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Why America needs to lean hard on its allies to lend a hand in Iraq

In some theologies, when a sparrow falls in the forest, God is responsible because he could have prevented it. In some theologies, when people die in Liberia, America is responsible because it could have prevented it.

It is time the world recognized that we are not God. America today is the closest the world has ever seen to God. But, alas, the gap remains great. We are not quite omnipotent, and we cannot be ubiquitous.

During the late 1980s, historian Paul Kennedy popularized the notion of "imperial overstretch." It was a variant on Walter Lippmann's notion of "insolvency" in foreign policy,...

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