In the wake of the unsatisfactory state of the war in Vietnam, there is a renewed isolationist spirit in the land. This spirit is a natural political phenomenon in the United States. What makes it now of more than normal concern is the activation in its support of relatively large segments of the population which are normally quiescent politically on matters of foreign affairs. This activation may be traced to the inept handling of the public relations of the Vietnam war, the excessive duration of this war with its consequent frustrations, and the emotional agitation against the war by the “progressive” sector of society. This neo-isolationism is directed primarily against the continuing presence of the United States in Asia. The usual slogans take the forms: “We cannot be the world’s policeman” (except in Europe, the Middle East, and other points where the “progressive” ideology feels threatened); “Fortress America” (except, do not alarm the Russians by trying to arm the fortress with ABM); “Concentrate on our decaying cities and disturbed minorities” (America first?).
The Near West
By Cdr. Harry IV. Bergbauer, Jr., USN