It’s difficult to explain how a country goes about
defining its national interests.
Sure, we know the policy processes. We know the
considerations. Interests in borders, war, and peace are easy to understand. But
why are other, more abstract interests, such as American concern for the
freedom of navigation in a far-flung place like the South China Sea, so
I could make a wonky argument around the free flow of trade
and the global commons, the need to maintain access for…