The torsional and axially compressed buckling of an individual embedded multi-walled carbon nanotube(MWNTs) subjected to an internal and/or external radial pressure was investigated in this study. The emphasis is placed on new physical phenomena which are due to both the small length scale and the surrounding elastic medium. Multiwall carbon nanotubes which are considered in this study are classified into three categories based on the radius to thickness ratio, namely, thin, thick, and almost solid. Explicit formulas are derived for the van der Waals(vdW) interaction between any two layers of an MWNT based on the continuum cylindrical shell model. In most of the previous studies, the vdW interaction between two adjacent layers was considered only and the vdW interaction among other layers was neglected. Moreover, in these works, the vdW interaction coefficient was treated as a constant that was independent of the radii of the tubes. However, in the present model the vdW interaction coefficients are considered to be dependent on the change of interlayer spacing and the radii of the tubes. The effect of the small length scale is also considered in the present formulation. The results show that there is a unique buckling mode(m,n) corresponding to the critical shear stress. This result is obviously different from what is expected for the pure axially compressed buckling of an individual multi-walled carbon nanotube.