None of this grim history should mean that the United States lacks a moral compass
in its international relations. Nor does it mean that Washington should not
help the Yazidis and other minority groups at the receiving end of the Islamic
State’s savagery. That is a call for senior U.S. leaders to make, taking into
account their country’s interests, abilities, costs, and risks. But let’s get
one thing straight: Stopping genocide is not a core U.S. national security
interest, nor has it ever been, and realizing that would be better than
radiating false hope to persecuted minorities the world over.
What we really should do is decide what our core interests actually are – and then pursue them with everything we’ve got.
But our situation today is that we have no core interests, because we have no core.