Over the past 25 years, Americans have come to think of their country as the world’s indispensable nation. Having won the cold war, the US was everywhere. It championed the reconstruction of eastern Europe and the eastward expansion of Nato and the EU. It led the international coalition to keep Saddam Hussein boxed in and to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It spurred Nato into action to keep Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic from perpetrating more war crimes. After 9/11, it led the global coalition against terrorism....

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This article was originally published in the Financial Times.