These represent the single most important interests for any actor. This is the very essence of the actor’s existence – the protection of its citizens and their institution from attack by enemies (foreign and domestic). It addresses an imminent threat of attack and is an interest that cannot be compromised. If not attained, it will bring costs that are catastrophic, or nearly so. Whatever can be done would be done to ensure the survival of the actor, to include the use of military force. 2. Vital(Dangerous)
A vital interests exist when an issue is so important to an actor’s well being that its leadership can only compromise up to a certain point. Beyond that point, compromise is no longer possible because the potential harm to the actor would no longer be tolerable. If the interest is achieved, it would bring great benefit to the actor, if denied, it would carry costs to the actor that are severe but no catastrophic. Such costs could severely prejudice but not strictly imperil the ability of the actor’s government to safeguard and enhance the well being of its populace 3. Important/ major (Serious)
These interest would be a significant but not crucial to the actor’s well being. They could cause serious concern and harm to the actor’s overseas interest, and even though the result may be somewhat painful, would be much more likely be resolved with compromise and negotiation, rather than confrontation. It could increase its “economic well being and perhaps its security” and, thus, contribute to “making the international environment more congenial” to its overall interest. The potential value, as well as potential loss of these interest, would be moderate...