At their most abstract, U.S. national interests are simple: to ensure the security and prosperity of the American people in the global environment. But distinguishing core strategic interests—those for which Americans would be willing to die—from significant interests that might require commitment of treasure, blood, time, and energy is almost never easy.
Liotta, P. H.
"Research & Debate—Still Worth Dying For: National Interests and the Nature of Strategy,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 56
, Article 10.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol56/iss2/10