Isolation breeds incestuous decision-making unrelated to the facts on the ground, moral standards, or the needs of allies (all necessities in a complex and networked world). Since an isolated leadership team doesn't pay heed to the external reference environment, its decisions increasingly totter towards what looks like group insanity.
That is why this is so disturbing: Under pressure, Bush assembled a team of former foreign policy decision makers. On the face of it, this was a good sign of health. Unfortunately, it was a stunt. The meeting was less than hour long and was consumed by 40 minutes of presentations TO the assembled team. Bush only spent 5-10 minutes in two-way discussion. Amazing.
We are in deep and ongoing trouble. This isolated team will continue to make decisions in a vacuum. Errors will compound errors. External pressure will mount until there is a crisis. In this crisis, the positive feedback from non-cooperative centers of gravity will overwhelm the inherent stability of the system and chaos will rule. The system will either right itself or continue to spin off in an uncontrolled manner.
A natural corrective is an election cycle, although the mid-terms may not be enough to dampen the disruption emanating from current feedback loops. It may even worsen things by increasing the power of non-cooperative centers of gravity vs. the isolated leadership team. Additionally, external shocks such as an additional attacks on the US by al Qaeda could cause this unstable system to spin out of control and stay in a chaotic state for an extended period of time.We live in interesting times.