With the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, President Obama had hoped to devote much of his second term to domestic issues; however, the White House now finds itself mired in a number of intractable conflicts.

That reinforces a bigger complaint among conservatives. A complaint that the president doesn't believe the U.S. has a special leadership role in the world. But others contend the idea of American "exceptionalism" is deeply dangerous.


Andrew Bacevich is chair of international relations at Boston University and author of the recent book "Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country."