America has lost its hegemonic status. If Barack Obama wants to navigate through four more years of foreign policy, he must correct America's view of the world.
Barack Obama has been reelected by concentrating on domestic issues. A look beyond US borders would have been unbearable to American voters anyways. That isn't Obama's fault: Foreign policy problems usually come with a long history, and we certainly can't blame the president for not forecasting global turmoil.
Yet we can admit that the global panorama resembles a painting of apocalyptic proportions. The four horsemen: Iranian nuclear frenzy, Islamic revolts, Eurozone breakdown and Chinese slowdown. There's also a fifth horseman of US domestic origin: the federal deficit. "The Economist" believes that this might indeed be the most powerful threat – an opinion that is shared by the "New York Times" (which published an article right after the presidential election titled Back to Work, Obama Is Greeted by Looming Fiscal Crisis).
The claim is that the US cannot pursue small-state taxation levels and big-state spending at the same time. And there's the additional worry that the US would feel the consequences of international turmoil as soon as any of the four global horsemen rears its head.