Courtesy Reuters


NOT since World War II have Americans been so uncertain about the proper role of the United States in the world. The broad bipartisan consensus that characterized American foreign policy for two decades after the war has been overcome by widespread, bipartisan confusion about the nature of the world, the character of the challenges that policymakers confront, and the proper employment of non-nuclear forces. Viet Nam is not the only cause of this confusion. Changes In American perceptions were evident earlier: as the fear of monolithic communism waned, hope grew that the United States and the Soviet Union could coexist peacefully; and the public showed diminishing interest in providing aid to less developed countries. But the expenditure of blood and treasure in Viet Nam has deepened fundamental doubts throughout our society-from the highest levels of government to college campuses and midwestern farms-as to whether the United States

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