The United States is indisputably less influential, less esteemed, and less assertive than it was on Jan. 20, 2009.
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“I MUST SAY I am perplexed,” John Kerry told grandees at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, “by claims … that somehow America is disengaging from the world — this myth that we are pulling back or giving up or standing down.” The secretary of state, whose website keeps a running tally of the miles he has flown since taking the job (320,961 as of Friday), insisted that nothing could be further from the truth.

“The only person more surprised than I am by the myth of this disengagement,” he said, “is the Air Force pilot who flies the secretary of state’s plane.”