"Ultimately, the requirement to state, define, and defend national interests in a public national strategy should remain. For the United States, stating, defining, and defending interests in the NSS both demonstrate a commitment to democratic process and explain how America sees its role in the world. While the American people by and large wish neither to be neo-isolationist nor to become, by virtue of the primacy of the United States, a global police force, principles as well as power constitute the idea of the national interest. It is as if the ghosts of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were in constant tension, defining who we are as a people and for what achievable ends we are willing to commit our means--and what ends are worth dying for."
Naval War College Press: http://www.nwc.navy.mil/press/
Naval War College Review (Spring 2003), v.56 no.2, p.124-38