So here is my take on our International involvement- it isn't pretty or perfect but it my take, for better or for worse, kind of like marriage.
We are involved in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya in some varrying degree. We are in turmoil about what to do with Iran and Syria, which are both heating up. Egypt, a prior "friendly" nation, went through a political house-cleaning last year and is reeling from the affects still- with a huge uncertainty about where it lands and what it stands for. Our long term ally Israel is in potential threat from multiple sources, and we stand by waiting for "something to not happen" or react poorly when it
does happen". Oh by the way- I really haven't left the Middle East region of the world or mentioned anything that is economic as opposed to military/state dept basesd.
That being said- WHAT should our stance be as the only Super-power nation left standing? What obligation do we have to impart democracy all over the world? What commitment are we to bear when it comes to policing World order, civil unrest, or differences between nations?
Yes- we should be a leader. Yes, we should bring nations together and stay ahead of the curve by helping to resolve differences before they become international incidents or crisis. Yes, we should drive organizations MUCH more directly than we do such as the IMF, World Bank, UN, G-7, G-20- so that the global outcome remains civil and peaceful for all. Our agenda should be peace, not intervention for political unheavals sake. Our agenda should not be ever to unwind a "bad" nations' government in hopes of letting Democracy flurish.
Strong countries are built from the inside/out. How can you have a strong international presence when you are in domestic turmoil? How can the US focus so much money and lives abroad when we have so many needs at home? How can we help other nations "build democracy" on unsolid foundations? Democracy doesn't work that way- it is a CHOICE, not a mandate, that the people need to make and pay the price for. Come home now, deal with our domestic issues, handle other nations only on a National Security (true threat to US) basis.
Our nation needs to take a real hard look at itself as a leader, what role we play, what level of resources we commit to back our decisions and what trade off that means at home (we can't spend money abroad without pulling those resources away from soemthing here).
The United States is the largest nation by military, by economy, by resources- Period. We can point others in the right direction of democracy and give them the blueprint, but it must be THEIR will that makes it happen, not ours. We need to take care of the weeds in our own garden, make ourselves stronger, so when the day comes we do need to get directly involved happens- we have the true strength and stability on which to draw.