Courtesy Reuters

For twenty-five years, in a good many remote odd spots in the world, the United States has been locked in battle; or has been seconding some distant and sometimes dubious friend; or trying, by promising help, to deter the start of the trouble altogether. With so many and such far-flung commitments and no sign of letup, it is only natural that there should be a lively debate about their number and extent and how they fit our capabilities. The frustrations of these 25 years of engagements in remote wars, and not only the present long-drawn-out and uncertain struggle in Viet Nam, encourage a new isolationism.

The new isolationism differs in many ways from the old. It often fits the desire to turn over to the United Nations problems that we have dealt with mainly on a national basis-all of foreign economic aid, for example, and all or most of the problem

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