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Intelligence community: "Titanic, meet iceberg."

A ship as big as the United States doesn't turn on a dime. And the calls of "Iceberg, dead ahead!!" have reached the command deck much too late to avoid the impact.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09...

Try to read past the headline, there's a lot more interesting information in there than just a decline in the "sphere of influence".