International Relations and
Nations are changed by time; they flourish and decay; by turns command and obey.
Concentration is the secret of strength in politics, in war, in trade, in short in the management of all human affairs.
This chapter concentrates on the relationships among nations. In the absence of an effective supranational power, and given the frequent appetite for aggrandizement of neighbors, arguably the most prominent theme in modern history has been the attempt to maintain an international balance of power. Technically, then, every nation comprises a system in itself existing in the larger system of the geopolitical world. Though that larger system exerts little direct control over its elemental nations, some kind of equilibrium is necessary, typically through balance-of-power treaties. To be sure, these treaties often fail to prevent war and its ensuing chaos, but it is equally true that once war breaks out, the