The years since the end of the Cold War have seen intense, wide-ranging, and confused debates about American national interests. Much of this confusion stems from the complexity of the post-Cold War world. The new environment has been variously interpreted as involving the end of history, bipolar conﬂict between rich and poor countries, movement back to a future of traditional power politics, the proliferation of ethnic conﬂict verging on anarchy, the clash of civilizations, and conﬂicting trends toward integration and fragmentation. The new world is all these things, and hence there is good reason for uncertainty about American interests in it. Yet that is not the only source of confusion. Efforts to deﬁne national interest presuppose agreement on the nature of the country whose interests are to be deﬁned. National interest derives from national identity. We have to know who we are before we can know what our interests are.