... as (to borrow a phrase from Jeremiah Wright) America's interventionist chickens are coming home to roost.
Pakistan howevers on the brink of civil war that could end up with the world's first Islamist nuclear power.
A potential naval show-down looms between the US and China.
Which becomes especially significant in light of the new China-Iran gas deal.
And, meanwhile, a Shi'a secessionist movement is threatening Saudi Arabia.
In the middle of all of this?
Tens of thousand of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan at the end of supply lines and withdrawal routes that day by day grow more tenuous.