Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use. Our security emanates from the justness of our cause; the force of our example; the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
I like that, but history shows that it is easier to say than to do. Remember that in his 2001 inaugural speech, George W. Bush said that "We will show purpose without arrogance."