The editors of the Review of International Studies have posed a timely challenge to what they term American realism. In broad terms, their editorial makes two points: first, realism has lost its relevance to current international policy; and second, realism does a poor job of explaining the behaviour of the world's major powers. In this brief essay I argue that both of these points are greatly overstated, if not simply wrong. At the same time, I accept that realism provides less leverage in addressing the full spectrum of issues facing the major powers in the post-Soviet and now the post-9/11 world than it did during the Cold War. However, this is neither surprising nor a serious problem, because scholars who use a realist lens to understand international politics can, and have, without inconsistency or contradiction also employed other theories to understand issues that fall outside realism's central focus.