What a difference a few years can make. In September 2002, less than a year after taking office, the Bush administration laid out a breathtakingly ambitious vision of American foreign policy. "The United States possesses unprecedented—and unequaled—strength and influence in the world," the newly-released National Security Strategy of the United States proudly proclaimed. "Sustained by faith in the principles of liberty, and the value of a free society, this position comes with unparalleled responsibilities, obligations, and opportunity. The great strength of this nation must be used to promote a balance of power that favors freedom."