U.S. troops have left Iraq and are leaving Afghanistan. The "war on terrorism" now seems so last decade. U.S. military spending has leveled off, and the Pentagon is looking at some fairly serious reductions after 2015. Last month, President Obama finally pulled the various threads of his foreign policy approach into a "doctrine" that emphasizes incremental diplomacy and leaves military intervention as a last resort.
We are, it would seem, at an epochal moment in U.S. history. The Reagan and Bush Jr. administrations attempted to deepsix the Vietnam syndrome and resurrect the U.S. military as the principle tool of U.S. foreign policy. But after the failures of Iraq and Afghanistan, the syndrome has returned in an industrial-strength version. Finally, it seems as if the United States is willing to take the cop out of cooperation.