The world's only superpower combines military strength with economic and political weakness.
Is US power sweeping all before it? The rapid defeat of the Taliban regime is seen by supporters of US policy as a vindication of the Afghan war and a confirmation that US might is invincible. US leaders are hardly likely to disagree. It is only in legend that kings like Canute show the world the limits of their power. George Bush will not be found on a seashore commanding the sea to go back. He needs the world to believe that there are no limits to US power.