An Army Alone Doesn’t Make You a Great Power

Source: The Atlantic
by Phillips Payson O’Brien

“Few geopolitical terms are used as often while lacking a definition — or even a shared meaning — as great power. From the origins of World War I to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, certain countries are labeled ‘great powers,’ while others are reduced to being merely ‘midsize’ or ‘small powers,’ based, it seems, on impression rather than anything else. … The common belief before Vladimir Putin’s troops crossed into Ukraine in February was that Russia was a ‘great power’ and Ukraine merely a ‘small’ one, and many foreign-policy experts suggested that the latter should have its fate determined by the former. … military forces on their own are a deeply deceptive metric in understanding what makes a nation ‘great.'” (07/26/22)