The end of the world order as we know it

It's a confusing time for Americans when it comes to world affairs, with the government explaining on the one hand why it was time to pull out of Afghanistan, but on the other why it's also time to stand up for Ukraine.

It's a time when Americans want their military less committed abroad. NATO is feeling the heat. Autocracies with an eye on expansion, like Russia and China, are getting bolder and acting like allies.

The era of America the superpower is being tested in new ways across the globe.

Eastern Europe

Exactly 30 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia is maneuvering to encroach further into Ukraine, one of its former republics. A post-Soviet growth of NATO is Russian President Vladimir Putin's prey.

The Biden administration has put 8,500 US troops on heightened alert for deployment to Eastern Europe as a deterrent to Russia and assurance to NATO countries.

Western Europe

American influence needs buttressing. To unify NATO countries against Russia, the US is also playing the role of energy broker, seeking guarantees of fuel from the Middle East and Asia to blunt Russia's leverage as a top supplier of natural gas to Germany.