Special Section: The New US. Role in the World

THE end of World War II probably marked the pinnacle of U.S. prestige; the height of the Viet Nam War may well have marked its nadir. Hamilton Fish Armstrong, retiring editor of Foreign Affairs, writes in the current issue: "The methods we have used in fighting the war have scandalized and disgusted public opinion in almost all foreign countries. Not since we withdrew into comfortable isolation in 1920 has the prestige of the U.S. stood so low."

Even America's staunchest allies, while not unsympathetic, used to be...