photo: Jason Reed
A very good article on General Petraeus' address to Congress in late January:
The Fiscal Times
Gen. Petraeus: The Post-War Order Is in Danger of Collapse
... "Americans should not take the current international order for granted," Petraeus said. "It did not will itself into existence. We created it. Likewise, it is not naturally self-sustaining. We have sustained it. If we stop doing so, it will fray and, eventually, collapse."...
It gives you a good idea what is at stake.