Pakistan: The Land of the Pure After 9/11, Pakistan was warned it had to “choose sides”—but choosing a side isn’t the same as switching sides.

Those who proclaim that states act in their own self-interest really mean that states act in what they perceive to be their own self-interest. The distinction is important, because every country has a warped or imprecise view of how it can flourish. The Soviet Union, for example, viewed an invasion of Afghanistan as a strategic necessity in 1979; now it doesn’t have any interests because—thanks in part to that invasion—it no longer exists. Most countries make decisions by mixing acuity and myopia. But how do we understand


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