Americans with flagA poll released on December 3 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press revealed that 49 percent of Americans believe that their country should should "mind its own business internationally." Pew headlined its report about the poll in the language long favored by those advocating an interventionist U.S. foreign policy: "Isolationist Sentiment Surges to Four-Decade High.”

Obama at West PointPresident Obama announced December 1 he would immediately begin deploying an additional 30,000 U.S. soldiers to Afghanistan, an escalation that would be complete by mid-2010 and begin a draw-down 18 months later.

The Obama administration is close to announcing its decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan. Reuters reports that the "final number [of troops added to the war zone] could reach 35,000 once U.S. trainers are factored in, but estimates on the number of trainers vary widely. Obama would not be drawn out on specifics but said he would have an announcement on how to proceed after this week's Thanksgiving holiday."

Rodney Dangerfield made a very profitable career off his famous lament, “I can’t get no respect.” Seems these days that President Obama knows exactly what Rodney was talking about. In an article that appeared Monday in Der Spiegel, a weekly magazine published in Hamburg, Germany, President Obama’s “nice guy act” was mocked and the successes of his professed aim to bring civility and mutual respect back to American foreign policy were questioned.

Reuters and other media organs have reported that the suicide rate in the United States Army is twice the national suicide rate and that Army suicides, including those recently released from active service, reached a new high in 2009.