After one sieves the President's remarks, it seems clear to this observer that America has entered a new phase. It is clearly no longer feasible to proceed on the basis that America can 'kick the ass' of any and every problem on our own shores or elsewhere in the world. That nineteenth or early twentieth century thinking is outdated. Apparently we can't quite bring ourselves to say it out loud. For now the plan appears to be, dance around it, sound tough, sound decisive, hope for the best.
The facts are not difficult to find or understand. America is still involved in two wars. Though for the record, the President only referenced the war in Afghanistan in his remarks this morning. I suppose we are meant to believe that the whole deal in Iraq, because it has slowed in recent months, should be considered finished. In regard to the wars (I feel comfortable to use the plural), we have soldiers who are on their fourth or fifth rotation. We have equipment that has been battered by years of use. We are in a recession and will be for years to come. We are heavily in debt. There are any number of emergencies in the world right now that America has done nothing or had a role insufficient to change the situation. I don't intend to suggest that America or Americans don't care. My assertion is that we have a large discrepancy between caring and action. This is not intended as judgment. Just the facts.
Here's a thought. What if many of the long-time world powers felt similarly? Not in the future. Now.
I submit that this is the real state of things. Why should we bother to think about where we really are? What if making policy for the future depends on basing ones actions on the extant facts?