Due to the wide variety of viewpoints and openness of intellectual domains in the production of thought and opinions, the human science has a large and vast field. The plurality of concepts and wisdom, and the reduction of views based on the terminology used in the political literature of countries and human societies, have made the field difficult for scholars to understand quickly and easily the core concepts. The existence of numerous concepts and its updating in the field of human literature takes different perspectives. Among the concepts in the field of strategic science and political studies are the concept of national interests. National interests highlight the priorities and goals of a nation-state in the international context and against other powers and global developments. Now all countries are planning their own national interests and defining their own framework of action based on that. This term is, in fact, the result of the transformations of the founding of the industrial and democratic revolution in Europe, which has opened the political arena to actors (states) in the international arena and created a legitimate and reasonable justification for their political action. This term was created, respectively, in 18th-century in Italy, 19th century I Britain and 20th-century in America, and in was registered most of constitutions of the nations. According to the historical record of national interest discourse, the nature of the national interest itself in the field of political action has created problems such as good and justified reactions and actions. But in our country, based on the existing political culture of society, disagreements over concepts such as national interests and national security, which are two essential elements of a realistic view, have not arisen academically. As the historical record of the national interest discourse in Afghanistan is very much out of reach and even zero, the perception of the nature of the term is naturally heavy and has become an idiomatic term, but it has become non-indeterminate. Because in other countries, all actions in the international system of interacting with neighbors, countries of the region and the world have been justified within the framework of national interest discourse. While in our country the opportunities and challenges in the political order of the country, economic anarchism under the name of free market and the lack of legality in the political struggle has led the majority of policy-makers to gain their own and own party interests under the title of National Interests. politics and the political struggle is considered as a kind of trade, and it relegates national interests. While common practice in other countries where political culture is institutionalized, so that national interests are considered more important than personal and collective interests. In this case, instead of group interests, political movements are trying to establish national interests by creating their own political activities and their political destiny. Based on the opinion of writer of this article, the national interest in its broad sense can be discussed at two levels: big and small. The national interest that refers to the goals an international government strives to maintain, can be categorized into three categories in terms of its importance:
• Vital interests: The benefits associated with the existence of a government and is not negotiable at all;
• Important interests: The interests that governments are struggling to safeguard and keep them for their existence and could be negotiated;
• Peripheral interests: The benefits that can only be ignored in order to increase the negotiating power of a government in the negotiations discourse. National interests may be defined as the primary and permanent objectives of the country, and these permanent goals are referred to as the following four values:
1. Existential Security
2. Security of welfare
3. Maintaining and enhancing the country’s power in relations with other countries
But in Afghanistan, unlike other countries, national interests remain in the word of the political discourse and the more bargaining of political parties at the top of the politician’s personal interests. Most of the effort is to turn into self-interest benefits, and it is the personal interests that bring about even unholy alliances. This undesirable culture is more rooted in past discontent and historical limitations, which has made the area less attractive for minority national interests. Meanwhile, the lack of a comprehensive definition of national interests in domestic and foreign policy of countries in crisis, such as Afghanistan, highlights the importance that national interests are spinning around personal interests, and these are personal interests whenever their personal interests are overshadowed.
In the past, the absence of an acceptable and universal definition among our political community has caused the national interest in the discourse and political literature of the country to have a symbolic form. This nature of the loss of national interest discourse and the lack of institutionalized thought have led national interests to be expressed in terms of existing political thoughts and, if not, cannot be compared with the views of the political stratum of the country. It should be remembered that national interests, in many cases, have the same degree of ambiguity and complexity as the general concepts make it difficult to define, and this is one of the factors behind the lack of understanding of national interests by the society and the political spectrum in our country. It is here that we must try to define and explore the national interests and hedge its various qualities in a qualitative way. Typically, given the different types of national interests in the country’s political discourse, most of the time the benefits can be controversial, but have been neglected and negotiated. This negotiation may occur if actors are trying to avoid conflicts and using their diplomatic and political tools to obtain their national interest at the lowest cost. While the conflicting interests show a general difference in how to formulate beneficial thoughts and opinions with other actors. Consequently, conflicting interests will create the ground for conflict and confrontation and the emergence of disagreement between the nations involved. But it should not be ruled out that national interests are being pursued today with different tactics and strategies. War diplomacy and military doctrine are in line with national interests and formulate political strategies combined with military and military instruments. In the next phase of interests, the common interest-based environment can be found in advanced countries. In this case, the mutual interests are an overview of the similar interests of the actors, which rejects the possibility of conflict and contradicts the open field of cooperation and progress. In the next step, mutual interests can serve as a basis for the parallel benefits of upgrading and diminishing the interests of a country to upgrade and downgrade the national interests of the other country. Parallel interests in the event of differences and disagreements in views can be reduced to a disagreement and can be negotiated and bargained. In this case, in the realistic view of the two basic concepts of security and national interests, the driving force behind the forces of power and politics is more free in the modern world. While the development of the actors and the interests of actors in international relations and the international system cannot be valued well and badly, it is the benefit and development of national interest strategies that have a good and bad value for other actors in the arena International shows.
So then, these countries will be rational actors from a realistic point of view that first identify national interests and resort to different policies and strategies. Different types of political behavior such as non-alignment policy, isolation and impartiality, unity and coalition take advantage of their interests and change the position of progress in the use of tools. In other words, choosing the ways to pursue national-based interest policies depends on the circumstances in which these strategies and policies are built up and earn relative value. On the other hand, as all the global players seem to rely on their national interests, it is the national interests of the country that determine its behavioral framework in the field of domestic and foreign policy and reveal its shape in context.
So, in this case, the concept of national interests is both effective and intuitive: political analysis and political action. As a means of political analysis, there is a field for explaining and assessing the adequacy and orientation of a foreign policy of a country, as a means of political action, is generally a means to justify, confirm, and reject the policies and functions of the rulers. But, unfortunately, the concept of national interest, despite its plurality in the political literature of our country, remains an unworthy concept of lack of credibility in the field of political action, which raises many questions in this regard. How would the orientations of the country’s leaders be based on which political intellectual frameworkand which was the base of the national interest? Did the great national decisions in historical sensitive situations be based on a proper and rational understanding of the concept of national interest? Whether or not, while discussing major concepts such as national interests and national security that are merely the main driving force of the state in the country and which provide the objective context for making decisions, the theoretical unity between decision-makers in the political arena in the country regarding the comprehensive definition of National Interests was to clearly the core concept? And finally, is the field of national security blending with the concept of national interests at the top of the main government’s plans? But addressing each one is not only a widespread source of research, but it can also lead to serious discourse in this regard. For example, the most important issue in this regard is the existence of unity among the political elites of the country, especially the power corridor on national interests. Unfortunately, the fragility and the lack of unity of opinion in this regard can be considered as the main cause of failure in the field of political action in two dimensions of domestic and Foreignpolicies. Another very important argument is to adapt the discussion of national interests to the issue of national identity, which in many cases can lead to political action for decision-makers in the realm of action. This is important because it is our identity that determines the type of interest in the national arena. If you do not address the issue of identity and polarity properly, you cannot have a definition of benefits, which is the source of confusion and ambiguity in how to address the issue of national interest and national power.
As a result, power holders should define and understand the national interests and all the inclusiveness of the country. Identity debate can be the trigger for a benefit-oriented discourse in the national arena. In this case, the contribution of the political community, especially parties and political currents, civil society organizations and scientific and research organizations, is essential to discuss how red lines of national interest should be defined. Because moving the drawing lines based on national interest-worthy values will make the process of work and policy easy and avoid the confusion and prevent collisions with neighboring countries, the region and the world.
1. Ashuri, Dariush,National interests, political science dictionary.
2. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia National interests.
3. The diminutive role of national interests in Afghan politics-Afghan newspaper
4. Dignity of “national interests” in the country’s policy – Afghan newspaper
5. How are our national interests be defined? – Tasnim news Agency
Abdul Naser Noorzad Kabul University lecturer