Time Essay: THE U.S. CANNOT LIVE IN ISOLATION

It was 14 years ago that a young John Kennedy made his famous inaugural pledge: "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend or oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty." Even then, that stirring pledge was unrealistic, as the nation was soon to learn in Indochina. But today such a commitment would be unthinkable, and not only because of the enormous social and economic costs it would entail. Slowly at first, then more rapidly, there has been an...

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