When World War II started on September 1, 1939, the German army contained 3.74 million soldiers and 103 divisions.
The optimists' claim that security competition and war among the great powers has been burned out of the system is wrong. In fact all of the major states around the globe still care deeply about the balance of power among themselves for the foreseeable future.
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.
In an ideal world, where there are only good states, power would be largely irrelevant.
Preserving power, rather than increasing it, is the main goal of states.
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.
A state's potential power is based on the size of its population and the level of its wealth.
States have two kinds of power: latent power and military power.
I believe that the existing power structures in Europe and Northeast Asia are not sustainable through 2020.
The most dangerous states in the international system are continental powers with large armies.
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.
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.
Great powers must be forever vigilant and never subordinate survival to any other goal, including prosperity.
The sad fact is that international politics has always been a ruthless and dangerous business, and it is likely to remain that way.
In short, unbalanced bipolar systems are so unstable that they cannot last for any appreciable period of time.