The American public isn't exactly strongly supportive of Obama's foreign policy right now, but one thing the public really doesn't support is getting involved with any of the various conflicts raging over there. We are still -- again, according to the polls -- a pretty war-weary nation.
Today, the U.S. looks less like a functioning and effective empire than an imperial basket case, unable to bring its massive power to bear effectively from Germany to Syria, Iraq to Afghanistan, Libya to the South China Sea, the Crimea to Africa.
Why are we in Afghanistan? I really don't know anymore. We fear -- with some real cause -- that "Islamists" hate America and want to bring us down. But does that fear justify committing atrocities ourselves?
China will not easily capture hearts and minds. They will be an economic superpower only. The Chinese are ethnocentric and in large ways and small, an instinct to narrowly defend interests can be off putting.
The Pentagon wants to convert an American tropical paradise in the western Pacific into a military strip mall. And the people who live on the island lack the legal standing to resist the environmental disaster heading their way.