Return of the Nixon Doctrine

As Somalia shows, the U.S. is letting others do its bidding. Here's why that can't last

It's an unwritten rule: each president gets one foreign policy doctrine. James Monroe's was defense of the Americas. Harry S Truman's was containment. And George W. Bush's--spelled out after the defeat of the Taliban in 2002--was pre-emptive war to defeat terrorism and spread democracy.

To a lot of people, it sounded good at the time. The country was united, the military was triumphant, the mood was resolute. Americans were ready, literally, to take on the world.

Now it sounds crazy. The military is cracking from wartime strain. Isolationism is on the rise. Americans don't want to sustain one pre-emptive war, let...

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