It may be late on a Friday afternoon, but after returning to the office and going through some Christmas blog posts that I hadn't read I came across an interesting piece on European Geostrategy by James Rogers and Luis Simón that looks at the 'world's fifteen most powerful countries in 2012'. They came up with a table that explains their analysis (see below).
"[The] table is based on two dimensions: aggregated national power and planetary reach. Aggregated national power takes into consideration geographic position; financial power; industrial output; military might (i.e. ‘power projection’ and/or ability of defence); alliance membership; educational attainment; cultural attraction; population size; historical reputation, militarily, politically and economically; government capacity and efficiency; national cohesion; and potential over the next ten years. Meanwhile, planetary reach is based on five categories."
The five categories are Superpower, Potential Superpower, Great Power (global), Great Power (regional) and Middle Power. The most striking positions for me are the placing of the EU in a nominal second place (something that we've long suggested at ECFR, but that at the moment is very much a question of potential rather than reality); the UK tying with Germany in 3rd place; and South Korea reminding Brazil et al that there is far more to the BRICS than the usual suspects.
And before the weekend, one more cracking blog post from the Christmas period, this time from Foreign Policy's irrepressible Dan Drezner. The man who brought us an explanation of international relations in a book about zombies has also brought us a blog post called 'Everything you always wanted to know about American grand strategy but were afraid to find out... on YouTube." The idea is to find clips from YouTube that encapsulate American grand strategy. The eleven entries range from a scene from a Monty Python film to a 3 second clip of a little girl and her dog and a bus that simply wouldn't be stopped by flood water. It's brilliant. I'll leave you with the Monty Python video - but first, Dan Drezner's short elaboration:
"On the one hand, you have an angry public that appears to be willing to fabricate evidence to justify taking aggressive action. On the other hand, you have elites that reject the absence of any logic to justify action. Instrad, they rely on their own galactically stupid set of axioms to guide their thinking."
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