The Economist: 'Hang In There, American Losers'
The good news is that The Economist still says the U.S. is No. 1 when it comes to being a massive, tottering military empire. The bad news is:
* "With strong pressure on President George Bush to withdraw from Iraq, jihadist militants scent a victory as momentous as the eviction of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989 -- a defeat that helped to dissolve the Soviet empire."
* "America could still beat any likely enemy, said the general, but its response would be slower and bloodier."
* "Strategists wonder whether the Iraq war has damaged America so badly as to set it on a path to 'imperial decline.'"
* "The most powerful image of America, says Mr Brzezinski, is no longer the Statue of Liberty but the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay."
* "With some units now on their fourth deployment, an army medical survey in Iraq last month found higher levels of mental-health problems, including a 24% level of post-traumatic stress disorder among those on multiple combat tours. Less than half agreed that 'all non-combatants should be treated with respect' and more than a third reckoned torture should sometimes be allowed."
* "The army says the profile of its recruits remains above the average for the American population."
The hobbled hegemon [The Economist]