WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The mood in the United States is sour. Although President Jimmy Carter never used the term, a "malaise" is infecting the country. Unemployment, poverty, even obesity and other measures of discontent are running at or near record levels. Abroad, conditions look equally grim.
The Arab Spring, a tragic misnomer, is by no means a road to peace, prosperity and democracy. Coalition forces will be out of Iraq by New Year's with few guarantees that Iraq will be less violent and more stable after nearly a decade of conflict.
While NATO says the security situation in Afghanistan is moving in a positive direction, governance and stability, the ultimate guarantors of a more stable country remain fragile at best. And last weekend's attack that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers well inside the Pakistani border will inflame and not dampen the already tense relations between Islamabad and Washington.