In the anarchic world of international politics, it is better to be Godzilla than Bambi.
States care about relative wealth, because economic might is the foundation of military might.
The sad fact is that international politics has always been a ruthless and dangerous business, and it is likely to remain that way.
Simply put, the most powerful state is the one that prevails in a dispute.
A state's potential power is based on the size of its population and the level of its wealth.
Offensive realism predicts that the United States will send its army across the Atlantic when there is a potential hegemon in Europe that the local great powers cannot contain by themselves.
Decapitation is a fanciful strategy.
China, in short has the potential to be considerably more powerful than even the United States.
States have two kinds of power: latent power and military power.
Bandwagoning is a strategy for the weak.
In the 1930s, Adolf Hitler believed that his great-power rivals would be easy to exploit and isolate because each had little interest in fighting Germany and instead was determined to get someone else to assume the burden. He guessed right.
The ideal situation for any state is to experience sharp economic growth while its rivals' economies grow slowly or hardly at all.
The German air offensives against British cities in World Wars I and II not only failed to coerce the United Kingdom to surrender, but Germany also lost both wars.
The liberal tradition has its roots in the Enlightenment, that period in the eighteenth-century Europe when intellectuals and political leaders had a powerful sense that reason could be employed to make the world a better place.
Great powers must be forever vigilant and never subordinate survival to any other goal, including prosperity.
The Soviet Union and its empire disappeared in large part because its smokestack economy could no longer keep up with the technological progress of the world's major economic powers.
I believe that the existing power structures in Europe and Northeast Asia are not sustainable through 2020.
Important benefits often accrue to states that behave in an unexpected way.
When World War II started on September 1, 1939, the German army contained 3.74 million soldiers and 103 divisions.
In an ideal world, where there are only good states, power would be largely irrelevant.
The most dangerous states in the international system are continental powers with large armies.
This self-defeating behavior, so the argument goes, must be the result of warped domestic politics.
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