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by Jules Witcover
Many American viewers of the Olympic Games in Sochi were no doubt disappointed that the Russian and U.S. hockey teams meet in a rematch of their historical 1980 clash for the gold medal. That huge upset sent roars of "
Instead, the Sochi games have been marked more by their excessively elaborate orchestration and security measures in the new
Across the border in
President Obama meanwhile tried to walk a diplomatic tightrope in the dispute whether the old Soviet breakaway
As the street violence continued, the
The embattled Ukrainian president reportedly told the Polish, French and German foreign ministers he was willing to consider early elections if it would help quell the street protests. And Russian President
Amid all this, Obama has continued to wrestle with what role he can and should play in dealing with the Syrian insurgency that has cost the lives of 140,000 people, trying to adhere to what has been called the Obama Doctrine on American interventions abroad.
The president specified in a 2011 speech that such involvement would be warranted only on humanitarian grounds, through collective action with allies, or to protect America's national interest. The first condition is arguably present in
Also, Russian opposition within
The dissolution of the
Instead, the ramifications of the 2001 terrorist attacks on American soil, requiring the retaliatory response in
After more than five years in office, Obama still wrestles with more limited American foreign-policy responsibilities as a world leader, while struggling to move from what he has deplored as "a permanent wartime footing" toward a post-Cold War peacetime normalcy.
Given, however, the state of the 21st century reality of regional wars in the
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"United States Never Reaped Bonus of Post-Cold War World "