determinedthatrocks arebothbodies and minds and notjustbodies alone. Butsince we are reasonablycertainthatrocks are notminds, it makes no sense to apply moralepithets to theirbehaviour. Inthesameway it makes no sense to apply moral epithetstothe non-voluntary functions ofhuman bodyparts. Achild cannot help sneezingand a parentwould be sillyifheadmonished him for doing so. He can, however,help covering his mouth whenhesneezes, and a parent rightly admonishesthe child fornot doingwhat he can and oughttodo.Withrespectto the formulation and execution offoreign policy, are statesmenproperly conceived asbodies or as minds? Arethey properlyconceived as rocks--viz.,objectsofnatural scientific analysis--or as thinkingand feeling human persons--viz.,objects ofthatbranch ofknowledge called moralphilosophy or ethics. It is obviousthatthey properly are conceived as minds and not asbodies. But this basic point oftenbecomeslost as discussions aboutinternational relationsbecomemore and moreabstract.1°As discussions approach state and system levels ofanalysis,that statesmenaret0Thisproblem, however, is byno means limitedto the studyofinternationalrelations.This is one ofthe core existentialistcritiques ofmodern man, a critiquewhichmustbetaken seriously. See WilliamBarrett,IrrationalMan: A Study inExistentialPhilosophy104feeling and thinicing human persons becomes less andless evident. Perhapsthis isbecausethebodyofknowledge employedin more abstract forms ofanalysis is based onan analogywiththe natural sciences. The question, however, iswhethertheknowledgeobtainedthroughthese more abstract forms ofanalysis can be applied to thepracticeofstatecraft at the level ofhumanconduct. I do not thinkthat itcan. Forto assert theabstract explanatory principle that states always act in theirnational interest does not helpthe statesmanto decide betweentwo or more policyalternatives “here and now” inthecontext ofcontingent circumstances, It does not help the statesmaninthe “here andnow” becausetwo categorically distinct bodies ofknowledge are involved. And toswitchbetweenthese two bodies ofknowledge is to commit, in Gilbert Ryle’sterms, acategory error; or, in Collingwood’sterms, the fallacy ofswappinghorses. Letmenowpresentthese errors inthetermsthatthesetwo metaphysicians explained them.Aconcept, regardless ofwhether it concerns knowledge about mind events ornature events, is itselfa mind event: an artifact. Chairs and tables are mind events inthattheytakehuman skill to produce themwiththe materialsofnature. Hence, theytoo areartifacts. But not only arethe objects themselves mind events, the namesusedtosigni,’those objects are themselves mind events. Language, then, is also amind event.Language, the only meanswehavefor expressingmind events, is essentiallyindeterminate. This is especiallytruewithconcepts such as “the national interest,” “thestate,” “corporation,” “sovereignty,””law,” or “right,” amongmany others. Efforts todefine such concepts “reveal thatthese do not havethe straightforward connectionwith(New York: Doubleday, 1958), especially Chapter I.105counterparts in the world offact which most ordinarywords have and to whichwe appealin our definition ofordinarywords.”1’Many mind events canbe assessed and described qualitativelyand humanbeingsexpress this capacitywith qualitative epithets. Gilbert Ryle calls these “mental-conductepithets” and, “in describing the minds ofothers and in prescribing forthem” mostpeoplehave learned howto apply in concrete situations such mental-conduct epithets as ‘careful’,‘stupid’, ‘logical’, ‘unobservant’, ‘ingenious’, ‘vain’, ‘methodical’, ‘credulous’, ‘witty’, ‘selfcontrolled’ and athousand others.”2Itwould beunthinkableto apply mental-conduct epithetsto nature events. Forexample, ifa physicist described thebehaviourofa ball rolling down an inclined plane as‘witty’, or ‘vain’, he would be accused oftalking nonsense. Instead, he describesthe ball’sbehaviour quantitativelyusingthe idiom ofmathematics. Nature events, however, canalso be described qualitatively as whenwe speakofabeautiful sunset or anuglytree.However, such assessmentsbelong notto that category ofmind event called naturalscience but, rather, to that categoryofmind event called aesthetics. Mind eventsthemselves cannotbe described quantitativelybecause for something to be described insuch away it needsto be quantitatively determinate.The ability ofan adultmind to distinguish readily a mind eventfroma natureevent requires little instruction and only a moment’s reflection. It should also be evident‘1H. L. A. Hart, “Definition and Theory in Jurisprudence”, TheLaw QuarterlyReview70 (1954): 37.‘2GilbertRyle, The ConceptofMind(London: Hutchinson’s, 1955), p 7.106that different idioms are usedto express knowledgeofmind events and nature events.What, however, is thebasicfeaturethat marksthe distinctionbetweenmind events andnature events? The differencebetweenthetwo isthe differencebetweenthought andmatter. What is the relationship betweenthetwo? Collingwood arguesthattheproblemofdeterminingthe relationshipbetweenthought and matterisabogusproblemwhich cannotbe statedwithout making afalseassumption. What is assumed isthatman is partlybody and partlymind.On this assumptionquestions arise aboutthe relationship betweenthetwoparts; andthese prove unanswerable.13GilbertRyle corroborates Collingwood’s claimby arguingthatto suppose manispartbody and part mind isto subscribeto “Descartes’ myth.” But amyth, in Ryle’s view,is “not a fairy story.” Instead, “it isthe presentationoffacts belonging to one categoryinthe idioms appropriateto another. To explode amyth is not to deny the factsbuttoreallocatethem.”’4The myththatraises the question aboutthe relationbetweenbody andmind Ryle labels, “with deliberate abusiveness, as ‘the dogma ofthe Ghostin theMachine.”5And he hopes, inthe course ofhis argument13R G. Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan, p. 10. Plato, Augustine, Aristotle andAquinasvehemently disagree. See, for example, Aquinas, Summa, I qq. 75, 76. QuotingAugustine, Aquinas arguesthat “man is not the soul alone, northebody alone, butbothsoul and body.” (q. 75, a. 4) Aquinas’ detailed arguments areworth consideringifonlybecause ofhis excellent commentaryonthe pre-Socratic, Platonic, andNeo-Platonicpositions onthis issue. Whether or notthe question is indeed answerable, Collingwood’sposition, ifonlytemporarilyand perhapstoo strongly, circumventsthe problem.Nevertheless, there seems to meto be morethan agrainoftruthin his argumentthattheassumptions and methods ofnatural science are positively ill-suitedfor studying humanconduct.‘4Ryle,p.8.15Ryle,pp.15, 16.107to provethat it is entirely false, and false not in detail but in principle. Itis not merely an assemblageofparticularmistakes. It is onebigmistakeand amistakeofa special kind. It is, namely, a category mistake. Itrepresentsthe facts ofmental life asiftheybelongedto one logicalcategory (orrangeoftypes or categories), whenthey actuallybelongtoanother.16Philosophy, in Ryle’s view, isthe replacementofoftenmistaken “category-habitsbycategory-disciplines.”17Collingwood’s concern here is identicalto Ryle’s. ForCollingwood, “man’s bodyand man’s mind are not two differentthings, but “one and the samething” understood in“two differentways.” He adds fi.irtherthat:Not a partofman, butthewhole ofman, is body in so far as heapproachesthe problem ofselfknowledgebythe methods ofnaturalscience. Not apart ofman, butthewhole ofman, is mind in so far as heapproachesthe problem ofself-knowledge by expanding and clarifyingthe dataofreflection.’8Why is not the appropriate method forobtaining knowledge aboutmatter also suitable forobtaining knowledge about concepts? To attemptto obtain suchknowledge byemployingthe methods appropriateto obtaining knowledge about matteris to commit, inCollingwood’s words, theFallacy ofSwappingHorses. And this mistakenattempt isbased, inRyle’swords, ontheDogma oftheGhost in theMachine. Inboth cases, theerror in large part stems from a mistakenassumptionabouttherelationbetweenbody(asconceived bythenatural sciences) and mind (as conceived bythe mental sciences) whenthere is, in his view, no relationbetweenthetwo.‘6Ryle,p.16.‘7Ryle,p.8.18Collingwood, The NewLeviathan, p. 11.108Man’sbody is made ofmatter and the study ofman’s bodybelongs to thatgroup ofstudies which are concerned with ‘the material world’: what arecalled the natural sciences,’9Man’s mind, on the other hand,“is made ofthought.” And the “scienceswhichinvestigatemind. . . have certainpeculiarities distinguishingthemfromthe ‘naturalsciences.” The main difference is that a person can oftenlearn“somethingutterlynewtohim” throughthe natural sciences, whereas “the sciencesofmind teachhim only thingsofwhich hewasalreadyconscious.”20This is because, unlike the natural sciences, “anyquestionin any science ofmind is provided byreflection.” Andregardless ofthequestions one asks himself, “the answers depend onthe extent ofhis own reflection; noton distanttravel, costly or difficult experiment, orprofound and variouslearning.”Whereas “man as body iswhateverthe sciencesofbodysaythatheis. . . man as mind iswhateverhe is consciousofbeing.” The activityofbecoming conscious ofone’s beingiscalled introspection.Ifknowledge ofmind is obtained bythinking about one’s ownthoughts (i.e.,reflectionor introspection), knowledgeofanotherindividual mind’screation (e.g., aconcept) is obtainedby rethinkingthat other’sthoughtsin one’s own mind. A student ofpolitical philosophy readingPlato’sRepublic, for example,is tryingto knowwhatPlato thoughtwhenhe expressed himselfin certainwords. The onlyway inwhichhe can do this is bythinking it for himself.This, in fact, iswhatwemeanwhenwe speak of’understanding’ the19R.G. Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan: OrMan, Society, CivilizationandBarbarism. RevisedEdition, ed., David Boucher(Oxford: Clarendon, 1992),p.2.20Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan, p. 5-6.109words.2’ForRyle, understanding simply means followingwhat is being done bytheperson advancingthose arguments. Understanding, ofcourse, does not involve “merelyhearingthe noises thatyour make, ormerely seeingthemovementsthatyou perform.Instead, “it is appreciating howthose operations are conducted.”22On reflection,however, it should be evident that althoughRyle’s account is necessary, it is not asufficient account ofwhat it meanstounderstand something. To understand Hobbes’Leviathan, forexample, one must certainly appreciate howthe argument is conducted.Butto understand howthe argument is conducted presupposes knowledgeofwhatHobbes is arguing about--that is, his objectives and concerns. In otherwords, to fullyunderstandHobbes, one must also knowthe question (or questions) in his head forwhichwhat hewrote was meant as ananswer.23One need not interviewHobbesto learnthosequestions. They can be inferred fromwhathe wrote.Consequently, to understandthe national interest one needs to rethinkthethoughts ofthose statesmenwho employthe idea. This, it must be emphasized, is notmerely a matterofrepeating “parrot-wise” thewords inwhichthe national interest isinvoked orexpressed.24Forthewordsthemselves are not the dataofunderstanding--theydo not embody any material objects inthe real world. Instead, thethoughtsto which21RG Collingwood, TheIdeaofHistory(Oxford: Oxford UP, 1956), p. 215,22Ryle,p.61.23R G. Collingwood, AnAutobiography(Oxford: Clarendon, 1991),p.31.24Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan, p. 7.110those words refer are the object ofconceptual understanding. On reflection,however,this is also true ofwordswhich signify materialobjects. For example, ifone hearstheword “chair” forthe firsttime, he does not understandwhatit meansuntil he seestheobject it was meantto signify. Hisunderstanding oftheword occurswhenan image ofthe object is matched with the word. An image isavery complex sort ofthoughtthatwould take manywords evento approachthe kind ofunderstanding animage represents--hencethe saying: a picture paints athousand words. InHobbes’ words:The Imaginationthat is raysed inman. . . by words, or othervoluntarysigns, is that wegenerallycall understanding...25Having no counterpart inthe material world, however, concepts such asmorality and thenational interest, are not conducive to that kind ofunderstanding. Anotherkind ofunderstandingHobbes refers as that kind ofunderstanding “whichis.. . theUnderstandingnot onely his will; but his conceptions and thoughts,bythe sequell andcontexture ofthe names ofthings into Affirmations,Negations, and otherformsofSpeech.•26Further:When a manuponthe hearing ofany Speech, haththosethoughts whichthe words ofthat speech and theirconnexion, were ordainedandconstituted to signify; Then he is said to understand it:Understandingbeingnothingelse, but conception caused by Speech.27Hence, understanding the words “the nationalinterest” is the conceptionraised inone’s mind by theuse ofthosewords--that is, to havethosethoughts whichtheuseof25Hobbes,p.8.26Hobbes,p.8.27Hobbes,p.17.111thosewordswere ordained andconstitutedto signify. Tounderstand “matter,” ontheotherhand, one must employthemethods ofthe natural sciences.Further, it is an“egregious blunder” to supposethatphysics and chemistryarethe sciences ofmatter andthat “everyoneknowswhat matteris.”Abeginner in physics or chemistrydoes not knowwhat matteris,and ifhe thinks he does it is the duty ofhis teacherto disabuse him; but heknowswhat physics orchemistryis; it is the stuffinthisredtext-book, orthe stuffold So-and-So teaches,orthe stuffwehave on Tuesdaymornings.2Ifmatter is the proper object ofthosebranches ofknowledge called physicsandchemistry, can it also betheproperobject ofmoral philosophy?Conversely, ifthe ideaofthenational interest isa proper object ofthatbranch ofknowledgecalled moralphilosophy, can it also betheproperobject ofthenatural sciences? IftheargumentsofCollingwood and Ryle are correct, the answersto each ofthese questions is “no.”Theideaofthe national interest, having norelationto matter, cannotbetheobjectofstudyforchemistry or physics. Surely all chemistsand physicists recognize this. Foriftheysupposed that the national interest boresome relationship to matter, theywould haveprovided some sort ofa definitiona long time ago. And, bearingno relationship tomatter, doubts are raised aboutwhetherthe methods embracedbythe bodiesofknowledgewith matteras theirproperobject can be embracedbythosebodiesofknowledgewith mind as their properobject.However, to conceiveofstates and international relationsinterms ofbilliardballs, forces, and systems isto conceivethose relations interms ofmatter.Hence, any28Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan,p. 3.112definition ofthe national interestthat might workverywell in light ofthose kinds ofanalyses cannotbe transplanted into an analysisthat conceives ofthose relations intermsofhuman conduct. To the extentthat Collingwood andRyle’s arguments are correct,theyadequately show why it is that “the national interest,”conceived as an abstractexplanationofwhy states do what they do, cannothelp the statesman to decide betweenpolicy alternatives inthe “here and now.” To supposethatit can is to committhe fallacyofswapping horses,113CHAPTERFOURINTERNATIONALRELATIONS AS HUMANCONDUCTThebasic contentionin this chapter isthat, ratherthan employing systemlevel or statelevel perspectives, theidea ofthe national interest is clarified farmore easilybyconceivinginternational relations intermsofhuman conduct. Giventhis contention, Istart outwiththe notion “state as actor” and inquire, fromtheperspective ofhumanconduct, aboutwhatits mostlikelymeaning is. In otherwords, one might saythat mypurpose here is to gettothebottomofthatwell-worn phrase. Forit is often arguedthatstates act (or oughtto act) intheir selfinterest--thatis to say, intheirnationalinterest.What, then, doesthe expressionmean? Fromtheperspective ofhuman conduct,what does it meanto saythat states act intheir selfinterest? Let me suggest fourlikelyanswers. Inview ofthe purely descriptive or empiricalversionofthe expression, ontheone hand, it could meanthat statesmenformulate and execute foreign policies based onthe aggregate ofinterestswidelysharedby the membersofthe bodypolitic. Orit couldmeanthat statesmenformulate and execute foreignpoliciesbased onwhattheyjudgewillbenefitthe bodypolitic. Inview ofthe imperativeversionofthe statement, onthe otherhand, it couldmeanthat statesmenoughtto formulate and executeforeignpoliciesbasedon the aggregateofinterestswidelysharedby themembersofthe bodypolitic. Oritcould meanthat statesmenoughtto formulate and execute foreignpoliciesbased onwhattheyjudgewillbenefitthe bodypolitic.It should be evidentthatRosenau’s distinctionbetweenthe subjectivist and114objectivistviews ofthe national interest correspondslooselywiththe firstversion ofthetwo empirical statements and the firstversionofthetwo imperative statements,respectively. In otherwords, the subjectivist view ofthenational interest correspondswiththe notionthat statesmen act onthebasis ofinterestswidely shared by members ofthebodypolitic, and the objectivistviewcorrespondswiththenotionthat statesmenoughtto act onthe basis ofsuch interests. Thesetwoviews share in commonthe notionthat, with respectto the formulationand execution offoreign policy, the “state as actor”canbe conceived in terms ofshared interestsamongthe members ofthebodypolitic--that is to say, by “state as actor” it is assumedthatthe shared interests ofthebody politicare driving (or oughtto be driving) state action. Theoperative idea here is thenotionofshared interests and, consequently, by“state as actor” the Americanbodypoliticisconceived as a society in the classical sense oftheterm.Inthe following pagesIhopetoshow not onlythatthis assumption isbased on a dubious political theory, butthatit isanother ofthemain sources ofconfusion abouttheideaofthe nationalinterest.The notionthat statesmenact (oroughttoact) onwhattheyjudge will benefitthebody politic, onthe other hand, is much closerto thetruth concerningthefacts oftheAmericanpolitical predicament. Paradoxically, the empiricalversion ofthis statement-i.e., that statesmen act onwhattheyjudgewill benefitthebodypolitic--is muchmoredifficultto prove thanthe imperativeversionis. Most, ifnot all, Americans knowthatstatesmenoughtto actonthe basis ofwhattheyjudge will benefitthebodypolitic,butmany are equally sceptical aboutwhetherthis is indeedthe case in any giveninstance.Many observers offoreignpolicy, ratherthan supposingthat statesmen acted onthe basis115ofwhattheyjudgedwill benefit thebody politic, supposethat statesmenacted onthebasis ofwhattheyjudgedwould benefit themselves personally, their party, or somegroup otherthanthe Americanbodypolitic.’ But even inthe best ofconditions, suchsuspicions are intractably difficultto prove definitively--ifonlybecause it is impossibleto know, withmetaphysical or physical certainty, the motives ofanother. Aperson’smotive (ormotives) may or may not correctlybe inferredby anothermerely onthebasisofthatperson1sexternal, physical act. Foralthoughthe external actgenerallyhas onevisible object, it can serve any number ofbothgood and/or evil motives orends.2Although it might not immediately be evident, to saythat statesmen oughtto actonthebasis ofwhat theyjudgewill be bestforthe body politic isvery different fromsaying that statesmen oughtto act onthe basis ofinterests widely shared bythe membersofthe American body politic. Each oftheseviews is grounded in an entirely differentassumption aboutthe nature ofthe Americanbodypolitic. The first statement does notassume thatthe Americanbodypolitic is a societyinthe classical sense ofthe term,whereasthe latter does. As indicated, this assumptionis mistaken onthegrounds that itdoes not reflect American political realities and, consequently, it contributesto muchof‘This isthe basicthrust ChristopherLayne’sview. I shallbe examining his argumentin chapter eight.2Mexample ofan actwith one object and at leasttwo evil ends is the case ofacontract killer. The object ofthe external, physical act is the deathofthe victim. Theends, however, canvarybetweenthosewho contractedthe killing and the contract killerhimself. The contractor merely couldwant to make money. Thosewho are payingthemoney, onthe otherhand, could have any numberofreasons. Formore onthedistinction between the object and the end ofa act See ThomasAquinas, SummaTheologica, I-il, q. 18, a. 6.116the confusion aboutthe idea ofthe national interest. This canbe demonstrated, in part,bygettingto thebottomofthe abstraction: state as actor.Gettingto the bottom of“State as actor”To conceive international relations interms ofhuman conduct, then, one firstmustdealwiththe notion that states are the primaryactors in international relations. Forifstatesare conceived as actors, let alone primary actors, internationalrelations cannotproperlybe conceived in terms ofhuman conduct. My contentionisthatthe notion “state asactor” is not an expressionofrealitybut, rather, an abstractionfromreality--andanentirelylegitimate one at that. However, as longas it is remembered that it isjustthat--i.e., an abstraction--thenotion doesnot place an obstacle inthewayofconceivinginternational relations interms ofhuman conduct. The aim ofthis section,then, is to getto thebottom ofthe abstraction. Once this has been done it will become clearthat, inreality, human persons are the only actors in internationalrelations, andthathumanpersons occupyingthe special role ofstatesman are theprimary actors.As a convenient short-hand expression and as alegal fiction, the expression“stateas actor” is used in its proper sense and should notbe discredited in any way. Problemsarise, however, whenthe expression--inboth a literal and afigurative sense--takeson alife ofits own. In otherwords, problems arise whenthe abstraction is no longerconceived as an abstraction and is confusedwith realityitself These are theproblemsthat need to be addressed beforethe national interest canbe conceived as anintrinsicprinciple ofhuman action and not as a law or principle ofstate action. Onlyby117embracingthe “state as actor” as a real living entity and infusing into it ameaningbeyond that ofmerely employing it as a short-hand expression or legal fictiondoes itbecome possibleto speakofthe state as acting in its own interests.What does one meanbythe expression “state as actor?” Is ittrueto saythat statesact? In one sense it is true, but in amorefundamental sense it is false. Thatthestatement is in one sense true and in another sense false is due largelyto the ambiguityoftheterm “state.” This ambiguity is evident particularlywhen one considersthe commonuse oftheterm in political theory or in discussions ofdomestic politics, onthe one hand,andthe commonuse oftheterm ininternationalrelationstheory orin discussions ofinternational politics, onthe other. What, exactly, is being referredtoby “state” in eachofthese two perspectives? The basic difference isthatfrom a domestic perspective,citizens or “the public” are not generallyconsidered aspartof“the state,” whereas fromtheinternational perspectivetheyare. In otherwords, fromtheinternational perspective,theterm “state” often is usedto mean “bodypolitic,” whereas fromthe domesticperspective, “state” often signifies afunctional, and categoricallyjuridical idea inrelationto thebody politic. Putyet anotherway, fromthe international perspective, “state” oftensignifies a special typeofconcrete human organization, whereasfromthe domesticperspective--to the extentthat it is ever employedto referto an organization ofconcretepersons--it refers exclusivelyto the government and its apparatus. Hence, the ambiguityoftheterm “state” stems from its dual use as a categoricallyjuridical idea signifyingalegal person, on the one hand, and as a sociological idea signifying a particulargroupingofhuman persons--whetherit be thegovernment orthebodypolitic as awhole--onthe118other. Forthe sake ofthis discussion, I attemptto avoidthis initial ambiguity byreferringto countries like Canada, theUnited States, Iraq, andso on, as bodies politicratherthan as states. And, when referringto governingbodiesortheir members, I shallemploythe terms “governments” or “statesmen,” as thecase maybe.Withthe foregoing specifications in mind, letme now considerfirst the sense inwhichthe notion “state as actor” is true, and secondthe sense inwhichit is false, Inthejuridical sense--that is, as ajuridical abstraction signifying thebodypolitic as a legalperson--the expression “state as actor” is entirelytrue, inthe same sense that“corporationas actor” is entirelytrue. For inthis sensewe are speakingoflegal persons, andit isentirely meaningfulto speak oflegal persons as actorsinalegal sense. But it mustbeemphasizedthat a legal person is an abstraction, somethingwhich has no counterpartinthe realworld. You cannotwalk into a room and see states inthe samewaythey you cansee tables, chairs, and living humanbeings.The notion “state as actor” breaks down, however, when we emphasizetheconcrete realitybehindthe abstractioninstead ofthe abstractionitself. This istheworldofconcrete personsfulfilling a special rolewithinthebodypolitic, namely: theworldofhuman beings called statesmenwho act onbehalfofthebody politic in relationswiththeircounterparts acting onbehalfofotherbodies politic. Whenreflecting onthis world,it doesnot make sense to speakofthe state as actorbecausetwo categoricallydistinctentities arebeing confused thereby, namely: humanpersons,one the one hand, and legalpersons, onthe other. This iswhat I referto as theworld ofhuman conduct--Viz.,aworld where it makes senseto rethink and discussthe human dispositions, frailties,and119thoughts behind real people in thepersonaofstatesmen, the world fromwhichthe notion“state as actor” has been abstracted. The primary objects ofstudywithrespectto thisworld, then, arehuman persons alongwiththeirthoughts and actionsfromwhichtheevents stem, and notthe eventsthemselves. To examinethisworld, one must drawuponbranches ofknowledge not normallydrawnupon inthemore abstract levels ofanalysis.With respectto the organizational settings withinwhich statesmen conducttheirbusiness,one must draw uponthe branch ofknowledge called political philosophy. Withrespectto human dispositions, fculties, and the nature of human choice and action, one mustdrawuponthebranch ofknowledge called philosophy ofthe human person. And,finally, with respectto the goodness or evil ofthose actions, one must drawuponthebranch ofknowledge called moral philosophy.Inthe legalworld, states are actors. Intheworld ofhuman conduct, on the otherhad, only human persons are actors. The state is not aliving entity, therefore it cannot beconsidered as an actor in theworld ofhuman conduct, Inthisworld, humanbeings acton behalfofotherhumanbeings whichconstitute agivenbody politic. Withrespecttointernational relations, these humanacts ofstate are called foreignpolicies. And theseacts set inmotion awhole series ofother human acts onthepart ofother members ofthebodypolitic (inthe case ofwar, soldiers, sailors, and airmen--to mention a few) in orderto achievethe objectives set bythose initial acts. Intheworld ofhuman conduct, then, itis meaningful to conceive foreignpolicies not as “things” but, rather, as the consequencesofdeliberativehuman action. To re-emphasizethewords ofCharlesHughes: “foreign120policies are notbuiltupon abstractions.”3Instead, they are builtupon practical humanchoices aboutwhat isbest forthe country inthe circumstances. Althoughthey areclearlyacts performedby humanbeings--and, consequently, theproper objects ofstudyforthe philosophyofthe humanperson--are foreignpolicies imputable human acts--viz.,arethey categoricallymoral acts? In other words, are theyproperobjectsofstudyformoral philosophy?At leasttentatively, one can answer “yes” tothose questions. Detailed reasons forsuch a response will be outlined inthe next chapter. Fornow, logicallyprior questionsneed to be addressed in greater detail. What are the relationshipsbetween groups andinterests? Isthere a distinction betweenthe pursuerofan interest and abeneficiaryofthat interest? What is the nature ofthebody politic? Is it a societyinthe classical senseoftheword? And what is the statesman’s relationship to the bodypolitic? In short, Ineed to clarify forthereadermyunderstanding ofthenature ofthebodypolitic, thenature ofinterestswithrespectto the body politic, andthe nature ofthe statesman’srelationshipto thebody politicbeforeI can address questionsofwhetherornot his orheractions are indeed imputable ones.Interests and theirbeneficiariesSince interests, it will be recalled, are desired statesofaffairs defined interms ofcomplexnorms, it is meaningfulto conceiveofinterests as objectivesortangible3Cited in CharlesBeard, TheIdeaofNationalInterest(Chicago: Quadrangle, 1966),p.1,121purposes. Objectives and purposes, however, presupposethe existenceofhuman actorsbothto establishthose objectives and to pursue themthrough action, In light ofthis,what does one meanby the expression nationalinterests? Itmeansthat at least some ofthemembersofthebody politic have set objectives inthe name ofthebody politic. Itdoes not necessarily meanthat all members have setthose objectives--althoughthere isan implicationherethat, regardless ofwhoever setthose objectives, theywere setforthebenefitofthebody politic as awhole and not forthe exclusivepersonal benefit ofthosewho set them.Butto saythat objectives orpurposes are set forthebenefitofthebody politic,does this implythat all members sharethoseinterests? Certainlynot. What it impliesisthatthosewho setthose objectives expect agood portionofthebody politicto derivesome benefitfromthose objectives, purposes, orinterests oncetheyhavebeen secured.A distinctionneeds to be made, then, between purposes, objectives, orinterests, ontheone hand, and the intended beneficiariesofthoseinterests, onthe other.Often the distinction is not made betweenthe interest itself(i.e., purpose,objective, or desired state ofaffairs), who actively is pursuingthat interest, and theintendedbeneficiaries ofthatinterest. This is particularlythe casewhennationalinterests are viewed as interestswidely shared bythe members ofthebody politic. Onreflection, however, the interests, purposes or desired states ofaffairs arenotwhat arewidely shared among the members ofthebody politic. Instead, thebenefitsofthoseinterests are presumed and intendedby statesmento be widely shared among themembers ofthebody politic. Statesmen, onthe other hand, do sharethoseinterests once122a collective decision hasbeen made to pursuethem. National interests, then, are notshared purposes ofthebodypolitic. They are sharedpurposes ofstatesmenwhich, oncerealized, are intended forthe benefitofthe bodypolitic.Now, as it will be argued more fully inthefollowingparagraphs, thenotion ofshared purposes is the crowning principle ofassociationand the definingfeature ofa“society” inthe classical sense ofthe term. This suggeststhatthebroad membership ofthe bodypolitic, since theydonothave a shared purpose, cannotconstitutea society inthe classical sense oftheterm, It also suggeststhat statesmen, sincetheydo share acommon purpose, do constitute a society inthe classical sense ofthe term. That abodypolitic cannot (and manywould argue, ought not) be a society inthe classical sense, andthatthegovernmentofthebody politic is such a society, appearto beborne bythe factsofour experience--at leastofthe Americanbody politic and its government atthetime,and inthe context, ofthe Gulfwar.4Our experience ofthat episode substantiatestheclaimthatthe Americanbody politic is not a society inthe classical sense, and thattheAmericangovernment is.The majority ofAmerican citizens did not actively share inthe immediate interestorpurpose ofaliberatedKuwait. Forthatmatter, as I will show in chapters seven andeight, many American citizenswerenot convinced thatthey evenwould derivea singular4Thismight betruefor all times and all contexts, but I am not preparedto make such ageneralization. Forinthe context oftotalwar, bodiespolitic most resemble societies inthe classical sense inthat almost everyadultmember appears to share actively in asingular, united purpose, namely: total victory. The Gulfwar, at least fromtheAmericanperspective, was not a total war. Fromthe Iraqi perspective, onthe otherhand, it mighthave been.123benefit fromthat interestifand when it indeed was secured. The membersoftheAmericangovernment, onthe other hand, forthe mostpart evidently shared a purpose intryingto do whatthey thought best forthe Americanbodypolitic inthe circumstances.In pure definitional terms, then, becausethe Americanbody politic did not (and usuallydoesnot) pursue a shared purpose, andbecausethe Americangovernmentdid (andprobablyusually does) pursue a shared purpose, thebodypolitic is not, and thegovernment is a society inthe classical sense.That is why it is meaningfiul to speak ofnationalinterests.NotbecausetheAmericanbody politic sharesthose interests (it cannot, because itis not a society), butbecausethe members ofthe Government share those interests (theycan, becausethey aremembers ofa society). Further, the members ofthegovernmentpresume and intend thatthebodypoliticwillbenefit fromthoseinterestsifandwhentheyindeed are secured.Hence, They are called national interestsbecauseit issupposedthatthe bodypoliticwillbenefit fromtheirprocurement.It is meaningfulto speakofagroup’s interests, then,because some kinds ofhuman groups are defined as such by virtue ofthe sharedinterests orpurposes ofitsmembers. In such agrouping, humanbeings associatein orderto pursue some specifiedshared interest. This kind ofhumangroup is calleda society orassociation, intheclassical sense ofthese terms. Butthere is anotherkindofhuman grouping--onewhichismore accurately referredto as a class--that is not definedby shared interestsbut, rather,by shared characteristics. Hence, agroup ofblonde and blue eyedpersons canbe definedas agroup by virtue ofsharing the characteristics ofblonde hairand blue eyes--theyneed124not share any purpose in orderto be conceived as a group. Further, there is athirdkindofgroup--one which is often referredto as acivilsocietyor non-social community--that“consistsofa multitude ofpeople engaged inthe harmonious pursuit ofseparatepurposes.”5Thatthese three kinds ofhumangroupings actually exist is not the realproblem here. Instead, the problemisthat the same names--i.e., “society” or“association”--oftenare usedto signif.jthethree kinds ofgroups, whereas in politicaltheory it is crucial to distinguish them. And theimportant questionhere is this:Althoughthe Americanbody politic is clearly ahumangrouping, whichofthesethreekinds does it most resemble?One might betempted here to assumethatthe American bodypolitic is a societyinthe classic sense. On reflection, however, this is not avery safe assumptionto make.For, it will be recalled, that a society inthe classical sense is defined byvirtue oftheshared interests orpurposes ofits members, The S.P.C.A. is clearly a society intheclassical sensebecause peoplejointhe associationforthe interest or purpose ofpreventing crueltyto animals. Further, there is little dispute among themembers aboutwhattheir society’spurposes are. But it is byno means clearwhatthe shared interests orpurposes are ofthat humangrouping called theUnited States or, forthat matter, theUnitedKingdom or Canada. Further, thatthere is much dispute aboutthe aggregateofAmerican shared interests leads oneto suspect thatperhaps there are noneto be found in5MichaelDonelan,ElementsofInternationalPoliticalTheory (Oxford: ClarendonPress 1990),p.59. Emphasis mine. See also Michael Oakeshott, OnHuman Conduct(Oxford: ClarendonPress, 1975); andR. 0. Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan (Oxford:ClarendonPress, [1943] 1992), Part II.125the first place. And ifthis indeed is the case, it is questionableto assumethat it is asociety inthe classical sense ofthe term.Nevertheless, the idea ofthe national interest still seemsto have somesignificance. For evenifonewereto reject, ormerelyto doubt, the assumptionthattheUnited States is a society in the classical sense ofthe term, one still is haunted with anagging suspicionthat the expressions “the national interest” and “national interests”have significant meanings. After all, American statesmen invokedthenational interestbothto oppose andto support offensivemilitary action against Iraqi forces. Further,American scholars invokedthe national interestbothto condemn andto vindicatetheAmerican decision to employ such force. How, then, does one reconcile the saferassumptionthatthe American body politic is not a society inthe classical sense withthepersistent notion that the national interest is significant?The two canbe reconciled ifit canbe shownthatthe statesmanhim orherselfisamemberofan association in the classical sense, and that the overriding shared purposeofthose persons isto pursuewhat is bestforthe bodypolitic as awhole--viz., to pursueobjectives which benefit the bodypolitic. But that state ofaffairs orinterest which isbestto pursue cannot be stated inthe abstract, but only in substantiveterms inlight ofcontingent circumstances. At the individual level this is determinedthroughthe normalhuman process ofdeliberation and choice. At the collectivelevelthis is determinedbyconstitutionally prescribed deliberative procedures and decision rules. Nevertheless,specific choices made by this societyofgovernors are (oroughtto be) always inclined ina certain direction. The national interest is an affirmationthat one’s choices are inclined126to thegood ofthe bodypolitic, and not toward the statesman’s personal interest, a sub-national group or person’s interest, or an extra-national group orperson’s interest. Butmerelyto reaffirm that one’s choices are inclined towardthe national interest, explainslittle about whythe statesmanthinks those choices arebestforthe country. Hence, whena statesman in responseto public scrutinyjustifies his or herpolicy choice ongrounds of“the national interest,” one perhaps should squeeze the issue fhrtherby asking: “Ahyes!You have reaffirmed forme the interiorinclinationofyourwill to act inthebestinterestoftheUnited States and not some otherinterest, And I thankyou forthat. Butbymerelyreaffirmingtheinterior inclinationofyourwill--i.e., toward the national interest--youhave not explainedto mewhyyou thinkthis policy is best.” Perhapsthereasonwhy “thenational interest” has so much rhetorical powerisbecause it is a partialjustificationmasquerading as a fhll one.But the national interest is onlypart ofthe story, What about national interests?The national interest is notthe aggregateofinterests shared bythe country’s citizens. Itcannotbe the case because only a society can have shared interests and American citizensdonotconstitute a society inthe classical sense. Nevertheless, it is still meaningfultospeak about Americannational interests. It is meaningfi.iibecausethegovernmentpursues (or oughtto pursue) interests--i.e., purposes, desired states ofaffairs, orobjectives--forthe benefitofthe Americanbody politic and the members ofgovernmentdo constitute a society inthe classical sense. In other words, the members ofgovernmentconstitute a society byvirtue ofhaving shared purposes or interests, andthemembers ofthe body politic do not constitute a society byvirtue ofnothaving shared purposes or127interests. Becausethe members ofgovernment (“statesmen,” forthe sake ofthisdiscussion) pursue common purposesforthebenefit ofthe bodypolitic, it is meaningfulto referto those shared purposes as national interests.The notion “state as actor,” althougha convenient short hand expression, obscuresarather complex set ofrelationships--viz., relationshipsbetween statesmen, citizens,thestatesmenofotherbodypolitics, and their citizens--thatcometo lightwhen one attemptsto conceive international relations interms ofhuman conduct. Primarily, itobscuresthedistinctionbetween the different kinds ofhumangroupingsthatare involved--distinctionsthat mustbe maintained ifonewantstoclarifS’the ideaofthe national interest. I shallnow examinethese distinctions ingreater detail.Societies and non-social communitiesThat not all humangroupings necessarilyhave shared purposes orinterests is noticed, invarying degrees ofclarity, by a number ofpolitical theorists.Michael Oakeshott, amongothers, noticesthis and TerryNardinborrowsthis insight and attemptsto applyittointernational relations theory. More specifically, Nardinattemptsto apply a modificationof Oakeshott’s ideasto questions ofinternational organization andjustice.6He arguesthatmanypeople (including some distinguished politicaltheorists) haveunderstoodthe state. . . as an enterprisewhosepurposeis the promotionofthe commoninterests ofits members.Thetendencyto think in purposiveterms disposes usto see human6TerryNardin, Law, Morality, andtheRelationsofStates(PrincetonNJ: PrincetonUP, 1983).128arrangements and institutions as springing from transactionsgrounded insharedvalues and aims. Some ofthesetransactionsare ephemeral, merebargains struckbetweenindividuals who thenproceedalongtheir separatepaths. Others result inthe foundation ofmore lastingrelationships, intheestablishment offamilies, corporations, universities,or churches. In eachcase, however, the keyto the relationship is tobe found inthebenefitsanticipatedfrom exchange orfrommore enduring cooperativebehaviour.To understand humanbeings as related onthe basis ofshared purposes isto seethem asunited above all elseby an interest inwhat association canprovide: bywants satisfied, values realized, beliefs reaffirmed,interestsprotected, goals achieved.7Without necessarilyagreeing or disagreeing withthegeneralthrust ofhisargument, Nardin nevertheless obscures an important distinctionbygroupingtogetherunderthe rubric “purposive association” both “ephemeral” transactionsand “more lastingrelationships.” Amere transactionbetweenbuyer and seller is indeedatransactionalrelationshipbetween persons, and it is most probablyapurposivetransaction as well.Butthere is a categorical difference between, onthe onehand, a meretransactionofexchange and, onthe other hand, agroup ofpersons gettingtogetherto pursue a sharedpurpose or interest. The problem here is notwith the adjective“purposive,” butwhat isbeing modified bythat adjectivein each instance.It seems to me that ahumantransaction, onthe one hand, anda humanassociation, onthe other, are categoricallydistinct. Certainly, eachinstance describes apurposive human relationship, but they are categoricallydifferent kinds ofrelationship.The first instance--that is, between buyer andseller--is an example ofa humanrelationship called a transaction. But the latterinstance--thatis, whatresults whenpeoplebecomeassociates--is an exampleofahumanrelationship calledan association.7Nardin,p.4.129Transactions and associations are notthe same thing; but association does presuppose atransactionofa special kind. AlthoughNardin often confhsesthetwo, I will take“purposive association” to mean exclusivelythe latterform ofrelation. This, Ithink, isalso what Oakeshott takes it to mean.LikeNardin, Oakeshottbegins his account bygroupingtogetherthe moreephemeral buyer and seller relationwiththe more durablerelationundertherubric“transactional mode ofassociation.” But Oakeshott soonrecognizestheforce ofthedistinction and refers to the latter as an “enterprise association.” In an enterpriseassociation “the associates recognizethemselves, not as parties related in an engagementofexchange designed to satisfy theirdifferentwants, but as colleagues, partners,comrades or accomplicesjoined in seeking a common substantive satisfaction.”8R. G.Collingwood refers to this kind ofassociation as a society; but “society” inwhat heconsiders to bethenarrow and classical sense oftheword. Why Oakeshott andNardinchooseto create newterms ratherthan employthe classical one might be dueto theambiguous meaning oftheword “society.” Nevertheless, Oakeshott, Nardin, andCollingwood, althoughtheyuse differentterms, aretalking aboutthe samething, namely:a “society” inthe narrower classical sense oftheword.Collingwood anticipatesthe possible confusiondue to the multiple senses of“society” and sets outto distinguishthem. He arguesthatthere are at leasttwo sensesof8Michael Oakeshott, “TheRule ofLaw,” OnHistoryandOtherEssays(Oxford: BasilBlackwell, 1983), pp. 122-23. In anotherwork, Oakeshott refers to thetransactionalmode ofhuman association as “enterprise association” and “purposive association”, OnHuman Conduct (Oxford: Clarendon, 1975),pp.114-118, 157-158, 313, 315-317.130theterm ‘society’: a specific and classical sense borrowed fromRomanLaw, and amuchbroader sense developed inthe seventeenthcentury. Collmgwood emphasizesthatthesetwo senses, “forthepurposesofpolitical study mustbe distinguished: confhsion isfatal.”9The broader sense ofthe term is used, for example, to referto a “societyofplants”, “society ofanimals”, “society ofants”, or a “societyofbees.” In short, thewordis used “in a sense thatwould have outraged aRomanlawyer, not so muchbecause itinvolved speaking ofan ant orbee as ifit were aRomancitizenbut because it involvedspeakingofit asifit werepossessed offreewill,”10A societyin the narrower classical sense, onthe other hand, is a relationbetweenmoral agents who “jointogetheroftheir ownfree will injoint action.”1Collingwoodgives examples such as “the Co-operative Wholesale Society”, “theRoyal Society”, and“the County Society.”2Oakeshott gives examples such as “the SocietyforthePropagation ofChristianKnowledge”, “the Anti-BloodsportsLeague”, andthe “LicensedVictuallers Association.”13Finally, Nardingives more generic examples such ascorporations, universities and churches.To identifythe individual membersofa society as free agents is to saythattheymust be capable ofbeing accountableto the society and capable ofholding otherswithin9R. G. Collingwood, The NewLeviathan (Oxford: ClarendonPress, 1992), p. 130.10Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan, p. 134.‘Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan, p. 132.‘2Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan,p.133.13Oakeshott,p.123.131that society accountable. In the context ofRomanLaw, freemoral agentswerepersonae--that is, “humanbeings capable ofsueing and being sued, who mustbe freemen and not slaves, Roman citizens and not foreigners, male and adult, not inthemanusorpatriapotestasofanotherbut heads offamilies.”14Ofcourse, these particulars havenotbeen maintained tothis day. ForpersonaCollingwood substitutes “person,” meaning“an agent possessed of, and exercisingfreewill.”5Oakeshott retainsthe expressionpersona, but meansby it an abstract singular aspect ofaperson’stotalrelationshipswithothers and defined interms ofaparticularmode ofassociation, In his words, “whilepersons may have (and indeed be largely composedoOa varietyofkinds ofrelationshipwith others and movebetweenthemwithout confbsion, the subject in amode ofrelationship is always an abstraction, apersona, apersoninrespect ofbeing relatedtoothers in terms ofdistinct and exclusive conditions.”6Forexample, between concretepersons, say, in afamily situation, there can exist a diversityofmodal relationshipsthatcanbe abstracted from.the concreterelationship. Thetwo people canbe related inthepersonaoflovers inthe spiritual sense, as lovers inthe emotional sense, as sexualpartners inthebiological sense, andas marriagepartners inthelegal sense, Anotherexample is the statesman. He or she is a person in Collingwood’s sense and canbeattributed withvan ouspersonae in Oakeshott’s sense. Hence, in additionto thepersonaofstatesman, theperson could also be a spouse, citizen, lodgemember, andwhat have‘4Collingwood, The NewLeviathan, p. 132.‘5Collingwood, The NewLeviathan, p. 144.‘6Oakeshott,p.120.132you. Each one ofthese senses represents a distinct mode ofrelationship, which inturn isdefined by distinct and exclusive conditions. Whereas a real personcanwear all ofthese“hats” atthe same time, the abstract conceptionofpersona, as Oakeshott defines it, canonlywear one ofthem.But what are the “distinct and exclusive conditions” that definethat entity knownas the enterprise association (as Oakeshott calls it), the purposive association (asNardincalls it), and society (as Collingwood calls it)? ForOakeshott:Associationhere is the assemblage ofan aggregate ofpowerto compose acorporate or an associational identity designedto procure awished-forsatisfaction, It is constituted inthe choice and recognitionofa commonpurposeto the pursuit ofwhich each associate undertakesto devote aquantum ofhis power; that is, his time, energy, means, skill and so on.The Associates arepersonae, persons in respectoftheir devotiontothecommon cause. The engagement occupiestime, it is a calluponresources, it looksto thethture, it is inherently terminable and mayterminatewiththe achievementofitspurpose orthe dissolution oftheassociation.“Collingwood identifiesthis viewwiththe classicalunderstanding ofassociation.But, unlike Oakeshott andNardin, he limits his useoftheterms “society” and“association” to the classicalunderstanding. For Collingwood, the difference betweensocietyunderstood inthebroader sense developed in the 17th centuryas standing foragenus, and societyunderstood inthe narrower classical sense developedbyRomanlawisanessentialdifference:eachofthem has a suum cuique; [i.e.] in each ofthemthemembers have ashare in somethingthat is divided amongthem; but in a societypropertheestablishment and maintenance ofthesuum cuique is effected by their‘7Oakeshott,p.123.133jointactivityasfreeagents.’8The activitythat brings a society in itsclassical sense into existence isa social contract,“a contract to becomesocii, [i.e.] partners.” Accordingto RomanLaw, there are threeindispensable elements to a socialcontract:(1) reciprocal agreement(2) common interest (all parties muststandto gainundertheterms ofthepartnership); and(3) affectussocietatis, abona fide intentionto form apartnership.’9In addition, a social contract gives rise tothree obligations:(1) to makeyour own contributionto the expensesofthe partnership;(2) to promote the interestsofthepartnershipwiththe same care whichyouwould devotetoyourprivateinterests;(3)to share profit and loss withthe otherpartners.2°Given this account it shouldbe evidentthatnot all humangroupings, therefore, aresocieties narrowly conceived. Afamily consistingofparents and small children isaperfect example. The relationship betweenthe parentscanbe conceived as a society inthe classical sense, butthe relationship betweentheparents and children cannot.Collingwood refersto this kind ofhumangroupingas a non-social community. Thatthiskind ofhumangrouping is not a society intheclassical sense remains true evenwhenthe‘8Collingwood, The NewLeviathan,p.136.‘9Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan,pp.132-33.20Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan,p.133.134Roman definition is updated and modified--modified, that is, not in its essentials(asthe17th century definition) but in its inessentials. Instead ofbeing initiated by a socialcontract--that is, adheringto thethree conditions ofreciprocal agreement, commoninterest, andaffectussocietatis--associates need onlyto decideto initiate partnership “inanytermsthatmake his decision cleartothe other orothers.” And, instead ofgivingriseto thethree obligations, “every party, by makingthe contract, declares his will to pursuethe common aim ofthe society,” whatever obligations such an aim may entail.What he contractsto do (whatRoman law calls the ‘obligation’ to whichhis participation in the contract subjects hi±n) is solelyto pursuethecommon aim: the detail ofthis ‘obligation’ will depend onthe detailoftheaim. By what [is called] thePrincipleofLimitedLiabilityhis ‘obligation’is limitedto this aim and all it implies, the latter often including muchnotspecified in any description ofthe aim.No society has a claim onitsmembers involving morethan this. Itis in the nature ofa societythatthe obligationsofmembership should belimited to obligations involved inthepursuitofthe commonaim.21A small child does not declare his membership inthe familyunit: he is simply born intoit, Nordoes he declare his will to contributetothe common aim ofhis parents, whateverit may be: he simply doeswhat his parentstell himto do. Ahockeyteam, onthe otherhand, is a societywhose associates endorsethe common aim--byvirtue ofdeclaringtheirmembership interms acceptableto that society--to win hockeygames. Hence, it is intheteam’s interesttowin hockey games, and the intrinsic principle ofeachmembers actionsintheircapacity as members is theteam interest. By declaring his intention to become amember ofthat society, the player incurs obligations implied bythe aim oftheteam: hemust keep fit duringthe off-season, he must showup at practices and on time, he must21Collingwood, The NewLeviathan, pp. 144-45.135concentrate on maintaining and developingtheinstrumental skill which his role inthesociety (position on the team) entails, hemust showup at the practices andgames sober,his personal conduct during play must adhere to the adverbial conditionswhich, takentogether, define thegame ofhockey--that is, he must know and playbythe rules ofthegame. BythePrinciple ofLimitedLiability, however, the associate is not obligated bytheteamto marrythis person ratherthan another. Nor is he requiredto buythis brand ofautomobileratherthanthat. In short, where the member’s activitiesbearno relationtothe society’s principle aim--to win hockeygames--no obligation is incurred.Nardin, Oakeshott, and Collingwood, then, all agreethatpurposiveness is theessence ofassociation properlyunderstood inthenarrowerclassical sense. Mereexistence side by side, mereparticipation or share inthat quality called humanity, mutualreceipt ofeach other’sinfliction ofmilitarypower, or having afhnction and place withinthebee hive or ant nest, does not even approachthe classical meaning ofthe verb: toassociate.Nevertheless, byusingthe term “association” to identify different modes ofhuman relationship, Oakeshott andNardin possiblyinvite some confusion abouttheirrespective projects. Oakeshott, perhapswith good reason, believesthat abodypoliticorganized as a society inthe classical sensewould lead to a questionable, ifnotintolerable, existence onthe partofits citizens. Instead, he appearsto value a mode ofrelationshipbased on the rule oflaw. However, he callsthatideal relationship a mode ofassociation, And this might not be entirely appropriategiventhat he wantsto distinguish“society” in its classical sense from an entirely different kind ofrelationship. In other136words, his proposed ideal structurebased onthe notionofthe ruleoflaw or civilassociation--that is, a set ofadverbial non-instrumental conditions which, in his view,oughtto governthe relationships and transactions betweenpeople, associations, andstates--would more accuratelybe referredto as amode ofrelationshipratherthan a modeofassociation. Inthis way, the crucial distinctionbetween societyunderstood intheclassical sense and society understood inthe broader sociological sense can bemaintainedwithgreater clarity.Given the foregoing discussion, we are in a muchbetterposition to considerwhether ornotthe Americanbodypolitic is a society inthe classical sense oftheterm. Isit the kind ofgrouping “where men cometogetherto co-operate in a single commonpurpose, as, for example, in abusiness company?” For, accordingto MichaelDonelan,“the more mercantiletype ofRealist habituallytalks as though his countrywere agreattrading corporation, competingwiththe rest oftheworld.”22Onthegroundsthat sharedpurposes orinterests amongthe members ofthe Americanbodypolitic are conspicuouslyabsent, I have argued that it is not. Further, inpointingto the historyofpoliticalthoughtonthe question, Collingwood notesthat eventhoughthebody politicwasregarded as asociety by the Greeks andRomans, it is not generallyregardedas such by modernthinkers.23Andthis change in thinking, he argues, occurred not inthetwentieth centurybut, rather, in the middle ages.Ancient political life is the life, and ancient politicaltheorythetheory, of22Donelan,pp.59-60.23Collingwood, The NewLeviathan, p. 177,137the city (polls), whichwas a society madeup ofcitizensuponwhom non-citizenswere dependent. Medieval political life is the life, and medievalpolitical theorythe theory, ofthe ‘state’ (l’etat, lostato), atermbelongingto the internationalEuropeanlanguage ofthelaterMiddle ages andderived fromtheLatinstatus, used as a legal term for a man’s status withregardto rights.IntheMiddle Ages avery remarkable change ofopinionhad comeabout as to whatthebody politicwas. People had cometo thinkofthebody politic no longer as a society, a community offree and adult mencollectively managingtheir own affairs; they had cometo thinkofit moreas a collection ofhuman animals, not necessarilyfree andnot necessarilymale, butjusthuman. Hence intheMiddle Ages abodypoliticwasconceived as a non-social community; not a self-ruling bodyofadultEnglishmen orwhatnot, but simply a collective name forpeople born inacertainplace.24In short, the ancients conceivedthebody politic or city not as amerecollectionofpeopleand buildingswithin a demarcatedgeographical space but, rather, as an associationofcitizens--a society. To be sure, women, children, slaves, and foreigners inhabitedtheconfines ofthe space controlled bythe citizens, but they were either “privately dependenton individual citizens,” or “publicly dependent upongroups ofcitizens.”25Hence, suchpeoplewere not conceived as partofthe body politicbut, rather, as dependents either ofindividual associates (citizens), orofthe body politicitself(the city). Duringthe MiddleAges, awider--but not necessarily more inclusive--conceptionofbodypolitic came intobeing, not because all human beings were conceived as self-ruling associatesbut, rather,becausethe body politicbecamemore and moreidentified withgeographical space andnot with any particular qualities ofmoral agency.It is unsafeto assume, then, thattheUnited States is a society conceived inthe24Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan,pp.178-79.25Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan,p. 177.138narrow classical sense. Instead, it is saferto assumethat it is what Collingwood refers toas a non-social community. Forthe vast majority ofnew membersto a nationalcommunity are simplyborn into it and, althoughthis is an acceptedwayofbecoming amember ofthe national community, it is nottheway one associateswith anyone oranything. The activity ofassociationrequires freemoral agency--afaculty infant humanbeings do not possess. Sincethe nation state is not an association, it isvery difficult,under normal circumstances, to speakofnationalinterests as being shared by allmembers ofthe bodypoliticbecause a group’s interests presuppose shared purposes orends. Ifthe group does not have a purpose or objective, it cannotbe said to have anygeneral interest--althoughthe people and groups that constituteit can have particularinterests. Shared purposes or objectives--hence, interests--aretheessence of association.Without shared interests, there is no reason to associate, There is, however, no suchrequirement forcommunities to exist. Communities are a mere anthropologicalfact--they requireno actofmoral agency onthe part ofanyoneto bring them into existence.They simply exist.Communities, then, can existwithouthaving a shared purpose and, consequently,the members need no shared interests in orderto sustainthe community. The momentmembers ofa community agree on an interestto preserve orpursuemarks itstransformation from a mere community into a societywith respectto that interest. Or, ifthereis no general agreement on one interestbut partial agreement on separateinterests,the communityis transformed into a community ofsocietieswithrespectto thoseseparate interests. Sociologists call these separate entities withinthe community “interest139groups,” but aRomanlawyerwould callthem societies, Oakeshott calls them enterpriseassociations, andNardin calls thempurposive associations. Many such associations callthemselves societies, for example, theRoyal Society orthe Society forthePreventionofCruelty against Animals. Others call themselves associations, forexample, the CanadianManufacturers Association ortheLicensed VictuallersAssociation. Andthe conditioncalled “pluralism” refersto a community madeup ofmany such societies. That thiscondition accurately describesthe Americanbody politic, as far asI cantell, is beyonddispute--at least among domestic politicaltheorists.Butthefact that some or all members ofa community can agree on one or moreshared interestspresupposes not only awaythat the associates are mutuallyintelligibletoeach other(how else could they knowthattheyhave a common interest?), but a “mutualrecognition ofcertain conditions which. . . specif’ right andwrong in conduct..The members ofthe community must have some groundsforreasonably anticipatingthatforming a society on the basis ofa shared interestwill actually prove to servethatinterest. In otherwords, they must have some preconceivednotion about socialobligations andwhatthey entail from associates. Hence, associationpresupposes amorality conceived as “avernacularlanguage ofintercourse.”27Association, then,presupposes both community and a shared morality--amoral community. Oakeshottcalls this moral association, but keeping in mind the distinctionbetweenthetwo sensesoftheword society, it wouldbe more accurateto call it a moral community.26Oakeshott,p.132.27Oakeshott, p. 133.140It is meaningful to speakofa community ofhumankind by virtueofthefactthatall humanbeings share in that quality called humanity. It is not clear, however, whetherit is meaningful to speakofhumankind as a moral community. Nevertheless, it ismeaningfulto speakofamoral community ofstates. Hence, whatHedleyBull calls asocietyofstates, is more properlyreferredto as a moral communityofstates. There is,however, aninternational entitythat is properly called a society ofstates, namely, theUnitedNations, And byvirtue ofhis country’s membership inthat society, anothercomplexity is addedtothe life ofthe statesman. Inhispersona as statesman, he is anassociate ofhis country’s governingbodyandanassociateoftheUnitedNations--although in a somewhat indirect sense.By design, theUnitedNations, forwhichtheUN Charteris the expression orconstitution, conformsvery muchto the classical ideaofsociety. This is notto say,however, that all the partners have always fulfilled their obligationsunderthe contractsince its inception; forit can easilybe shownthatthis is notthe case. But a failuretomeet one’s obligations, farfromprovingthat a contract does not exist, provesthepreciseopposite. Forto argue that one has not lived up to the requirements ofa contractpresupposes that a contract indeed exists.The first indispensable element ofa social contract--reciprocal agreement--isclearly evidentthroughthe numberofsignatoriesto the Charter. The commoninterest orpurpose ofthe society--viz., world peace and security--is explicitly stated inthepreamble:WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONSDETERMINEDto save succeeding generations fromthe scourge ofwar, which141twice in our lifetime has broughtuntold sorrowto mankind.,ANDFORTHESE ENDSto practicetolerance and live togetherin peace with one another asgood neighbours, andto unite our strength to maintain international peace and security,andto ensure, bythe acceptanceofprinciples and the institution ofmethods, that armed force shall not beused, save inthe commoninterest.HAVERESOLVED TO COMBINE OUREFFORTS TO ACCOMPLISHTHESE AIMSAt least accordingtoHG. Nicholas’account2X,it appearsthatthe parties had abona fideintentionto form apartnership. Finally, Article 2 ofthe Charter imposes on its membersthefollowing obligations, among others:3) All members shall settle theirinternational disputes by peaceful meansin such a mannerthatinternational peace and security, andjustice, are notendangered.4) All members shall refrain in theirinternational relations from thethreatoruse offorce against the territorial integrity orpolitical independence ofanystate, or in any other mannerinconsistentwiththepurposes ofthe UnitedNations.5)All members shall givetheUnitedNations every assistance in anyaction ittakes in accordancewiththe present Charter, and shall refrain fromgiving assistanceto any state againstwhichtheUnitedNations is takingpreventative or enforcement action.Butthese obligations entail further obligations. TheUN Security Council, “[i]n ordertoensure prompt and effective actionbythe UnitedNations,” hasthe “primaryresponsibilityforthemaintenanceofinternationalpeace and security.. . “(Art 24 para1), and it “shall act in accordancewiththePurposes andPrinciples[Arts 1 and 2] oftheUnitedNations” (Art 24 para 2). Inviewofthis burden, the Security Council is granted“specific powers. . . for the dischargeofthese duties” which “are laid down in Chapters28H G. Nicholas, The UnitedNationsasaPoliticalInstitution, 5thed. (London:OxfordUP, 1975), especially chapters 1 through4.142W,VII, VIII, and XII” (Art 24 para 2). Finally, “Members oftheUnitedNationsagreetoaccept and carry out the decisions ofthe Security Council in accordancewiththe presentCharter” (Art 25).AlthoughtheUnitedNations is clearly a society in the classical sense(inOakeshott’sterms, an enterprise association; and inNardin’sterms,apurposiveassociation) it sets out to accomplish its purposesby establishing “non-instrumental ruleswhich impose obligationsto subscribeto adverbial conditions intheperformance oftheselfchosenactions ofall who fall withintheirjurisdiction”29in additionto remedial rulesfor fulfillingthat purposeifMembers do not fulfil theirsocial obligations. Hence, in theUNwe have an example ofan enterprise association achievingits purposes throughwhatOakeshottconsidersto be non-instrumental rules--a kindofrulethathe ascribestothemodeofassociationbased onthe rule oflaw. Also,intheUNwehave aresponseto E.H. Carr’s penetrating critique ofthe so-called internationalistcore argument:Theutopian assumptionthatthere is aworld interestin peace which isidentifiable withthe interestofeach individual nationhelped politiciansand politicalwriters everywhereto evade theunpalatablefact ofafundamental divergenceofinterestbetween nations desirousofmaintainingthe status quo and nations desirous ofchangingit.3°What Carr realistically failed to foresee atthetime he advancedhis critique wasthattheutopianvisionwouldto a certain extent prevailas a hard reality in post-secondworldwarinternational relations. There are manyweak states--whatRobertH. Jacksonrefers to as29Oakeshott,p136.30Citedin Robert W. McElroy,MoralityandAmericanForeignPolicy: TheRoleofEthicsinInternationalAffairs (Princeton:PrincetonUP, 1992),p.17.143quasi-states31--thatowe their continued existence almostentirelyto the principles andpurposes upheld bytheUN Charter. This was particularly evidentduringthe SecurityCouncil debates onResolution 660 (1990) immediatelyfollowingthe Iraqi invasionofKuwait. The representativefromMalaysiaargued thatthe principles oftheUNCharterare “particularly importantto protectthe sovereignty ofsmallStates.”32Likewise, therepresentativefrom Colombia arguedthat “the sovereignty andself-determinationofsmall states, which makeup the majorityofmembers oftheUnitedNations, will bejeopardizedif. . . wewereto condonethe use offorce. . ..Finally, thatthevastmajorityofstates are signatoriesto theUN Charter isa reasonable indication thatthere isawidespreadtendency at leastto pay lip serviceto a shared interestinworld interstatepeace and security--the purposeforwhich it is the UnitedNationsto maintain.Although it is possibleto establishthepurposes, andtherebythegeneral interests,oftheUnited Nations, it is not quite that simple to establishthepurposes--henceinterests--ofany state. Keeping in mind the general purposes oftheUnitedNations, it isrelatively easyto establishwhat its specific substantive interests arein any given set ofconcrete historical circumstances. For example, the purpose oftheUnitedNations is tomaintaininternational peace and security--a purpose explicitly statedinthe Charter.Hence, it is inthegeneral interest oftheUnitedNationsthat international peace and31RobertH. Jackson, Quasi-states: Sovereignly, InternationalRelationsandthe ThirdWorld(Cambridge: CambridgeUP, 1990),pp.22-26; and “Quasi-states, DualRegimes,andNeoclassical Theory”, InternationalOrganization,Vol 41 (Autumn 1987): 519-49.32E Lauterpacht, et al., eds., TheKuwaitCrisis—Basic Documents(Cambridge:Grotius, 1991),p.101.33Lauterpacht et al.,p.100.144securitybe maintained. Ifand when a situation arisesthatthreatens orbreachesinternational peace and security, it is inthe interest oftheUnitedNationsto dispel thethreat or repairthe breach. But what is thepurpose ofthe United States ofAmerica? Orwhat is the purposeofCanada? TheUnitedKingdom?In otherwords, what is thepurposeofthebodypolitic called anation state? Thisquestion cannotbe answeredbecausethese bodies politic are not enterprise associations (inOakeshott’s terms),purposive associations (inNardin’sterms), or, in otherwords, societies in the classicalsense.34The question ofwhetherthe American bodypolitic is a society inthe classicalsense--and, therefore, an enterprise association--Ihave answered inthe negative.Nevertheless, it is a questionwhich structuresthe maindivision among whatRosenauidentifies as thetwo mainviews aboutthe idea ofnationalinterest. One approach--whatRosenau refersto asthe “objectivistview”--assumesthatthenation state is indeed asociety. Consequently, the adherents ofthisview continueto searchforthat final andundisputed substantive definitionofthe national interest--conceivedas the aggregateofshared purposes. The other approach--whatRosenaurefersto as the “subjectivistview”-does not necessarily assumethatthe nation state is asociety (althoughmany do), butdoes assumethat its governingbodynecessarily is.Consequently, manyadherents ofthis view supposethatthe searchfora substantive definition ofshared purposes amongthebodypolitic is futile. Instead, they lookto what a country’s decisionmakers decide.345eeCollingwood’s discussion on whetherthe bodypolitic isa society or a non-socialcommunity, TheNewLeviathan,pp.177-83.145This latterassumption appearsto beborne outbythe facts.But, having saidthat contemporarybodies politic such as theUnited States arenot societies inthe classical sense and, consequently, have no shared purposes orinterests, throughtheirforeignpoliciesthey nevertheless project aunityofpurposeleading one to supposethatthere is indeed aunity ofpurposethat canbe ascribedto thecountry as awhole. How does one resolvethisprojectionofunited purpose in foreignpolicy withthefactthat bodies politic are not societies inthe classical sense? For only asociety inthe classical sense can have aunityofpurpose or interest.Althoughit is safeto assume thatthe Americanbodypolitic is more like anonsocial communitythan a society, its governingbody is more like a society inthe classicalsense oftheterm. Hence, it makes senseto speakofthe governingbodyas having sharedpurposes orinterests. And that sharedinterest orpurpose is (oroughtto be) to take careofthegood ofthebody politic. I amglossing over some distinctions here, forit ispossibleto identifjmore specificpurposes foreach ofthe executive, legislative, andjudicialbranches ofgovernment. Butforthe purpose ofthis discussion it is reasonable tocombinetheir separate purposesunderthe more general one because theinstitutionalchecks and balancesbetween thethree branches wereput in placeforthegeneral good ofthebody politic.The AmericanConstitutionnot only specifies the role ofthegoverningbodyinrelationto thebody politic, but specifieshowit is to be structured as well. Interestingly,the preambletothe Constitutionalso statesthe purpose ofthebodypolitic itself. Hence,theUnited Stateswas originally conceived as a society inthe classical sense:146WethePeople ofthe United States, in Order to form a more perfectUnion, establishJustice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provideforthecommon defence, promotethe generalWelfare, and secure theBlessingsofLibertyto ourselves and to ourPosterity do ordain and establishthisCONSTITUTION fortheUnited States ofAmerica.I have emphasizedthewords “in Orderto” inthepreambleto showthat thebodypoliticwas constituted for a number ofpurposes. Hence, at its conceptiontheAmericanbodypoliticwas constituted as a purposive association, in Oakeshott’s terms, or a societyintheclassical sense. Since it originally was conceived as a society, it is to speakofits fi.mdamental domestic interests at that time, namely: union,justice, tranquillity,defence, the generalwelfare, and liberty. Further, since it was conceived as a society, theassociatestookon an obligation to promotethosefundamental common interestswiththesame effort hewould promote his own interests.Although initially conceived as a society, theUnited Statestoday is more likeanon-social community. Regardless, thegoverningbody is clearly a societywhosepurposive dutyit isto upholdthe Constitution and allthat it entails, includingtheresponsibilitiesto maintaintheunion, to maintainjustice, to maintain domestictranquillity, to defendthe body politic, to promotethe generalwelfare, and to maintainthelibertyofits citizens. People become members ofthis societyby election orappointment as establishedbyUnited States law. Because legislative powerand thepurse is vested in Congress and executivepower and the sword is vested inthePresident,political35activitywithin and betweenthetwo branches is requiredto produce policy in35jmean political activity in the specific and non-pejorative sense developedbyBernard Crick, InDefence ofPolitics(Middlesex: Penguin, 1964)147any given set ofcircumstances. Since the explicit duty and purpose ofthe state is togovernforthe general good ofthebody politic, the specific policies it produces are bydefinition inthe interest oftheUnited States. This, accordingto Rosenau, is the centralinsightofthe “subjectivist” view onthe nationalinterest.36Butmerelybecauseindividual statesmenhave a dutyto establishand pursuethose objectiveswhichbenefitthebody politic, it doesnot meanthey always will, eitherbecause ofmalevolent intent orincompetence.Fromthe subjectivist perspective, the substantive national interests in anyindividual set ofcircumstances are whateverthe country’s decision makersdecide.37Nye, for example, arguesthat, “In a democracythe national interest is what amajority,after discussion and debate, decides are its legitimate long-run shared interestsin relationto the outsideworld.” Consequently, he concludes, “there is nothing mysterious aboutthe national interest. It is simplythe set ofintereststhat arewidely shared by Americansin their relations withtherest oftheworld.”38It should be noted, however, that whatthecountry’s decisionmakers decide is not necessarilythe set ofinterestsAmerican citizenswidely share--althoughit could be. It should also be notedthat althoughNyeis usingtheexpression “the national interest” in this context he is actuallyreferringto nationalinterests, Nevertheless, avirtue ofthe subjectivist view is that it posits nonecessary36JamesRosenau, “NationalInterest,”InternationalEncyclopediaofthe SocialSciences, p. 36.37Rosenau,p.36.38Joseph S. Nye, Jr., “Whythe GulfWar Served theNational Interest”AtlanticMonthly(July 1991): 54, 56.148relationship betweeninterestswidely shared by citizens andthe foreignpolicy choicesmadebythe government. At the sametime it does not denythatthiscouldbe the case.Nordoes it assert--forthe purpose ofvalue free empirical and conceptual analysis onthepartofthe observer--thatthisoughtto be so. Hence, one ofRosenau’s critiquesofthesubjectivistview doesnot stand up to scrutiny.The recognitionthatmanygroups in a nation have different and oftenconflicting concepts ofwhat external actions and policies are best forit. . . gives rise to as manyconceptual and methodological difficulties as itavoids.39Having statedthis objection, however, he quicklybacks out ofit by assertingthat “mostsubjectivists avoidthese complex, seemingly insurmountable problemsby relying on aprocedural ratherthan a substantive definitionofthe nationalinterest,”40Thus, hisobjection is really no objection after all. He defines the subjectivistview as onethatrecognizes national interests as those statesofaffairs which a country’s decisionmakerspursue in anygiven situation, and thengoes onto show, inthe courseofcriticizingtheview, whythe subjectivist probably adoptsthat view inthe first place. Then heconcludes:Operationally, the substantive content ofthenational interestthusbecomes whatever a society’s officials decide itto be, andthemaindeterminant ofthe content isthe procedure by which such decisions aremade.41Farfrombeing a critique ofthe subjectivistview, it is merely a restatementofits39Rosenau,p.37.4°Rosenau,p.38.41Rosenau, p. 38.149virtue. It is aviewthat--perhaps implicitly--distinguishes the state as a society separatefrom thebody politic it is chargedto govern. As a distinct enterprise associationitnecessarilyhas a general purpose forwhich it was constituted as well as specificidentifiable purposes in any given set ofconcrete circumstances. The purposes ofasociety, it will be recalled, determinewhat its substantive interests are likelyto be, andthe purposes ofthe Americangovernmentinclude preserving the union,justice, defence,liberty, and thegeneralwelfare ofthebody politic. Ofcourse, in anygiven set ofcircumstances it is not always evidentwhich specific policy choicewill serve, forexample, the general welfare oftheAmericanbody politic. There are bound to bedifferent opinions and some particular interests arebound to sufferregardlessofwhichpolicy decisions are made. That is thenature ofthe humanpredicament. The true markofthe political man is onewho may want everything butnevertheless accepts peacefullythat he cannot.Politics arises. . . in organized [bodies politic] whichrecognizethemselvesto be an aggregateofmany members, not a single tribe,religion, interest, ortradition. Politics arises from acceptingthefact ofthesimultaneous existenceofdifferent groups, hence differentinterests anddifferent traditions, withinaterritorialunitunder a commonrule.42The statesman’s role intheUnited States is to formulatepolicy in light ofthese differentinterests and inline withthe general purpose assigned to him bythe Constitution. Whena statesman says that he is acting inthe national interest by choosing thisratherthanthatpolicy in light ofthe contingent circumstances, he is merely identifjinghis role asstatesman and affirming his fidelityto that role. He is sayingthat in hisjudgement, this42Crick,pp.17-18150policy choice ratherthanthat is what isbestforthebody politic. Ofcourse, anotherAmerican statesmen might disagree and assert that in hisjudgement the opposite policyoption is what isbestforthebody politic. Which ofthesetwo statesmen, then, is actinginthe national interest? The answer is thattheyboth are. By saying thattheir respectivepolicy choices are in the national interest, they are merely identifying their role asgoverning membersofthebody politic and affirmingtheirfidelityto the role ofactingforthe good ofthebodypolitic--that is to say, intheinterest ofthebodypolitic. In otherwords, they are merely asserting (truthfully oruntruthfully) the intrinsic principle ormotiveguiding their respective choices, namely, the national interest. And anydifferences in substantive choices are worked out politically--that is to say, throughdeliberation and consensus ifpossible, orthrougha majority decision ruleifnecessary.By examining the abstraction “state as actor,” one can shift levels ofanalysis fromthe level of“state” to the level of“human conduct.” Having conceived internationalrelations intermsofhuman conduct by drawinguponthebodyofknowledge calledpolitical philosophy, the argument has moved one step closerto explaining in greaterdetail my contentionthat the ideaofthe national interest is a categoricallymoral idea.151CHAPTERFiVETilEPROBLEM OFCHOICEFromthe outsetofthisworkI have merely assertedthe idea ofthe national interest as anintrinsic principleofaction. Nowit istimeto arguethat assertion in detail. Essentially,an intrinsic principleofanactionisthe motive or proximateendtowardwhichthat actionis directed orinclined. As such, it mustbe distinguished fromthe object ofthephysicalact itself, which, itwill be recalled is an interest or an objective. That is to say, the objectofthe physical act isthe desired state ofaffairs sought by that action, The motive (ormotives), on the otherhand, is the reason(orreasons)whythat state ofaffairs is desired,Ifthose reasons are “right” reasons, theyjustifythe act. In terms ofconventionalAmerican political morality, the “right” reason fora statesman’s action is the nationalinterest.The distinctionbetweenthe object ofan action andthe end ofan action is not asforeignto oureveryday, commonplaceexperience as it first might appear. It is thedistinctionbetweenthevisible consequences (bothforeseen and unforseen) ofthephysical act and the reasonwhythe expected consequenceswere sought bythe actorinthe first place. In short, it is the distinctionbetweentheintended consequences ofthephysical act, onthe one hand, and the actor’s motive for pursuingthose consequences byaction, onthe other. In Aristotelian and Thomistic language, each halfofthis distinctionis called the object ofthe action and the end ofthe action, respectively. I usetheterm“intrinsic principle ofaction” in orderto maintainthe distinctionmore clearlyforthe152benefit ofthosenot fullyversed withthe Aristotelianand Thomistic idiom ofmoraldiscourse. Hence, the “intrinsic principle” ofany given action, whentranslatedinto theAristotelian and Thomistic idiom, is the “end” ofthat action--the motiveofthepersonforwhichthe object ofthe act and the act itselfare physicalmanifestations.1Again, intermsofAmerican conventional morality, the endwhich oughttogovernthe actions ofa statesmanis thenational interest--that is to say, the objects ofthestatesman’s physical actions must be intendedforthebenefit oftheAmericanbodypolitic, and not intended for his or her ownpersonal benefit orthe benefitofsome othersub-national or extra-national person orgroup ofpersons. In otherwords, the statesman’spropermotivefor any ofhis actions, in his capacity as statesman, oughtto bethe nationalinterest. Although some people might disputewhetheror notthe national interest oughtto be the intrinsic principle ofactionofAmerican statesmen, the issue here is not aboutthemoral quality ofthe idea. Instead, the issue is to establishtheidea as a categoricallymoral one.To establishthe national interest as a categorically moral idea is to demonstratetherole it plays (and does not play) inthe choicesthat statesmenmake. Althoughit doesnot necessarilybelong tothe exclusive domainofmoral philosophy, theproblemofhuman choice clearly is one ofits properobjects ofstudy. The discussionthat followsmakes no attemptto representwhat all moral philosophershave said aboutthe problem.Forthat matter, manyofthe positions I adopt are, and will probably continueto remain‘Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I-Il, q. 18, aa. 1-11; Aristotle,NicomacheanEthics, I, 1, (1094a 1-6).153highly contentious. But I again must emphasizethe immediatepurposeofthis work.And, giventhatpurpose, I must point outthat it is not necessaryto account for, let alonesettle, perennial metaethical disputes.2The nationalinterest and choiceIt will be recalledthatthose advancing substantive conceptions ofstanding nationalinterests--such asMorgenthau and George andKeohane, among others--arenot doing soout ofmereintellectual curiosity. Instead, theirconcerns are aboutthe conduct ofstatecraft. They seekto establishmore orless objective guidelines statesmencan employto ensurethatthe states ofaffairs or objectivesthey chooseto pursue are indeed forthegood ofthebodypolitic, and to aidthem in choosing means forachieving thoseobjectives. In short, they aretryingto come up with objective criteriato aid thestatesmanin his problemofmaking choices aboutwhat oughtto be done. The nationalinterest, theyargue, provides one ofthose criteria. Nevertheless, there is a seriouscontradictionunderlyingthis kind of project--acontradictionwhich, oncebroughttolight, helps toclarifSrtheideaofthe national interest as an intrinsic principleofaction2Theprecedent for such a disclaimerhas alreadybeen set, Although CharlesBeitzadvances a substantive moral theory, he arguesthat theleading controversies inmetaethics need not occupy his attention, eventhough he concedes such questions arelogically prior. p. 16. I, onthe other hand, do not evenpretend to advance a substantivemoral argument. Instead, I am attempting merelyto establishthe ideaofthe nationalinterest as a categoricallymoral idea--aprojectthat is logicallypriorto establishingitsmoral goodness or evil, as the case maybe. Hence, there is even less reasonformetoengageperennialmetaethical controversies. Forthatmatter, most moral philosophers,regardless ofthe substantive moral positionsthey adopt, should welcome my project. Itsimply adds moregristfortheir mills, so to speak.154and not as an external criterion or objective rule for making foreign policy choices.George, Keohane, Morgenthau, and others would not embarkupon sucha projectunless they supposedthat objectives andthe meansforpursuing them are never given.Foriftheywere given, therewould be no needto assist statesmenin choosing objectivesand means--they simply wouldbe given. Onthe otherhand, however, they also supposethat objective criteria exist in orderto help guide statesmen in making choices ofnationalobjectives and the meansto achieve them. They seetheirtask as one ofseeking out theseobjectiverealities and shedding light onthem in orderto guidethe statesman on hisperilous path. But the suppositionthat objective realities exist “outthere” underminestheir first suppositionthat objectives and means are nevergiven. How is this so? And, ifso, which ofthese two suppositions isthe correct one?National interests, it will be recalled, are desired “statesofaffairs”--that is to say,“states ofaffairs” desired forthebenefit ofthebody politic and not forany exclusivepersonal orparticular interest. If, inthe context ofcontingent circumstances a statesmanis properlyacting in the national interest, and not in a particular or selfinterest, theobjectives he chooses to pursue are called national interests. Ofcourse, among acountry’s leadersthere are often differentviews onwhat these objectives ought to be inany given set ofcontingent circumstances, Hencethe question is raised aboutwhichofthese objectives is the best oneforthe country’s government to pursue. Duringthe Gulfcrisis, however, therewasvery little disagreement about objectives. Withveryfewexceptions, all Senators agreedthatthe desired state ofaffairs (ornational interest)to bepursued in this situationwas aKuwait liberated from Iraqi occupation. Instead, their155deliberations centred onthebest meansfor securing thatinterest or objective, Althoughin this instancetherewas wide agreement aboutthe interestor objectiveto be pursued,and disagreement aboutthebest meansto pursue it, this is not necessarily alwaysthecase. It is possibleto thinkofsituations where no agreement aboutnational interests(objectives) is immediately forthcoming.For example, iftheterritorialUnited States cameunder direct armed attack,chances arethatthegovernmentwould chooseto repel the attackwith its own armedforce. What is the objectiveto be secured inthisinstance? The apparent answerhere is:“to repelthe attack.” On reflection, however, this answeris not necessarily correct, forthe actionofrepelling an attackis themeans employed to achievethe desired objectiveand not the objective itself. Instead, the objective in this instance isthat “state ofaffairs”to be achieved by employing armed force against the aggressor. That desired “state ofaffairs” could simplybe a returnto the conditionofexistencewhichprevailedimmediatelypriortothe attack, it couldbethe complete subjugation ofthe hostilepower’s national territory, or it couldbethe complete destructionofthehostilepower’swarfighting capabilitywhile leaving its nationalterritory and governingbodies intact,Which one ofthese ought to bethe objective inthe circumstances? Althoughthefirstalternative might appearto be “given,” at least inthe initial stage ofthe crisis, it is by nomeans “given” because the decision makers havethe initial, albeit unlikely, optionofsurrendering ratherthan fighting.Supposing, however, that the decisionmakers do not choose to surrender, thequestion still remains aboutwhich objectiveto pursue. The only initial answerto this156questionis that it depends onthe circumstances. But evenifthe fill circumstances wereknown bythose responsiblefor choosing amongthe alternatives, they may neverthelessstill disagree among themselves about which is the bestobjective to pursue. Hence,thebasic point here does not change--that is to say, objectives, aswell asthe means forachievingthose objectives, are never merelygiven. They are always chosen.George, Keohane, Morgenthau, and others arefillyaware ofthis difficultquestion about choosingthe bestobjective--ifindeed any objective is chosen at all--inany set ofcontingent circumstances. They are also awareofthe difficultiesindetermining whether anygiven alternative actually is intendedto serve the nationalinterest, a particularinterest, orthe selfinterest ofthe personproposing it. In otherwords, is the objectivethat statesman A is proposing in opposition to statesmanB’sproposal really inclined toward the national interest? Or is it inclined towardaparticularinterest (e.g., partisan concerns) or even his own personal interest ( Becausethey recognizethese difficulties, George, Keohane, Morgenthau,and others seekto undercutthemby introducing “objective” criteriaformaking the bestchoice ofobjectives in any given set ofcontingent circumstances.Whereas American statesmenplace theirfaith inthe outcome oftheir collectivedeliberations forestablishing the bestchoice ofends in agiven situation, George,Keohane, Morgenthau, and others placetheirfaith in “objective” criteria. The problem,however, is that although people might agreethatthe words “national interest”somehowsignify objective criteriafor choosing ends, they do not necessarilyagree aboutwhatthese so called “objective” criteria are in substantiveterms. Far fromtranscending the157problem ofchoice, then, the “objectivists” are merely offering additional alternativesthatneedto be deliberatedupon. InRosenau’s words, the objectivists are simply not aware“that their own values serve as criteriafor determiningthe substantivecontent ofthenational interest,”3Letme suggestthatthe only objective criterionthat might beaccepteduniversallyis this: whateverobjective or endthe statesman chooses, thatinterest mustbe intended primarilyto benefitthebody politic as awhole and not somesub- or extra-nationalperson orgroup ofpersons. The national interest, then, indeed is astandard formaking choices. But it is not a standard that canbe stated in suchterms as“security,” “economic well-being,” “national survival,” “power,” orwhat have you. Forthese are objectives--viz., states ofaffairs desired forthe benefitofthebody politic--and,hence, national interests and not the nationalinterest, Somethingthat is chosen cannot,atthe sametime, bethe criterion formakingthat choice,Why is it thatthe “objectivists” mistakewhat is chosenforthe criterionofchoice?One explanation is thatthey fail to distinguish the national interest fromanationalinterest. Hadtheymadethis distinctionitwouldbecome clearthat a national interestsignifies a stateofaffairs or objective desired forthebenefit ofthebody politic, andthatthe national interest signifiesthe intrinsic principlethat oughtto guide statesmenintheirchoices ofobjectives. Another possible explanation isthatthey are not aware ofthe fatalcontradictionunderlying their project. Onthe one hand, they recognize that objectives-i.e., national interests--are never “given” whereas, onthe other hand, to seek objective3JamesRosenau, “National Interest,”InternationalEncyclopediaoftheSocialSciences, p. 37. My emphasis.158criterianecessarily presupposesthattheyare “given.”Sincetheforegoing points are crucial,let me review--ingreaterdetail and at someriskofrepetition--thereasoning employedto reachthem. Recallthatthereis afundamental distinctionbetween nationalinterests, onthe one hand, andtheidea ofthenational interest, onthe other. Italready has been argued that nationalinterests are notdesired things or actions, they are desired“states ofaffairs.” And states ofaffairs areconditions ofexistencewhich can bedescribed interms ofcomplex norms.Forexample,oil as a material entitywas not in itselfan objective oftheUnited States duringthe GulfCrisis. In otherwords, simplyto saythattheUnited States had aninterestin oil as amaterial entity is not very meaningful.Instead, what theUnited Statesgovernmentdesiredwas a certain state ofaffairs regardingthe oil commodity. It desiredthecontinued world supply ofPersian Gulfoil at aprice to be determinedby existingmarketconditionswhich favoured the UnitedStates, and not bythe newpricedemanded bySaddam Hussein’s ifhe wereto monopolizethe majority ofthe world’soil reserves.To say that a state ofaffairs isdesiredmeansthat it canbe conceivedas anobjective to be pursued. This isstill the case evenifthe desiredstate ofaffairshappensto bethe status quo. However, althoughall desired states ofaffairsare objectives, andalthough objectives are interests,not all interests arenationalinterests. Hence, theproblem arises about howto determinewhich states ofaffairsarenationalinterests. Inotherwords, which objectivesshould the statesman pursue?What are the criteriafordistinguishingnational objectives orinterestsfrom particularandselfinterests? Further,what is the criterion for makingthebest choice aboutwhich objectivesthe statesman159oughtto pursue on behalfofthe bodypolitic? In short, what are the national interestsinany given set ofcontingent circumstances?These aretheimportant questions ofstatecraftwhichthe “objectivists,” amongothers, attempt to answer. Sincetheytakethese questions up, theymust supposethatthe answers are not “given.”Nevertheless, they supposethatthereare “objective” answerstothese questions,asuppositionunderminingtheir first suppositionthat the answers arenotgiven (the firstcontradiction). Further, they supposethat nationalinterestsare the objective answerstothese questions (the second contradiction).But no amount ofreasoning can convincemethatthe question itselfcan also be the answer to thatquestion. The objectivistsets out toestablish the criteriafordetermining nationalinterests--thus conceding it is a problemofhuman choice--and concludesthat nationalinterestsare those “objective” criteria--thusdenying it is a problemofhumanchoice and assertingthatthe questionitselfistheanswerto the question. Hence, the objectivistis no fhrther ahead fromwherehe started.His magicaljourney has cometo an abrupt end at the samepointwhereitbegan.And thefallacy he has committed hereto get him into this predicament is by nowa familiar one,namely: the fallacy ofswapping horses. Ifthere wereobjective criteriafor makingchoices, the problem ofchoice wouldnot exist. By suggesting objective criteriaformaking choices, the objectivist projectessentially servesto eradicate the questionand notto provide an answerfor it.Regardlessofthe contradictions, however, theirfirst assumptionneverthelessiscorrect. Objectivesto be pursued in anyset ofcontingent circumstances arenot given,althoughin some situationsthey are moreobvious than in others. Objectivesarenever160determined ornecessitated bythe situation, althoughtheymay appearto be whentheyare obvious. Objectives are alwayschosen. In theUnited States, theyare chosenbythose responsible formaking such decisions after deliberating uponthealternatives. Ifand whenthey finally choose an objective, it meaningfullycanbe referredto as anational interest. This conclusionaboutwhat is meantbyanational interest, however,does not solvethe logically priorproblem abouthowto go about identifying themotivesbehind particularproposals advanced duringthe deliberationprocess.When anyindividual in the course ofthe deliberationprocessproposes anobjective which he or she assertsto be the best alternative, it is meaningfulto askofthatperson’s proposal: “best forwhat orwhom?” It is meaningfulto askthis questionbecause, althoughan objective is alwaysa state ofaffairs, and although all nationalinterests are states ofaffairs, not all objectives are necessarilynational interests. Further,aproposed objective could be thebest alternative forthe country,the individualproposing it, and a particular sub-national groupofpeople. But it is also possiblethatwhat is best forthe individual proposing it, orwhatis best for a particular sub-nationalgroup ofpeople, is not necessarilywhat isbestforthe country. Finally, what isbestforthe country is not necessarilywhat isbest for humanity at large. Nevertheless, what isbest forhumanity at large could alsobe what is bestforthe country. In short, it ismeaningfulto ask “best forwhat orwhom?” because it is not necessarilyevident forwhose benefittheproposed objective is intended.“Who isthe intendedbeneficiaryofthe secured objective?” is not only ameaningful question, it is also animportantone.Butwhy is it important?161The answerto this question marks a significant step toward conceiving thenational interest as an intrinsic principleofhumanaction and not as a “basket” withinwhich a country’s national interestsare held. The question is significantifonlybecauseconventional American political moralitydeems it importantto guard against conflicts ofinterest, It involves a recognition, first ofall, that in anygiven set ofcontingentcircumstances diverse interests maybe at stake. Secondly, the question reflects anormative concern. It reflectsthe existence ofan imperative which obliges statesmentogive priorityto thegood ofthe body politic atthe expense ofhis ownoranothe?sgoodifandwhenthere is indeed a conflictofinterests, Forexample, a fundamental problem ofstatecraftin any given set ofcontingent circumstances, as George andKeohane see it, isto “determinewhichvalues, and thereforewhich interests, are to be included, and whichexcluded, fromthe set ofnational interests.”4Butthis canbe conceived as afundamentalproblemofstatecraft only ifit is presupposed thatthe statesman is obliged to distinguishsuch interests, Not only is he obliged--at least by conventional morality--to distinguishthem, he is obligedto incline his choicestoward thenationalinterest, and nottoward hispersonal, party, or some other interest.This obligation, however, is not borneby all citizens oftheUnited States. It isonlyborne bythose citizens who fulfil a special role or office withinthebody politic,namely: the statesman. There canbe good statesmen, bad statesman and awhole range4AlexanderL. George and Robert 0. Keohane, “The ConceptofNational Interests:Uses and Limitations,” in AlexanderL. George, ed.,PresidentialDecisionmakinginForeignPolicy (Boulder: Westview, 1980),p.221. It should be noted, however, thatnotonly is this afundamental problem ofstatecraft, but afundamental problemofpolitics--aproblemthat political philosophers havetraditionally dealt with.162ofstatesmen in between, and an example ofabad statesman is one who eitheris disloyalto this obligation or is incompetent to fliffil it. A statesman disloyal to this obligationmight incline his choices toward his selfinterestratherthan the national interest. Buttothe extentthat he remains loyalto the obligation, the end toward which his actions areinclined is the national interest--evenifhe is incompetent. It is in this sense thatthenational interest is conceived as an intrinsic principleofaction.Ifa person’s actions are inclined toward obtaining what is best forhimselfto theexclusion ofothers, we saythatthe intrinsic principle guiding his actions is selfinterest.Ifhis actions are inclinedtowardwhat is bestforthe country, we saythatthe intrinsicprinciple guiding his actions isthe national interest. Ifhis actions are inclined towardwhat is best for humanity at large, we saythat the intrinsic principleofaction is thehuman interest. Which ofthese principles oughtto guidethe actions ofstatesmenwhilefulfillingthat office? IntheUnited States at least, all statesmen appearto agreethatthenational interest defines the properrole ofstatecrafi. Sincethe end ofstatecraft is thenational interest, the rational principle guiding a statesman’s choice ofobjective in anyset ofcontingent circumstances is that whichbenefitsthe country. Ifhe remains loyal tohis obligation, what he chooseswill bethatwhich, in his personal bestjudgement,benefitsthe bodypolitic. Consequently, becausewe are dealing withthejudgements ofdiscrete individuals, statesmen are bound to differ aboutwhat objectivestheythink arebestto pursuein anygiven set ofcircumstances. Nevertheless, they remainunited byvirtue ofthe intrinsic principleguidingtheir actions in theirrole as a statesman. Asimplified examplemight serve to bring some ofthese foregoing points into greater163relief.Suppose a person purchases ahome in aquiet residential neighbourhood. Letusfurther supposethat his choice ofpropertywas not capriciousbut, rather, founded on adesireto live in peace and quiet awayfrom traffic noise. Hence, apart ofhis conceptionofthe good life is to live in peace and quiet. This conception ofthe good life forhimselfis his reasonfor living in a quiet residential neighbourhood, andthe intrinsic principle ormotive guiding his choice ofproperty is his personal interest.Now, let us further supposethat the local department ofhighways has decidedtoconstruct a super-highwayadjacentto his backyard. Giventhisnewdevelopment in hiscircumstances, chances arethat he will decide it to opposethe project. Buttheactofopposition--because it is an action and not a state ofaffairs--is not his interest here. His“interest” in this instance is the “state ofaffairs” sought byvirtueofthe physical actofopposition, whateverthat actmight be. In Aristotelianand Thomisticterms, the interestis the “object” ofhis physical act. Themotive ofhis act, however, is a different questionaltogether. Inthis case, his motive is personal interest. liiAristotelian and Thomisticterms, his motiveis the “end” ofhis interioract ofthe will. Inthis case, then, personalinterest is the intrinsic principle guiding his action.Inthe foregoing example, the person’s motive is known simplybecause I definedit as “personal interest” forthe sake ofdemonstration. In real life, however, eventoestablish one’s ownmotives is often a difficult matter, let alone establishing the motivesofothers. Nevertheless, there is generallybroad, ifonlyvague agreement that certainkinds ofmotives are more appropriatethan others in certainkinds ofsituations for certain164kinds ofpeople. In the foregoing example, “personal interest” probablywouldbeviewedas an entirely appropriate motivefor opposingthe project.If, on the other hand, that person also happened to be apublic official, thesituation is entirely different. Herethere is strong potential for a conflictofinterests onhis part. Ifhe opposesthe project, what are his real motives? Personal interest? Thepublic interest? Evenifhe supportsthe project, what are his real motives? It is no easytaskfor an observerto answerthese questions. Onlythepersonhimselfand his makercanknowfor sure. Nevertheless, regardless ofwhether he supports oropposestheproject, thereis a sense inwhichthe motivewhichought to guide his actions--becauseheis a public official in additionto being a private citizen--isthe public interest.The national interest is a similar kind ofidea--viz., it is an intrinsic principleofaction inclining the actortoward choosing objectives and meansthat are intendedtobenefitthebody politic. Again, foreign policies are acts and, as such, they are not inthemselves interests, Insteadthey are means for securing interests, Interests, ontheotherhand, are desired states ofaffairs--that isto say, theobjectivessoughtby foreignpolicies. The statesman, then, has twobasic problems facing him in anygiven set ofcontingent circumstances. Hemust choosethe objectives to be pursued as well as thebest course ofaction--the means--forachieving them. The objectives proposed orchosencanvary depending onthe intrinsic principleguiding his actions. In otherwords, ifhe isacting in his personal interest the objectives he proposes orchooses canbe differentfromthoseifhe were acting inthe nationalinterest. Regardless, the objective settled uponthrough due political process in the United States can be referredto asanational interest.165Given this definitionofa national interest, then, it is clearthat a liberated Kuwait--i.e.,the stateofaffairs desiredbythe collective wills oftheBush administration andCongress--wasindeedanational interest. However, althoughthere was almostunanimous agreement aboutthe objectiveto be sought, thebest meansfor securingthatobjectivewas highly contentious. In otherwords, contraryto conventional wisdom, thequestionofwhetherornot to go to war against Iraqwas not a question ofnationalinterest--that question was already settled byvirtue ofalmost unanimous agreement tosecure an end to theIraqi occupationofKuwait. Instead, it was a question ofthe bestmeans for securing that national interest.Some peoplethought that apolicy ofcontinued sanctions wasthebest means,whereas othersthoughtthat offensivemilitary force was more appropriate. Both sides inthe debate, however, were convincedthattheUnited States andtheinternationalcommunityhad ajust causeto fight.5 Butboth sides inthe debatewere equallyconvincedthat ajust cause, by itself, provided an insufficientjustificationto fight. Howdoes one go about choosing betweenthe two alternatives? It is often supposed that“national interest” providesthe key. As indicated, however, this is a mistake. Ifonemeans by “national interest” the national interest, this simply signifies anintrinsicprinciple ofaction--that is to say, the end towardwhich his choices oughtto be inclined.And ifthe statesmanmerely assertsthat his choice ofeitherthemeans orthe objective is5Ajust cause, it will be recalled, is not any national interestbut, rather, a nationalinterestthat can legitimatelybe pursued bywar. International norms, embodied bytheCharteroftheUnitedNations, limits these intereststo two, namely: selfdefence andworld order.166inthenational interest, it is reasonableto askwhy he thinks his choice will benefitthebody politic. For, by asserting the national interest, he merelyhas reaffirmed themotiveofhis actions.If, on the other hand, one means by “national interest” anational interest, thissimply signifiesthatthe country’s leaders have decidedupon an objective--desiredbecause it benefitsthebodypolitic--inthe circumstances. And merely knowingtheobjective does not help himto choose among alternative meansforachieving it. In otherwords, the problem ofchoice among meanspresupposes thatanational interest alreadyexists. In short, “national interest” is not an answerto theproblemofchoice amongmeans. It merelybegsthe question. Foriftherewereno national interests at stake, thequestion ofwhich meansto employto pursuethose interests simplywould not arise. Inthis case, a national interest, farfrom serving as a criterionformaking choices, generatedtheproblem ofchoice inthe first place.TheProblem ofchoiceIsthere suchthing astheproblem ofchoice? Some might assert thattheproblem ofchoice is abogus problembecause humanbeings do not have any choice abouttheiractions inthefirst place. Instead, human actions are predestined, necessitated, orotherwise determinedby divine, astrological, social, psychological, historical, oreconomic forces. Much serious thinkinghas beengenerated and evenmore inkhas beenspilledthroughoutmillenniaofWestern civilization onthis question. In Kant’swords,freedomofthe will, alongwith God and immortality, are the threegreat problems of167philosophy.6I cannot evenbeginto settle the questionhere to the satisfaction ofallpossible objections. I can, however, outline mythoughts onthematter; ifonlytodisclose my assumptions “up front,” as it were. Atbottom, I thinktheproblemofchoiceis a real problembecause it is one I experience personally on a dailybasis, and Ihavenoreasonto supposethat I am deluding myself. And since I experiencethe problem, I havelittle groundsto supposethat other humanbeings--including statesmen--do not. Further,it would have been difficultto convinceUnited States Senators in January 1991 thattheproblemtheyfacedwas an imaginary one. But to assertthatthe problem ofchoice is areal problem is notto saythat each and every choice situationpresents itselfwith aninfinite range ofalternatives, Onthe contrary, oftenthe range ofchoices is limited totwo: eitherto do something (whatever it is) orto do nothing. Obviously, the choice “todo nothing” does not necessarily manifest itselfin an external physical act ofsome sort.Nevertheless, to choose “to do nothing” is still an act--although it is aninterior act: an actofthe will. But because there is no physical act in agiven situation, one cannot concludetherebythatthere is necessarily an act ofthewill correspondingwiththat external “non-act.”For example, one observestwo people sitting at atable in a crowded restaurant.The woman asksthe man a questionbutthe man continuesto eat in silence. What canbeconcluded aboutthis situation? Perhapsthe manis still tryingto formulate a responseto6Cited in J. R. Lucas, TheFreedom ofthe Will(Oxford: ClarendonPress, 1970), p. 1.For some otheraccountsofthis problem, see JosephM. Boyle, Jr., et al., Free Choice: ASelfReferentialArgument(NotreDame: University ofNotreDamePress, 1976),especiallychapter 1.168the question. Perhaps he is deliberating aboutwhether ornot to answerthequestion.Perhaps he has decided not to answerthe question.Or perhaps he is not conscious ofbeing asked the question. In the first instance,the man has willedto answerthe questionbut he has not yet decided howto answerit. Inthesecond instance, the man has notyetwilled anything. Inthe third instance, the manhaswilledto not answerthe question.Finally, in the fourth instance, the man has not willedanything. In short, a “non-act” isnot necessarily a manifestationofwilling.Butnor is it necessarily a manifestation of“not-willing.” The basic point, then, doesnot change.To “notto do” somethingcan beaconsequence ofchoice, namely: to will “notto do” something.7One cannot, then, pointto an instance of“non-action” as proving lack ofchoiceonthe partofthepersonwhoisnot acting in any visible way.Byvirtue ofrecognizingthat I am often exercisingchoice evenwhenI do not actin avisibleway, can I concludetherebythat all visibleactions necessarily areconsequences ofchoice? Certainlynot. Sneezing isavisible action--one overwhichIhave no control. Because a person has no choice whetheror notto sneeze, the act ofsneezing holds absolutelyno interest for moral philosophers.But what about my“choice” to wear a redjacketratherthanakhaki one? Taken by itself, thephysical actofwearing ajacket ofa particularcolour ismorally neutral. But physical acts are rarely,ifever, taken by themselves. They aretaken inthe contextofthe contingent circumstances7ThomasAquinas, Summa Theologica, I-IT,q. 6, a. 3.169ofreal life.8In real life, physical actions must be viewedinthe context oftheperson’smotives and the circumstances inwhichthose physicalacts are undertaken. Ifthecircumstances allow a personto choosewhatto wear,his subjective preference is morallyneutral. If, on the otherhand, the person isa soldier and, as partofhis circumstances“here and now” there either is arule or a commandthatstipulatesthewearing ofa khakiratherthan ofa redjacket, it is oftenjudgedthat theperson hasno choice butto wearakhakijacket. In one sense thisjudgement is correct. Butin a more fundamental sense itis incorrect because the person still has a choice ofwhetherornotto obeythe rule orcommand. Consequently, the rule does not ordainhiswearingofa khakijacket. Hischoice to obey therule, onthe other hand, does. Atbottom, then, he wearsthe khakijacket notbecausethe rule stipulates it, but because hechooses to obeythe rule. Whydoeshe chooseto obeythe rule inthis instance? Theanswers canvary. Perhapshefearsthe sanctions fornot obeying the rule. Perhaps he recognizestheinstrumental,consequential, or utilitarian reasonforthe rule (e.g.,camouflage). Perhaps he does notlike to be different. Orperhaps he thinks it is his dutyto obey all rules and commandsissued by his superiors. Regardless, thebasic pointremainsthatrules do not ordainaction. The person’s choiceto follow or notto followthe rule, onthe other hand, doesordain action.Regardless ofthe soldier’s motive, thechoice to followthe rule inthis instance isprobably not very difficult. Nor is it difficultto determine the specific action the rule8Taking an action by itselfis whatJosephS. Nye Jr. refers to as one dimensionalmoral reasoning. NuclearEthics (New York: Macmillan,1986),pp.16-26.170requires himto perform, namely: towear a khakijacket. The decisionAmericanstatesmen faced in January 1991 aboutwhetheror not to use offensivemilitaryforceagainstIraq, onthe other hand, wasaproblemofchoice ofan entirelydifferent orderofmagnitude and complexity. But,returningto the question at thebeginningofthissection, is there such a thing as theproblemofchoice inthe firstplace?Or is it abogusproblemresultingfroma deluded beliefin something called freewill? A closeexamination ofthe Senate debates onthe questionsupports the contrary assumptionthatthereis such athing. Forthe outcomeofthose debateswas anythingbut aforegoneconclusion. Passage ofthe Dole-Warnerresolution depended onthe majorityofsenatorschoosing to vote infavourofit. Likewise,passage ofthe Mitchell-Nunnresolutiondepended onthe majority ofsenatorschoosing to vote in its favour. Ifindeed thereweredivine, astrological, social, oreconomicforces determiningthe actions ofthe senators,why didtheynot allvote forone resolution and,by implication, againstthe other?It might be concededthatthe formal processofdecisionmaking intheUnitedStates is aprettygood indicationthat such forces do not determinecollective decisions.Nevertheless, it still might be objectedthat splits in collective decisionsdo not disprovepsychological forces as the determinantofindividual actions. In otherwords, it can stillbe asserted thatthe individual actions ofsenators invoting for oragainst a resolution arenot really exercising choice after all: theiractions are simply determinedbypsychological forces,Althoughthere are perhapsmany possibleresponsestothis objection, I shallmention only one. Ifonewishesto hold the individual senatorsresponsible fortheir171actions, one must assumethat each has control overthem. Further, to suppose a personhas control over his actions, one must assume his capacityto choose at leastbetweendoing something and doing nothing. Finally, ifone admits at leastthis capacity, onemust therefore believethat people are possessed offree will. The other alternative is todenythat people canbe responsible forwhat they do or neglect to do, as the case may be.In short, ifone admits that a person can be held responsible for his actions (ornon-actions), one thereby repudiates the doctrine ofnecessitywithrespectto human actions,and one necessarily admits that people are possessedoffree will. It should beemphasized, however, that nothing intheforegoing discussion denies the possibilitythatvarious forces and factors can influence the choices a personmakes. It simply denies--except inthe case ofneurosis--thatthese forces and factorsdetermine actions.Mybasic assumption, therefore, isthatthe actions ofthe senatorswere actsoffree will. That is not to saythat eachvoted for or against a particular resolution out offreewill. It is possible, but highlyunlikely, that some or all ofthemvoted inthis orthatwayforthis orthatresolutionagainsttheir will. Ifthiswere indeed the case--that is, ifsome or all senators acted eitherunder duress orunderphysical compulsion (i.e., force)to vote this orthatway--theirphysical act ofvoting would then lack a certainvoluntarycharacter. Althoughthe physical act maybe involuntary, theinterior act ofthe will isnot, Ifit were otherwise, itwould be meaninglessto speak ofacting against one’swill.And there are many examples ofpeople acting against theirwill. The case ofmaterialcooperation in evil (contrastedwithformal cooperation) is one ofthem. In such cases,what it is that gets the agent “offthe moral and legal hook,” so to speak, is his lackof172consent with another’s evil intent--eitherthe agent does not know aboutthe evil intent ofanother in which his own physical act plays a part, or he is forced against his will toparticipate.9Nevertheless, there is no evidenceto suppose thatthe senators acted againsttheirindividual wills invoting this orthat way. Consequently, it is reasonableto supposethattheirparticular, physical and verifiable acts ofvoting accuratelyreflected each senator’sactualwill. This, however, does not meanthat theirparticularactions--althoughaccuratelyreflectingtheirwills--corresponded withtheirindividual consciences. Hence,not only is it possibleto act against one’swill, it also is possibleto will against one’sconscience,’° Forexample, suppose a person embracesthe general moral preceptthatone must never lie. In the situationhere and now, however, that sameperson supposes9Forexample, without my knowledge, abomb or othercontrabandis planted in myluggage and subsequentlyI carrythat luggage onto an airplane. Althoughit is my agencythatbrings the luggage onto the airplane and, consequently, thebomb or contraband aswell, I amtherefore materially cooperatingin evil. I am not formally cooperating in evilbecause I have no intentiontoblowup the airplane or smuggle contraband, Consideranother example: As abankmanager, I amthe only one withthe combinationto the safe.Atgun point, thebankrobberorders me to open the safe. By openingthe safe I amcooperating inthe robber’s evil, butIam doing so against mywill. I do not willto givemoneyto the thief. In fact, Iwill not to give himthe money. Although cooperatinginthe evil, I am only cooperating materially and not formally, thereforeI cannotbeheldresponsible forthe evil, For further examples anda more detailed explanation seeMartin O’Keefe, Knownfrom the ThingsthatAre:Fundamental TheoryoftheMoralLfe (Houston TX: CenterforThomistic Studies,1987), pp. 66-69; see also Aquinas, Summa, I-Il,q. 6, aa. 3, 4, 5, 6.10Adistinction is madebetween antecedent conscience (ajudgement ofconsciencebeforethe act) and thejudgementofconsciencethat approves or condemns acts alreadytaken. Forthe purpose ofthis discussion I am referring to conscience inthefirst sense,ReginaldDoherty, TheJudgementsofConscienceandPrudence (RiverForest IL: TheAquinasLibrary, 1961),pp.31-60; Aquinas, Summa, I, q. 79, a. 13; I-il q. 19, aa. 5, 6.173that telling a lie would save him a lot oftrouble. He knows it is a lie byvirtue ofhisconscience. Nevertheless, hewillsto tell it and, fhrther, actually does tell it anyway. Inthis instance, the person wills against his conscience. There are, however, otherpossibilities. Aperson embracingthe same moral preceptmight make a statementthat asecond partybelievesto be really a lie. Byvirtue of the first person’sjudgement ofconscience, however, it is not a lie and thereforegoes ahead and makesthe statement.This person does not will against his conscience, eventhough--objectively speaking--hisjudgement ofconscience is erroneous.Sincethe act ofthe will and thejudgementofconscience both are interior acts,how can an observerdeterminewhetheror not apersonhas actedwith or against hiswill,onthe one hand, and whetherornot his act ofwill accordedwith his conscience, ontheother? I do not think it is possible for an observerto make such determinations, at leastnot in an absolute sense. This is one ofthe reasonswhy airlinesinsistthatthetravellerpacks his orherbaggage personally and neverleaves it unattended beforeboardingtheflight. The traveller, having statedthat he conformed to these conditions, has no groundsto deny formal cooperationifit is subsequentlyfound thathe is carrying contraband,Determinations about anotherperson’sjudgementofconscience are evenmore difficulttomake. Who isto saythat aperson did not act ingood conscience--viz., thathis act didnot conformto his conscience--ifhe asserts that he did? It isbecause ofthese difficultiesthat Itakethe statements and arguments ofsenators at facevalue. I give themthe benefitofthe doubtthat they acted in accordancewiththeirrespectivewills and ingoodconscience.174There is, however, a more important reasonforbringing up the issues ofconscience and interioracts ofthe will. These are crucial elements ofhuman choice andthe issueI am addressinghere is the problem ofchoice. Any discussion ofthe problemofchoice, then, must include these elements. Having asserted my basic assumptionthatthe problemofchoice is a real problemand not an imaginary one, let me nowturnto adiscussion aboutthe structure ofchoice with particular emphasis onthe role ofthevirtueofprudence in making good choices--viz., the best possible choicesthat canbe made inthe context ofcontingent circumstances.The natureand structureofchoiceBecausethethought ofThomasHobbes often occupies a central place in discussions ofinternational relationstheory, I shall beginwith his account ofthe structure ofchoice or,what is often referredto as the “psychology” ofchoice,” AlthoughHobbestookgreatpains to includeforty-seven chapters in hisLeviathan, international theorists havetendedto emphasize only one ofthese chapters, namely: chapter 13, ‘OftheNaturall ConditionofMankind”--and this emphasis generally (andunfortunately) is isolated fromthecontext ofthe entire work. This narrow emphasis raises questions, and doubts, aboutwhetherHobbes’ actual contributionto international relationstheory is thatwhich itgenerally is takento be.’2Bethat as it may, Hobbes deals extensivelywiththeproblem“O’Keefe,p.13; Doherty, p. 18.‘2Thereis a debate on whetheror not one can correctly speak ofagenuine“Hobbesian” tradition in international relations. See, forexample, MartinWight,“Why is there no InternationalRelations Theory?” in H. Butterfield and M. Wight175ofchoice in chapter six ofthat samework: “On the InteriorBeginnings ofVoluntaryMotions.”ForHobbes, the beginning ofmotion in man, before it appears in a physical act, iscalled endeavour. When endeavour istoward some object (eitherathing or a stateofaffairs) it is called appetite ordesire. And when endeavouris directed awayfrom someobject, this is called aversion. The object ofdesire is what aperson callsgood, andtheobject ofaversion is what a person calls evil. Giventhese basic definitions, Hobbes goesonto describe theproblemofchoice as he conceives it:When in the mind ofman, Appetites, and Aversions, Hopes, andFeares,concerning one and the samething, arise alternately; and divers good andevill consequences ofthe doing, or omittingthe thing propounded, comesuccessively into ourthoughts; so that sometimeswe have an Appetitetoit; sometimes an Aversion from it; sometimesHopetobe ableto do it;sometimesDespaire, orFeareto attempt it; thewhole summe ofDesires,Aversions, Hopes and Fears, continued till thething be either done, orthought impossible, is whatwe call Deliberation.And it is calledDeliberation; because it isaputtingan end to theLibertywehad ofdoing, oromitting, according to our ownAppetite orAversion,13InHobbes’ accountofchoice so far, there is not muchthat Aristotle or Aquinaswoulddisagree with. Theironly objection might be about his profound lackofdetail.Hisaccount ofthe actual choice following deliberation, however, is where he parts wayswiththem. For he arguesthat:eds., DiplomaticInvestigations (London: Allen andUnwin, 1966); JohnR. Vincent,“TheHobbesian Tradition in Twentieth Century International Thought,”Millennium 10no. 2 (1981): 91-101; CorneliaNavari, “Hobbes and the ‘Hobbesian Tradition’ inInternational Thought,”Millennium 11 no. 3 (1982): 203-223.13ThomasHobbes, Leviathan,p. 28.176InDeliberation, the last Appetite, orAversion, immediately adhaeringtothe action, orto the omissionthereof, is that wee call the Will; the Act (notthe faculty,) ofWilling.... The definition ofthe Will, given commonlybythe Schooles, that it is aRationallAppetite, is not good. Forifit were,then could there be no VoluntaryAct against Reason. For a VoluntaryActis that, which proceedethfromthewill, and no other.14Hobbes recognizes, then, thattherecan be voluntary actsagainstreason. Weknowthis is true. Take a smoker, for example, who knowsthat smoking is bad forhishealth. He knows it is reasonableto stop smoking, yet he continuesto smoke anyway.Hence, whatHobbes is arguing here isthatifone conceives will as a rational appetiteratherthanthe last act ofdeliberating, onetherefore cannot accountforvoluntary actsagainst reason. But Hobbes is eitherplaying onwordsto make his point, or he genuinelymisunderstoodwhat Aquinas meantbythe signification “rational appetite.”5WhatHobbes fails to distinguish is the differencebetween an act ofthewill, onthe one hand, and the physical act commandedbythe will, onthe other.16Without thisdistinction, one cannot distinguish avariety ofintentions for a singularphysical act. Forexample, ahunter aims his rifle and pullsthe trigger. The object ofthis physical act istohit thetarget 100 meters yonder. On approaching histarget afterfiring, he finds thathehas mistakenhis hunting partnerfora deer, Inthis case, the act commanded bythewill‘4Hobbes,p.28.‘5Thatis, ifHobbes even had known ofAquinas and had accessto hisworks. Hobbeswas, after all, writing morethat 150 years aftertheProtestant reformation inEngland.There is no indicationthatHobbeswas debating directlywithAquinas. That is to say,thereis no indicationthatHobbeswas advancinghis account ofwill withthe account intheSumma in mind. He couldjusthave easilybeen arguing against misinterpretationsofthe account in theSummawhich might havebeenprevalentin his day. Sortingthesequestions ought might be an interesting project foran historian ofthought.‘6Aquinas, Summa, I-Il, q. 6, a. 4.177is to aim and fire his rifle in orderto kill a deer. He did notwill to kill his partner. ButbyHobbes accountofthewill merely asthe last act in deliberating, one must concludethatthe act commanded bythe will is to aim and fire his rifle in orderto kill his partner.In otherwords, by aiming and firing his rifle, the huntermade a choice. But he did notchoose to kill his partner. In short, by describing thewill asthe last actofdeliberating,Hobbeswas descriptively correct inthe sense that the act ofthe will indeed doesfollowdeliberation. But hewas wrong to thinkthat his account was a complete account ofthewill--an accountthat fails to mark commonplace distinctionsbetweenwillingto kill apartner and the act ofaccidentally killing apartnerwhilewillingto kill a deer.Aquinas, onthe other hand, conceivesthewill as rational appetit& andconsequently is ableto drawthe finerdistinctions that are commonplace in our everydayjudgements about ourown actions as well as the actions ofothers. Customarily, Aquinasaccount ofthe psychologyofchoice hasbeen synthesized into twelve discreet stages--akind ofdialogue, so to speak, betweenthe appetitive and intellectual dimensionsofthesoul.17 I shall reduce these stages to tenbut I shall only discussthe first eight. First, Ishall listtheten stages followed by abriefexplanationofeach stage. ThenI shallattemptto breath life into the abstractions by introducing a specificproblemofchoice,namely, the problemofdecidingwhetherornot to use offensive militarypoweragainstIraq. In orderto demonstratethis, I shall put myselfinthe ‘shoes, so to speak, ofan‘7Aquinas, Summa, I-Il, qq. 12, 14, 15, 16, 17. Forthe conventional synthesis intotwelve stages, seeDoherty, pp. 19-29, For anunconventional synthesis into nine stages,see OKeefe,pp.13-16. Compare these withR. 0. Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan,Part I, “Man,”178individual senatortryingto decidewhetherto vote forthe Dole-Warner ortheMitchellNunnresolution--that is, theresolution authorizingthePresident oftheUnited Statestouse offensive militarypower in accordancewithU.N. Security Council resolution 678(1990), orthe resolutionto continue economicsanctions indefinitely.The following are the ten stages:--Apprehensionofdesirable object (intellect),--Affective movement ofwill toward object (will),--Initialjudgement (Intellect),--Intention (will),--Counsel (intellect),--Consent (will),--Finaljudgement (Intellect),--Election (will),--Command (intellect),--Completion ofAct,1) Apprehension ofdesirable object. The intellectapprehendsthe objectworthyto be sought. In the case ofthe imaginary senator, heapprehendsthat aliberatedKuwaitis desirable, but notnecessarily desirable forthebenefit oftheUnited States in thecircumstances. Eventhough his intellect identifiesa liberatedKuwait as a desirableobject, he might not necessarilywant to considerpursuing it. This iscommonplace inour everyday experiences. Forwegenerallyrecognizemanymore desirable objectsthanwe personallyare willingto pursue. Wealth, power,abettercar, abiggerhouse, for179example, are viewed by manyto be desirable objects. Nevertheless, theydo notnecessarily attractus personally. Likewise, a liberatedKuwait canbe held to be adesirable object, but an object which one is not necessarily willingto pursue--eitherforhis ownbenefit orthe benefit ofthebodypolitic.2) Affective movement ofwill toward object. This is the stage whereinintrinsicprinciples ofaction play a prominentrole. Our imaginary senator mighthave identified aliberatedKuwait as desirable but not necessarilybefittinghis personal interest.Or, ifhehappened to have a lot ofpersonal moneyinvested inKuwait, hemight find a liberatedKuwait befitting his own personal interestbut not necessarilythe nationalinterest oftheUnited States. Finally, he might find a liberatedKuwaitbefittingtheAmerican nationalinterest but not necessarily his own personal interest. His dutyas statesman, however,isto incline his will towardthosegoods orobjectivesbefittingtheUnitedStates and not hisown personal or other interest. Forwhatever reason, the vast majorityofUnited Statessenators found the liberation ofKuwaitbefittingtheUnited States. Consequently,theyidentified it as a national interest. It was chosen as anational interestbecause, forwhateverreason, the majorityofUnited States statesmen affectivelymoved theirwilltothe object. Letus supposethat our imaginary senatoris one ofthesepeople.3) Initial Judement. The will, having affectivelymoved towardthedesirableobject in the last stage, hands the problembackto the intellectwiththe question: “Iwantit, but is it possibleto obtain it?” It should be evident thatthisstage also is in accordwith everyday commonplace experience. For example, having identifiedanew car as adesirable object (first stage), and having decidedthat itmight be somethingIwantto180pursue personally (second stage), my intellect then begins to considerwhether it ispossible orrealistic forme to pursue it. The intellectbegins to conduct a cursory searchforthevarious ways and meansthat are availableto me. It might respond to thewill bysaying: “look, you are a starving graduate student. You do not evenknowwhere nextmonth’s rent is coming from. Forget about getting a newcar11’Ifthiswerethe case, thedecisionprocess would end here. In the case ofthe imaginary senator, however, avarietyofways and means for securing aliberatedKuwait can cometo mind. Pressure canbeput onIraq to secure its withdrawal byfreezing its assets, by continued denunciationsbythe international community, by cutting offall goodsto Iraq or, ifnecessary, sufficientmilitary power is available to force him out. Having considered in a cursoryway thevarious means, the intellectjudgesthatthe object realistically is attainable--viz., itjudgesthat some means are available to pursue the interest.4) Intention. With the knowledgethatthe object is attainableby some meansavailableto it, the will then gets serious aboutpursuingthe object. Whereas initially itmoved affectivelytoward the object, nowit moves effectivelytoward it. Inthe case ofthegraduate student desiring a new car, letus supposethat duringthe last stagethe intellectinsteadjudgedthat means are available (e.g., the next instalment fromthe fellowshipcomes innextweek, get a roommate to help deferpresent costs, get a different and higherpayingjob, workat studies a little less and workfor moneya little more, giveupgraduate studies altogetherand get a full timejob, etc.). Havingjudgedthat obtaining anewcar is realistic, the student’s will nowtellsthe intellectto be more specific abouthowit can be obtained. In short, the will shifts from a quasi-passive and interrogativemode181(can Iget it?) to a more active and imperative mode (O.K., it looks like I canget it, nowtell me more specifically how I cango aboutgetting it.) Likewisewiththe senator.Havingjudgedthatthe liberation ofKuwait is a desirable object, having fi.irther decidedthat it is desirable object befittingtheUnited States, and havingjudgedthat its pursuit iswithinthe realm ofpossibility, he nowgetsmore serious about pursuingthe object andinstructsthe intellectto specifythe variousmeans in greater detail.5) Counsel. Somewhat by trial and error, the intellectbegins thepainstakingtaskoftestingthe means identified at stagethree, and perhaps conjuringup afew morepossibilities. In the case ofthegraduate student his intellectbeginsto examinethevarious means in resolutory mode--viz., imaginativelyheworksbackfromthe effect ofeach proposed means (i.e., the imaginatively secured object ofdesire, orlast cause intheorderofexecutionbut first cause inthe orderofplanning) through each successive causeto whatwould bethe first cause inthe orderofexecution. Forexample:(plan A) to buythe car, I needto pay $15, 000.00. To raise $15,000.00, I canborrow itfrom my parents. To borrowthemoneyfrom myparents, I musttalkto them. Iam ableto talktothem.(planB) I canborrowthe moneyfrom mybank. To borrowmoney fromthebankImustspeakto the bankmanager. To speakto thebankmanagerI needto make anappointment. I can make an appointment.(plan C) To raise $15, 000.00 bythe time my current carbreaks down completely in sixmonths, I must quadruplemy hours ofwork attherestaurant. To quadruple myhours ofwork, I needto workthirtytwo hours a day. This is impossible,182therefore I can eliminate plan C.Ofcourse, in the case ofthe graduate student, the counsel stage cantake only a matterofminutes or perhaps even seconds. Inthe case ofthe imaginary senator, onthe otherhand,the situation is quite different.The more complicatedthe problem at hand, the more difficult it is to disentanglethefour stages ofcounsel, consent,judgement, and election or choice. This is perhapswhyHobbes may havebunched these four discrete stagestogetherunderthe heading ofdeliberation. As indicated, in one sense he was correct. Forifhe did bunchthese fourstagestogether, the last act in the processindeed is an act ofthewill--that is to say, theactofchoosing or electing a singularmeans from among the alternatives presented andtestedbythe intellect. Butthe indecisiveness thatHobbes identifies duringthedeliberationprocess--that is, thetendencyto vacillate between attraction and aversiontoward aparticularcourse ofaction--is best identified withthe seventh stage, namely: theintellectual processundertaken fromthe pointthatthewill consentsto at leasttwo ofthecourses ofaction proposed bytheintellect at stage five, and ending in an intellectualjudgement about which course ought to be chosen. Butthe final intellectualjudgementisnotthe same as choice, it precedes choice. This isbecause choice is an act ofthe willand not ofthe intellect--a person can still will against his conscience.Atthis present “counsel” stage, however, there is no vacillation. It is a purelyintellectual exercise oftesting the various alternativesin orderto determineifeach isproperlyrelated to the desired object--to determineifthere really is a means-endrelationshipbetweenthe various possible means and the desired objective. What is183eliminated at this stage are those alternatives that physically cannot achievethe end inquestion. Let us supposethat our senator, onthebasis ofintelligence reports and militarybriefings, comesup withtwo alternative means: continuethe armed embargo indefinitely,or employ offensive militaryforce.186) Consent. At this stage, factors otherthan purelyintellectual calculations ofmeans-end relationshipsare introduced, The rational appetite (will) is not only listeningto purelyintellectual calculations, but it is listeningto thevoiceofthe sensitive appetiteaswell. Also, the person’s character--i.e., his complex mix ofvirtues vices, paranoias,principles, and scruples--as well as the fhll complexityofthe circumstances beginto haveinfluence. The graduate student, for example, mightwithhold consent from plan Abecause ofhis pride. Or, he mightwithhold it from plan B because he is afraid ofbeingturned down forthe loan. The senator, onthe other hand, might withhold consentfromtheuse ofoffensive military force becausehe is an absolute pacifist. In short, the activityofthe will atthis stage is eitherto withhold consentto one ormore ofthe alternativesproposedbythe intellect duringthe counsel stage, orto remain complacentto one ormore ofthem. Ifthe will is complacentto only one ofthe alternatives, consent is thesame as choice.’9Forthe sake ofdiscussion, however, let us supposethatthe senatorconsents to both alternatives--viz., his will remains complacent to both alternatives.‘8Thesewere in fact thetwo alternatives placed beforethe Senate fordeliberation.The proposalto continue sanctions was theMitchell-Nunn resolution, andtheproposalauthorizingthePresidentto use offensive military forcewastheDole-Warnerresolution,9Colljflgwood,however, does not call complacencyofthe will to one alternative“choice.” Instead, he calls it “preference.” TheNewLeviathan, p. 90.1847) Final Judgement. Ifthere is morethan one alternative remaining aftertheindividuatingcircumstances and predilections ofcharacterhavetakentheirtoll, theproblem is punted backto the intellectto determine which ofthose alternatives is bestforachieving the desired object. Or, ifthere is an opportunityto try out all the alternatives,which is bestto try first? Furthermore, how does he go about deciding? Inthe case ofthegraduate student, he might skip this stage and simply flip a coin--that isto say, he canmake a capricious choice. In the case ofthe senator, however, there is a certain gravitytohis choicethat precludes caprice.20Perhaps he can appeal to the principleofutility.21Onreflection, however, he has already done this at stage five. Hehas afreadyjudged thattwo courses ofaction can probably achieve the desired end. Ifnot caprice and utility,perhaps, then, he can appeal to rules.22 As indicated, however, there are certainlimitations to rules, namely, they cannot ordainhis choice. But they can help him intheprocess. In this case, he can applythe rules embodied by the principle ofdouble effecttothe alternative ofcontinued sanctions. With respectto thewaroption, onthe otherhand,he can appeal to a special applicationofthe principle ofdouble effect, namely,thejusadbellum criteriaofthejustwartradition. Inthe next chapter, then, letus examineeach ofthese inturn. It must be emphasized, however, that these rules do not makethedecisionfor him. Thebest decisionpossibleultimatelywill depend ontheextenttowhichhe is200ncaprice, see Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan,pp.90-98.21Onthe principle ofutility, see Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan,pp.104-110.Onrules, see Collingwood, TheNewLeviathan,pp.111-118. CompareCollingwood’s accountwithMichael Oakeshott, “TheRule ofLaw,” OnHistozyandOtherEssays (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1983).endowedwith the virtue ofprudence.185186CHAPTER SIXTHEAPPLICATIONANDLIMITATION OFRULESINHUMANCHOICEThe imaginary senator is facedwithmakinga choicebetweenvoting fortheDole-Warnerresolutionorvoting fortheMitchell-Nunnresolution--thatis to say, his actofelection(an act ofwill) is manifested inthe physicalact ofvoting for one ofthesetwo resolutions(anact commanded bythewill). Priorto making his election, however, he mustjudgewhichofthetwo alternativesis bestfor achievingtheobjective at hand--an objective, itwill berecalled, which isanational interestbecause,inthe almostunanimousjudgementofAmerican statesmen, officials, and senators, itwasdeemed as onebenefittingthe bodypolitic as a whole and not some particularsub- or extra-national person orgroupofpersons. Whereasthe object ofthe actionis calledanationalinterest andthe motive forthat action is the national interest, thejudgement aboutwhich specific kind ofactionwillbest achieve that objective is called, in Thomistic terms,thejudgement ofconscience.Thejudgementofconscience, in contrastwiththeactofchoosing (an actofwill),is a purely intellectual activity and,as such, it is independentofthewill--that isto say, aperson can always will against his conscience. In otherwords, althoughthe imaginarysenator’sjudgement ofconscience might favourtheDole-Warner resolution, he can stillchooseto vote fortheMitchell-Nunn resolution,orvice versa. As indicated, whether apersonindeed acts in accordancewithhisjudgementofconscience is not verifiableby anobserver.187Thejudgement ofconscience doesnot distinguishbetween “the normative” and“the instrumental”--viz., it does not distinguishbetweenthat which is morallygood, onthe one hand, andthatwhich achievesthe objective, onthe other.’ Rather,thejudgementofconscience, by definition, involves an assessment ofmeans interms of bothwhat ismorallygoodandwhat is instrumental forachievingtheobjective. In otherwords, thejudgement ofconsciencepresupposes a desired consequenceby rendering anintellectualjudgement aboutthebest meansforachieving that consequence. Thejudgementofconscience is what moral philosophers referto as the proximate subjectivenormbecausethere simply is nothing elseuponwhichultimatelyto base one’s choiceshereandnow.2Thejudgement ofconscience, then, does not distinguish betweenso called“instrumental” and “normative” choices. Thejudgement ofconscience is alwaysmadewith respectto the choice ofmeans. And to choose a means presupposesa desirableobject forwhichthat means is instrumental in obtaining. In short, a means is alwayschosenfor apurpose, namely: to achieve a desired objective--viz.,a choice is alwaysinstrumental., forwhy elsewould one make a choice? However,by itself, this‘The substantive morality assertingthatthe endjustifies the means is knownasconsequentialist ethics. Whether ornot the consequentialist ethic is convincing isnot theimmediate issue here. Although I am not convinced bythis form ofethics, it isclearly adistinctive ethics and not a merely “instrumentalconsiderations” towhich “moralconsiderations” are added in orderto render a choice. See Joseph Raz, TheMoralityofFreedom (Oxford: Clarendon, 1986), Ch. 11; and, JosephS. Nyc, NuclearEthics (NewYork: The FreePress, 1986),pp. 16-20.2Fora discussion onthisnorm and its relationto proximate objective norms, andtherelationoftheseto ultimate subjective and objective norms,seeMartin O’Keefe, KnownFrom the thingsthatAre: Fundamental TheoryoftheMoralLfe (Houston:CenterforThomistic Studies, 1987),pp. 91-141.188observation aboutthenature ofchoice does not denyOakeshott’s distinctionbetweeninstrumental and non-instrumentalrules.3For it is possiblethat a person’sjudgementofconscience in aparticular set ofcircumstances can counsel disobedience ofeither instrumental ornon-instrumental rules,as is the case in situations ofconscientious objection or civil disobedience. In short, atthe end ofthe daythe senatormust make his choice inthe starkexistential loneliness ofhis own conscience. There are rules, however, that can help to guide his conscience onthe pathto decision. But these rules, as it shall become painfully evident,,can onlytakehim so far,Theprinciple ofdouble effectItwill be recalled from the last chapterthat, identical to thewar option, theintellect ofourimaginary senatorjudgedthe option ofcontinued sanctionsto be alikely, butneverthelessindeterminatemeansfor achievingthe desired end. Two ofthe expectedgood consequenceofcontinuing sanctionsinclude the eventual liberation ofKuwaitachieved at a relatively low cost in blood and treasure oftheUnited States. Two oftheexpected evil consequences, onthe other hand, arethe continued suffering ofKuwaiticitizens and the continued sufferingofinnocentIraqi citizens. Hence, the alternativeof3TerryNardin, however, appears to collapsethe distinctionbetweenpurposive rules,onthe one hand, and purposive acts, onthe other, undertherubric “thinking in purposiveterms,” Whether he intended to follow Oakeshott onthis point is not clear. Nevertheless,it seemsto methat Oakeshott would distinguish rules and actions as distinct. CompareTerryNardin, Law, Morality, andtheRelationsofStates (Princeton: PrincetonUniversityPress, 1983) andMichael Oakeshott, “TheRule ofLaw,” OnHistoryandOtherEssays(Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1983).189continued sanctions is likelyto yield at leasttwo good consequences and two evilconsequences. Based onthe anticipated good and evil consequences, the senator askshimself: should I choosethis policyofcontinued sanctions?4Thebasic structure ofthis problemis clear, It is a case wheremorethan oneeffect is anticipated by the considered action. Further, among the anticipatedconsequences, there is at least onegood consequence and one evil one. Forifall theanticipated consequences are good consequences, there would not be a problem. Itshould also be evidentthat statesmen are not the only peopleto be confrontedwiththiskind ofproblem. A classic example concerns apregnant motherwith a cancerousuterus.To save her own life she must consent to theremoval ofthe uterus--an operationwhich,unfortunately, also killsthe child. Is shejustified in consentingto the operation? Hence,in this case, the physical act (the operation) hastwo consequences. Thegoodconsequence is the preservationofthe mother’s life and the evil consequence is the deathofthe child.An other example concerns apilot on a combat mission. He is tasked withdestroying a strategicallyvital missile installationby means ofa radar evasive low levelattackrun. On approachingthetarget he notices ayellow school bus parked adjacent toit with a group ofsmall childrengambolling about. Hence, inthis case, thephysical act(bombing) also hastwo consequences. The good consequence is the destructionofthe4One can, ofcourse, thinkofanumberofadditional anticipated consequences.However, my purpose here is notto solvethe problemforthe senatorbut, rather, todemonstrate the kind ofproblem it is andthe nature ofits difficulty. Ad4itionalconsequences would not makethe problem any easierto solve.190target and the evil consequenceis the killingofinnocentbystanders. Isthe pilotjustifiedin proceedingwiththe attack? Is he or shejustified in abortingthe attack? Questionslike these can be resolved, to a certain extent, by applying the rules embodiedbytheprincipleofdouble effect.5Thus, the basic questionthe principle ofdouble effect is meant to answeris this:“giventhat my intended physical act (whatever it is) is likelyto yield thegoodconsequences I desire alongwith evil consequencesI do not desire, amIjustified inperformingthat act?” The principle embodies four sequential standards that needto bemet in ordertojustif,rthe act. First, the physical act itself, conceived independently ofcircumstances and motives, mustbe morallygood orat least morally indifferent--viz., itcannotbe an intrinsically evil act. Second, the expected good consequences cannotdepend on the evil consequences--viz., the evil consequencescannot causethegoodconsequences. Third, the evil consequences cannot be intended but merelytolerated-viz., ifI could think ofan actto achieve thegood consequenceswithout producingtheevil consequences, I would choose it ratherthanthe one I am considering. Fourth, theremust be a proportionatereasontotoleratethe evil consequences.65Forthese and other examples as well as afliller explanation ofthe principle, seeO’Keefe,pp.51-61; Aquinas, 11-11, q. 64, a. 7; F. J. Connell, “Principle ofDoubleEffect,”New CatholicEncyclopedia. Vol. 4. (New York: McGrawHill, 1967),pp.1020-1022; J.Mangan, “AnHistorical Analysis ofthePrinciple ofDoubleEffect,” ThomisticStudies10 (1949): 40-61. For some discussion ofits applicationto problems ofinternationalrelations, in particulartheproblemofnuclearweapons, see JosephNye, NuclearEthics,pp.55-57, 82-84; JohnFinnis, et al., NuclearDeterrence,MoralityandRealism (Oxford:ClarendonPress, 1987), Ch, 7.60’Keefe,p.53; Connell,p.1020.191With respectto the first standard, the questionofan intrinsicallyevil act canberathertricky. Ultimately, one would needto appeal to a sufficiently defensiblesubstantive morality in order to answerit. Essentially, an intrinsically evilact is onewhich is evilregardlessofmotive and circumstance--an actthat is universallyimmoral.7Are economic sanctions intrinsically evil? It is reasonableto assert thatbymost, ifnotall standards, they are not. Ifit is possible, by any standard ofsubstantive morality,tothinkofat least one instanceofmotive and circumstancewherethe application ofeconomic sanctions clearly is not evil, they therefore cannotbe intrinsicallyevil.Economic sanctions, then, passthe firsttest. At thevery minimum, economic sanctionsare morallyindifferent.Withrespectto the second standard, dothe expectedgood consequences dependonthe expected evil consequences? Does the liberation ofKuwait depend onthecontinued suffering ofthe Kuwaiti citizens? Does it depend onthe continued sufferingofinnocent Iraqi citizens? Certainly, theliberation ofKuwait does not depend onthecontinued suffering ofthe Kuwaiti citizens. In fact, the liberation ofKuwaitpresumablywould alleviatetheir suffering. The questionofinnocentIraqi citizens, onthe otherhand, is more difficultbecausethere is someroom fordebate.8Let us suppose, however,that our senatorjudges--withgood reason or ill--thatthe expectedgood consequences do7Fora lucid discussion aboutthe notions ofintrinsicgood and evil, seeJohnGallagher, TheBasisforChristianEthics (NewYork: PaulistPress, 1985),pp.149-151.8See, forexample, the considerations raised byPatrickClawson, “Sanctions asPunishment, Enforcement, and PreludetoFurtherAction,” EthicsandInternationalAffairs 7 (1993): 17-38.192not depend on the evil ones. Hence, the proposed actthereforewould passthe secondtest.Doesthe senatorintend the continued suffering ofIraqi citizens, or is it merelytolerated? This is a questionthat onlythe actor himselfcan answer. If, forwhateverreason (vengefI.ilness, malevolence, etc.), heviews sanctionsnot only as a means tosecuringtheliberation ofKuwait, but also as an opportunityto makeIraqi citizens suffer,his actionwould not pass thethird test. Let us suppose, however, thatthe senatordoesnot harbour any such intentions and, consequently, moves onto the lasttest in goodconscience.The fourth standard is the point atwhich itbecomes manifestly evidentthat rulesinthemselves cannot ordain action. It is the point atwhichtwo well informed, equallyintelligent, and equally conscientiouspeople can differ significantly intheirrespectivejudgements. Is there aproportionate reasonto toleratethe anticipated evil consequenceor consequences? In Connell’swords:The good effect must be sufficiently desirable to compensatefortheallowing ofthebad effect. In formingthis decision manyfactorsmustbeweighed and compared, with care andprudence proportionateto theimportanceofthe case. Thus, [forexample,] an effectthatbenefits orharms society generally has more weightthan onethat affects only oneindividual; an effect sureto occurdeserves greater considerationthan onethat is only probable; an effect ofamoral nature has greaterimportancethan one that deals onlywith materialthings.9To answerthe question ofproportionality, then, one needs morethan intelligence,information, and diligence. One also needsto be possessed ofthe virtueofprudence.9Connell,p.1021. My emphasis.193Sincethisvirtue requiresfurther discussion, and since this issue arises again in thenextsection, the last section ofthis chapterwill be devoted to treatingthevirtueofprudencein greater detail. Forthe moment, let usturn to considering the second alternative meansfacing our senator, namely: the war option.Thejustwartradition’0Becausewarwill alwaysyield evil effects in additiontothehoped forgood effects, theprinciple ofdouble effect applieshere as well. However, because ofits gravity andmagnitude, and perhaps also becauseofthe greater indeterminacy ofits effects, theprospect ofgoing to war demands a special application ofthat principle--its own set ofstandards or rules, so to speak. These standards are embodied bywhat has cometobeknown as thejust wartradition ofpractical morality.Thejust wartradition does not prescribe confrontationin the face ofanythreat oractual use offorce--it is athresholdtest and not a prescriptionforthe use offorce. Inaddition, thejustwartradition cannot be conceived as a doctrine.” It is not a moral code,nor is it a concise list ofcommandments. Althoughthetradition is reflected inmanyof‘°In additiontothe references cited below, otherworks onjustwartheory include:RobertE. Osgood andRobert W. Tucker, Force, OrderandJustice (Baltimore: JohnsHopkinsPress, 1967); James TurnerJohnson, Just War TraditionandtheRestraintofWar: A MoralandHistoricalInquiry (Princeton: Princeton UniversityPress, 1981);WilliamV. O’Brien, The ConductofaJustandLimitedWar (NewYork: Praeger,1981); PaulRamsey, TheJust War: ForceandPoliticalResponsibility (New York:UniversityPress ofAmerica, 1983); Michael Waizer,JustandUnjust Wars: AMoralArgumentwithHistoricalIllustrations(New York: BasicBooks, 1977).“James TurnerJohnson, CanModern War beJust? (NewHaven: YaleUP, 1984),p.12.194the laws ofwar--inthe sense thatthese laws have emerged from it and thereby help todefine it--the tradition itselfcannotbe conceived as law. Instead, it is a traditionofpractical moral thought aboutwarwhich can more or less be distinguished from othertraditionsofsuchthought, in particular, the pacifisttradition.It is generallyunderstoodthat thetradition originated inthethinkingofSaintAugustine ofHippo (AD35443O).12Unlikethe Christiansbefore him, Augustineappearsto have beenpart ofagenerationwhichbeganto doubtthe imminence ofChrist’sreturn as chronicled in theBookofRevelations. Augustine, unlike his predecessors,appearsto be acutely awarethathumanbeingswereto remain inthe earthly city forthelong haul. One questionwhich seems to agitate his mind throughout his writingsconcerns how a Christian oughtto go aboutthepracticaltaskofliving in.thisworld whileconcurrently preparing himselfforthe heavenly city.’3Unlike some later Christiantheologianswho advancedtheideaof“creation centred spirituality,” Augustine appearsto insist onthe a clear distinctionbetweenheaven and earth,’4‘2OnAugustine andjustwar see, for example, PaulRamsey, “The JustWarAccordingto St Augustine,” in JeanBethkeElshtain, ed., Just War Theory (Oxford: BasilBlackwell, 1992),pp.8 - 22; James TurnerJohnson, CanModern War beJust?, pp. 2 -4;National Conference ofCatholicBishops, The Challenge ofPeace: God’sPromiseandOurResponse--APastoralLetteron WarandPeace (Washington: United States CatholicConference, 1983),pp.26-27.‘3Thisis evident in virtually all his writings. The more familiar ones are hisConfessions and The CityofGod.‘4CompareAugustin&sviewwiththat ofthethirteenth centuryDominicanmystic,MeisterEckhart, in a collection ofsermons compiled and edited byMatthewFox:Breakthrough:MeisterEckhart’sCreationSpirituality inNew Translation (NewYork:Image Books, 1980). The blurred distinctionbetween heaven and earth, Foxnotessympathetically in his introduction, has influenced many German scholarswho advancedpolitical views ofanutopian nature; most notably, KarlMarx.p.2.195War is one ofthe acute “earthly city” problemswhich agitates Augustine’s mind.He seems quite awarethat earlier Christian pacifist ideas had long sincelosttheirpractical purchase--perhaps sincethetime ofConstantine. But in additionto thedivergencebetweentheory and practice, Augustine is not convinced bythe argumentswhich presumably ground Christian pacifism in scripture.’5Accordingto James TurnerJohnson, Augustinetacklesthe moral problem ofwarby reducing itto its simplest elements and encapsulatingthem interms ofthe followingexample concerning an aggressor, a defenceless victim, and a passer-by.16Intheexample, the passer-by finds himselfin apredicamentnot unlike thatofa statesmanwhowitnesses an unprovoked act ofaggression by another statesman againstthe citizens andpropertyofhis own body politic. For Augustine it is obviousthatthe passer-by has aresponsibilityto assist thevictims ifhe is in apositionto do so. That statesmenrecognizethis responsibilityis evident inthe condition ofsecuritythey attempttomaintainby providing forthe defence ofthe countrythroughvarious selfand collectivesecurity arrangements. And providing forthat security sometimes, but not always,entailsthe actualuse ofthatmilitarypower. This is no meantaskbecause sometimestheactualuse offorce can makethe situationworsethanbetter. The problem confrontingthe statesmanis to determine, in light ofthe situation, whenusingthat power is best forthebody politic. And, it will be recalled, to decidewhat is best forthebodypolitic at anytime is a categoricallymoral decision on the partofthe statesman--that is to say, his15Johnson,p.3.‘6Johnson,pp.3,4.196choices are opento moral approbation and disapprobation.Thejust war thinking underthejusadbellum category concerns theproblem ofdecidingwhen and whennotto wage war. Thejusin bello category, onthe otherhand,concerns the problem ofrestraint once the decisionto wage warhas been made.Although Augustine played a large part in initially filling out the substanceofeachcategory, theywere further developed--viz, moral ideas contained thereinwere added,deleted, or modified--in subsequent centuries in light ofconcretehistoricalcircumstances. For example,just cause (ajusadbellum criterion) is limited bytheUNCharterto the objectives ofselfdefence and world order.Both categories, however, did not develop uniformly. In some historical periods,the moral thought embodiedbyjusadbellum remained unchanged whilethose embodiedbyjusin bello changed, and vice-versa. With respecttothejusadbellum category, forexample, fresh questions aboutjust causewere raisedinlight ofEuropeanexplorationand expansion--questions concerningwhether or notthe IndiansoftheNewWorld had ajust cause in defendingthemselves. TheDominican scholarFrancesco deVitoriaarguedthattheIndians did have ajust cause onthe basis ofthe idea of“invincible ignorance.”7Theyhad aright to defendthemselvesbecausetheygenuinely believed--correctly orincorrectly--thatthey had such a right. Circumstances ofthenineteenth andtwentiethcenturies raised entirely different questions aboutjust cause and right authoritywithrespectto people’s liberation armies and secessionmovements.’8‘7Johnson, p. 20.‘8Michael Waizer, JustandUnjust Wars(New York: BasicBooks, 1977), chapter 6.197Human technological innovations, onthe otherhand, are significant factors inthedevelopment of practical moralthinking embodiedbythejusin beio category. Eventhemost astutethinkers during the fifth century could not imagine chemical weapons,submarines, aircraft, and nuclear arms. Further, the once respectableidea ofenslavingprisoners ofwarlost its purchase when the ideaofslaverybecame morallyunacceptable.In short, the continuous developmentofjustwarthinking is determinedbythe interactionofexisting moral thinking withnewconcretepractical concerns regardingthe humanmanagement ofarmed violence--violencewhich hasbeenbrought aboutby disagreementamong persons who thinkthey have accessto sufficient military force in ordertoestablishtheir ownversion ofpeace.Although no account ofthejustwartradition canbe completewithout anexplanation ofboththejusadbellum andjusin beio categories, the concernhere iswiththe Americandecisionto go to war and not the actual conductofthat war. Consequently,onlythejusadbellum category will be considered. The main considerations ofthiscategoryinclude:just cause, right authority, reasonable chance ofsuccess, right intent,proportionality, and last resort.’9Returningto Augustine’s simplified example, thepasser-by is considered to have ajust causefor employingviolence. The question,however, is whether he has a dutyto do so inthe circumstances. In the final analysis,however, the moral agent isthe only personwho can decidewhat his duty is inthecircumstances.‘9See, for example, National ConferenceofCatholicBishops, The Challenge ofPeace,pp.28-31.198Just Cause. This is the first considerationwhich, it will be recalled, is also thepoint ofintersectionbetweenthejustwartraditionofthought, national interests, andinternational norms. Although a statesman might decideto pursue any numberofobjectives (i.e., national interests) onbehalfofhis country in any given situation, onlytwo ofthese are identified bytheUN Charter as legitimate “just causes” forwagingwar,namely: selfdefence and world orderviathe mechanismofcollective security.20When acountry legitimately can employ armed force in itsrelationswith other countries isestablished by international norms. Whetherornotthese norms can bejustifiedby moralargumentis an important question, but it does not change the factthatthey aretheexisting norms, andthat they havebeen established by international covenant. Ofcourse,these norms are silent on which interests can and cannot be pursued, they simply delimitthose interestswhich legitimatelycan bepursued by meansofarmed force. Whether ornotthese norms are generally abided by and whetheror notthey are generally enforcedby the mechanismofcollective security is a different question.Right authority. Regardless ofthe extent to which conditions provide ajust causefor employing armed force, not any person or group ofpersons is authorized to do so.Right authority encompasses both an international and a domestic dimension. Withrespectto the international dimension, sovereign states arethe entities authorizedto wagewar in matters ofself-defence. On matters ofcollective security, theUnitedNations20Asmis Claude argues, collective security is not a state ofaffairsbut amechanismormeansfor securing aparticular state ofaffairs, namely: world order. SwordsintoPlowshares: TheProblemsandProgressofInternationalOrganization, FourthEdition,(New York: RandomHouse, 1971), Ch. 12. I thankBrian Job forpointing me in theright direction onthis question.199Security Council appearsto bebecoming increasinglyviewed as the legitimate holderofthis authority. Althoughthis is an interesting development, it is not entirely surprisingbecausetheUnited Nations is a society inthe classical sense. As a society, thegroundsofobligation are consensual in nature, and this givesthe Security Council a certaindegree oflegitimacy. But becausethis regime controlsneitherthe pursenorthe sword,any enforcementauthority it might have depends onthe resources and cooperationofparticular sovereign states. The domestic dimension, onthe otherhand, concernstheconstitutionofany particular state. A country’s constitutionspecifiesthe officesauthorizedto commit the nationto war, and the procedures requiredto make such acommitment. In theUnited States, the authorityto declarewar restswithCongress.2’Ofall thejustwarcriteria,just cause and right authority are perhaps themosttangible--although still not entirely determinate. Thesetwo criteria can be statedintermsofnon-instrumental rules. And, like all laws, there still remains theproblem ofapplyingthem to concrete cases. In short, they do not ordainwhat a statesman isto do in anygiven set ofcircumstances. Forexample, when a countryjustifies its action as apreventive war, does it have ajust cause in terms ofits selfdefence, or does it givetheinternational communityjust causeto reverse the attackintermsofcollective security?Even ifthe statesman’s genuine intentionby embarking on a preventivewar is thesecurity ofhis country, is he really acting in its best interestifhe expectsthat theinternational communitywill interpret it as an act aggression ratherthan an act ofselfdefence? On the question ofright authority, didPresident Bush really havethe authority21TheConstitutionoftheUnited States, Article 1, Section 8 (11).200to proceed with OperationDesert Stormwithoutthe approval ofCongress? Evenifhethought he did, was hewiseto seek approval anyway? The point here is that eventhoughthe requirementsofjust cause and right authorityaretangible in relationto the otherjustwarcriteria, there is still a need forpracticalwisdom or prudence onthepart ofthedecisionmaker.Right intent. Fromthe standpoint ofthe foreign policy observer--whether he bean academic orjournalist--the criterion ofright intent is perhaps the mostimportant and,unfortunately, the most elusive. Despite the publicjustifications offeredby statesmen,the observer often seeks and speculates aboutthe supposed “real” intentions. ChristopherLayne, for example, tries to showthat the “real” reasonsAmericawentto warwere notthe same asthose stated publicly bytheBush Administration. Although it is not clearwhetheror not this generalized scepticismis healthyforthebody politic, it clearlyreflects a concern aboutright intent. Forthe onlyreason onewouldwantto trytouncoverthe real intentions is to ensurethat thoseintentions are indeed right intentions.It is often notoriously difficultto provethat awarwas or is beingwagedwithright orwrong intent. And, bythe same account, it is equally difficultto provethat itwas oris beingwagedwith right intent. Nevertheless, warsjudgedto bewagedwithwrong intent are considered as acts ofaggression--someactsbeingmore clear cut thanothers. When a statesmanattemptstojustify his decisionto go towar, he is oftenaccused as simply providing “windowdressing” to obscure avulgarpersonal-interest.Butthe only responseto accusations such asthis is to invoke the reminderthat even atthebest oftimes it is an exceptionallydifficulttaskto examine one’s own conscience, let201alonethe conscienceofanother. Right intent is ultimatelya matter ofconscience. Inconformitywiththis criterion, the statesman is expectedto examine closely his intentionsforwaging war. Ifhe finds that his true intention is a desire forpersonalgrandeur, adesireto enhance his chances ofre-election, orwhathaveyou, he should not go to war.The criterionofright intent, then, is more ofareminderforthe statesmanto examine hisown conscience than it is a ground forjudging the intentions ofanother. Butbecause it isrecognized that a statesmanhas a dutyto wagewar only on the basis ofright intentthatobservers attemptto uncoverthe “real” intentions ofastatesman’s actions.Rightintent--like all ideas inthejust wartradition--presupposesthe consciousexercise ofmoral agency and not the predilectionofhumanpassions. This is notto saythatthe moral agent is free from experiencing passion. Thetaskofthe moralagent is toavoid being a slaveto his passion and thusto ensure his conduct is not determinedby it.Instead, his conduct must be determined by reasoned choicesabout what is bestforthebody politic.The last three criteriaI shall discuss concernthe makingofpracticaljudgementsaboutthe likely consequences ofone’s choice ofaction. An intractablefeatureofthehuman condition is that one can never knowthe futureuntil suchtime itbecomesthepresent. At bestwe can only makereasonable guesses aboutwhattheconsequences ofouractions will be. The future consequences ofourpresent actions are essentiallyindeterminate primarily because one cannot predictthe convictionsraised inthemind ofanother as a result ofour actions. This is particularlytrue with war. Nevertheless,decisions still haveto be made regardless ofthis intractablefeature ofthe human202condition.Reasonable chance ofsuccess. Is warlikelyto achievethe desired objective?This isjust as much a political question as it is a military one. In addition, it is verymuchbound up withthe criterion ofproportionality. The problemofsecuringthewithdrawal ofIraqi forces fromKuwait bythe use ofarmed force is a militaryproblemthat calls formilitary expertiseto determine, firstofall, whetherthere is aprospectofsuccess and, secondly, howmuch blood and treasure is probablygoingto be neededtoachieve the objective. The problemofdeterminingwhetherthe objective isworththelikely expenditure is apolitical decision. Isthe initial objectivewhichwas consideredtobe inthebest interest ofthebody politic still in itsbest interest giventhe amount ofblood and treasurethat is probablygoingto be needed to secure it? Ifnot, thenperhapsthat interest should be sacrificed.Partofthe problem ofmaking a reasonable political decision in suchcircumstances is that the answerto the military question is needed in orderto make it.Sincethe secrecyofthe answerto the military question has a significantbearing ontheeventual success ofthe operation, and since the political decisions ofCongress are madein full public view, a sufficiently detailed answerto the military question cannot be partoftheir deliberations. Therewas probablylittle doubt in the minds ofthe Senatorsthatthe Coalition would eventually defeattheIraqi forces. But not being privyto the detailsofenemy dispositions and the American military plan, theyhad no insight into theprobable cost inblood and treasure.However, evenifthey had reliable information aboutthebest and worst case203military scenarios and were convinced ofan impendingmilitaryvictory, wouldthatvictory necessarily translate into themore secureworld thattheuse offorce inthisinstance was ultimately intendedto achieve? In otherwords, would the short termmilitary successultimatelytranslateinto amore secureworld? Orwould it renderthatobjective less likely. Ifit was reasonably clearthat a less secureworld would emergefromthe war, theywould haveto conclude thatthe condition “reasonablechance ofsuccess” was not met. But howdoes one sort out all these uncertainties aboutconsequences? The only way to do it is to deliberate about them. And, it will berecalled, the abilityto deliberate well is called prudence. Nevertheless, it appearsthatpublic deliberations will always remain uncomfortablyblind to the informationthat isneededto render a properdecision about awar’s reasonable chanceofsuccess. Fortomake everyone comfortable about amilitary operation’s reasonable chanceofsuccessinvolves makingthe details ofthe operation public--an action which, inturn,negatesfrom the outsetthat chance ofsuccess because a military operation’s success oftendepends on maintaining secrecy. On the other hand, agreat deal ofexecutiveincompetence--and malevolence--canbehidden behindthe shroud of“national security.”I do not know away outofthis dilemma.Last resort. When is theuse offorce the last resort? Is it when all other meansshort offorce have failed? Ifso, when and how does one decidethatthe othermeanshave failed? Does one decide that sanctions have failed afterwaitingfortwo months?Six months? Eighteen months? The application ofthis considerationin practice, then, isnot as simple as it might first appear. In many circumstances it is not entirely clear204whetheror not armed force ultimatelywill be needed in orderto securethe desiredobjective.As a responsetothewrongdoingofanother, there aretwodimensionsto theuseofforce. The first is a punitive dimension and the second isa corrective one, Thepunishment mustbe proportionalto the wrongful act, andit mustbe needed to correctthewrong. Force may not exceed either ofthese considerations. Thedominantconsideration, however, is the corrective dimension. In otherwords,ifthewrong canbecorrected with means short ofwar--evenwar can otherwisebe consideredproportional--itmust notbe waged. Hence, ifthe degree and kind offorcethat is neededto correct awrong originallyperpetrated with armed forcenevertheless falls shortofarmed force, itmay not be used. Forexample, ifone state (A) invadesstate (B) by means ofarmedforce, and athird state (C) managesto convincethe formerto withdraw fromthe latterand pay reasonable reparationswithout itselfresortingto armed force, such force shouldnot be used. This is what is meantby last resort--wherearmed force is the last resorttocorrect awrong originallyperpetrated and maintained with armed force.Butthis does not meanthat all other kinds offorceshort ofarmedforce must betestedfor some arbitraryperiod oftime. Forexample, ifthefirstforcefulresponse is adenunciationofthe aggresso?s actions, denunciationsdo not haveto continuefor aspecified period oftimebefore a different kind offorce canbe levelled. Itwould beabsurdto suggestthatthe international community mustcontinue its denunciations, say,for ayearbefore they can turn to ostracizingthe aggressor.The aggressorcan be ostracized in a varietyofwaysranging fromthe expulsion205ofdiplomatsto voluntary economic sanctions.To ostracize someone is to punishhimwith a kind offorce which nevertheless failsfar short ofviolent armed force.It is averyeffectiveformofpunishment whenit is applied to particularindividualswithinacommunity ofindividuals. But it is much lesseffectivewhen appliedto countries withina community ofcountries. For in relationto a domestic community, a particularindividual is far more dependent thana particular country is in relation to theinternational community. Sanctions demandrelativelylittle cost onthepart ofthoseenforcing them in a domestic context--hencethe increased likelihoodthattheywill beadopted voluntarilybythe members ofthe community.Inthe international context,however, they can incurtremendous short andlong-term costs among some participants.Voluntary sanctions levelled againsta recalcitrant aggressor, then, are often largelyineffective overthe shortterm and perhaps even lesseffective overthe longterm as theirindecisive impact becomes more and moreapparent. In addition, economic sanctions,tothe degreethatthey are effective, are indiscriminateinterms ofthe human sufferingtheycause. The persons most likelytobe adversely affectedby economic sanctions arethosewiththe least powerto alterthe course ofevents in theircountry.22Howlong, then, should sanctions continuebeforethe eitherthe rogue statecapitulates orforce is escalatedto armedforce? The answer, ofcourse, dependsonthecircumstances and the practicaljudgementsofstatesmen. Ifstatesmen decideonreasonable, but nevertheless indeterminategrounds, thatvoluntary sanctions ontheirown22PatrickClawson, “Sanctions asPunishment, Enforcement,and Preludeto FurtherAction,” EthicsandInternationalAffairs.Vol. 7 (1993): 22.206are not likely to correct thewrong, they should feel no moral compulsionto continuetoapply a kind offorcethat does not have a reasonable chance ofsuccess. In suchcircumstancesthey might, as a last resort, employ armed force; whetherit be intheformofcompulsoryeconomic sanctions (e.g., an armed embargo or siege) orby closingwithand destroying the enemy.Proportionality. In one sense, proportionalityis aboutthe requirement ofbalancing one kind ofevil with alesseror equivalent evil. In otherwords,economic“warfare” does not warrant militarywarfare as aresponse--as SaddamHusseinsupposeditdid.23 In another sense, however, the questionofproportionality is a questionaboutlesser and greater evils. But evils cannot be measured quantitatively any more thatgoodscanbe so measured, especiallywhen it comesto the question ofthevalueofhuman life.In balance, is the countryworse offby avoidingwarthan it is by goingto war? Ifitis,then maybe it should go to war. Conversely, is the countryworse offby goingto warthan it is by avoiding war? Ifit is, then maybe it should avoid war. The only problemisthat anytwo people in the same situationmight propose opposite answersto thesequestions. Which is the right answer? There is perhaps no right answerbecausesuch ananswer presupposesthatthe outcome is already known. Hence, theyare not questionsthat canbe respondedto withright orwrong answers. The only correctresponsetothemInSaddamHussein’swarning in May 1990 to the Gulfproducers includingKuwait:“War is foughtwith soldiers and much harm is done by explosions, killing,and coupattempts--but it is also doneby economic means. Therefore we would ask our [Arab]brothers who do not mean to wage war on Iraq: this is in fact a kind ofwar againstIraq.”Cited inLawrence Freedman and Efraim Karsh, The GulfConflict 1990-1991:DiplomacyandWar in theNew WorldOrder (Princeton: PrincetonUP, 1993),p.46.207is to employgoodjudgement.Ifa personhas goodjudgement, hewill respond well. Ifhe does not, he willrespond poorly. And what it is that distinguishes a personwithgoodjudgement from apersonwithpoorjudgement is his abilityto deliberate well. And the abilityto deliberatewell is called prudence. Since thevirtue ofprudence is a central feature ofthejustwartradition in general, and the criteriaofproportionality, last resort, and reasonable chanceofsuccess in particular, it canbe concluded thatthe tradition belongsto amoralityofvirtue and not to a purelyintentionalist ethicofabstract ideals.The limitations ofrulesit is evident, then, thatthe rules embodied byboth the principle ofdouble effect andthejustwartraditioncannot, by themselves, ordainthe statesman’s choice amongthetwoexisting alternatives. The central problem withthe “objectivist” project discussedinthelast chapter is that criteria or rules such as “interest defined as power” or “nationalsecurity” cannot ordain a statesman’s choice. But such criteria are evenmorevaguethantherules embodiedbythe principle ofdouble effect and thejustwar, Ifmore specificrules cannot ordain choice, how can less specific ones do so? They cannot.Let me beginby characterizing the “objectivist” errorin slightly different terms.Most notably, their error stems from an intentionto reduce the problemofchoiceto a setofobjective instrumental rules or, in otherwords, prescriptions--somewhat like thegameofchess can be reduced to such rules and compiled in abook entitled, say, How to WinatChess. The instrumental rules ofchess, however, should notbe confusedwiththe non-208instrumental rules which might be compiled in a differentbook entitled,say, TheRulesofChess. These latterrules merely define the game ofchess; they definethe conditionsofplay; theyindicate what kinds ofmoves are allowedbythevarious pieces; and theydefinethe conditions indicating when agame is eitherwon or lost. Unliketheinstrumental rules ofchess, the non-instrumental rules are silent on howto win at chess.Although every legitimatemove in aparticulargame ofchess isgovernedbythenon-instrumental rules, very few are ordainedbythoserules. For example, the playermakingthe opening move can move any oneofhis eight pawns inavertical directioneither one ortwo spaces (a choice among sixteen different alternatives), orhe can moveone ofhis two knights (achoice amongfour different alternatives). In short, the non-instrumental rules ofchess permit the playerto make one oftwenty different openingmovesbut they do not ordain which movethe player is tomake.’4Another example is thecase beforeus. The non-instrumental rules ofstatecraft cantell theAmerican statesmanthat he has ajust causeto use offensive militaryforce inthe circumstances. Butjustcause places no obligationupon himto goto war. However, evenifit did, it still doesnot ordain his choice.Returningto the chess example, and giventhat thenon-instrumental rulesdo notordaintheplayereschoice, he then might narrowhis options by relying ontacticalprinciples (such as ‘control ofcentre’) and other instrumental rules based onhistoricalknowledge which is itselfderived from his own experience playingthe game, theexperienceofothers, orboth. But eventhe instrumental rules, precepts, and prescriptions‘4GilbertRyle, The ConceptofMind(London: Hutchinson’s, 1955),pp.77-78.209do not ordain what move he will make, they simply help him to narrowthe range ofpossible choices. And theproblem is complicated exponentially forthe statesmantryingto decidebetween continued sanctions and offensive militaryforce. Regardless ofwhatinstrumental rules he appeals to, there always remainsthe problemofunforseenconsequences. In particular, he is acutely awarethat he does not knowfor sure howtheopponentwill respondto his next move. Hence, both instrumental and non-instrumentalrules do not ordainwhat choicethe player will make, In otherwords, the problem ofchoice cannotultimatelybe reducedto rules--althoughtheyma