From an article by Paul H. Nitze in Foreign Affairs {Fall, 1990}:

The emphasis on a global role for the United States is perhaps controversial. Many Americans argue that the current mood favors a withdrawal from a leading role in international affairs. Their reasoning is that a great threat is no longer evident, and the United States is therefore free to turn inward and tend to its domestic concerns.

This outlook is shortsighted. ... There remain numerous international problems that deeply affect American interests. New problems of this same nature are bound to arise. The United States remains uniquely capable of contributing in conjunction with others to the effective solution of these problems. No other nation can do the job as well.

The Soviet Union, for example ... will retain thousands of nuclear warheads and remain a potential threat to the United States and its allies. The current instability in that country only exacerbates the problem; no one can be sure into whose hands these weapons will eventually fall. No other country is capable of relieving the United States of the burden of deterring the use of these weapons, and none is likely to be able to do so in the future. Nor would we want any other country to deploy the nuclear arsenal needed to assume that role alone.

Similarly should nationalistic tensions in Europe erupt into civil or cross-border conflicts, no other country would seem as well qualified to play the role of honest broker in facilitating, with others, a peaceful resolution of these differences and terminating hostilities. ...

In a world of growing interdependence, where even the problems of distant neighbors are increasingly our own, it is not now time for the United States to retreat from the world stage.