Not so fast. Although stepping back from the excesses of the Cheney regime - as in bombing whole nations into "democracy" - the "desire to lead" still crystallizes might is right.
Moreover, "exceptionalism" remains the norm. Now not so blatant, but still implemented via a nasty set of tools, from financial warfare to cyber-war, from National Endowment for Democracy-style promotion of "democracy" to Joint Special Operations Command-driven counter-terrorism, drone war and all shades of shadow wars.
In the early 2000s, the model was the physical destruction and occupation of Iraq. In the 2010s the model is the slow-mo destruction, by proxy, of Syria.
And still, those who "conceptualized" the destruction of Iraq keep rearing their Alien-like slimy head. Their icon is of course Robert Kagan - one of the founders of the apocalyptically funereal Project for a New American Century (PNAC) and husband of crypto-Ukrainian hell raiser Victoria "F**k the EU" Nuland (thus their dream of Ukraine as the Khaganate of Nulands, or simply Nulandistan.)