When the First Vatican Council proclaimed the doctrine of Papal Infallibility in 1870, the Catholic historian Lord Acton responded: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
If one subscribes to the notion that there can be too much power then one ought to be worried about a unipolar world where the sole superpower can pursue her whims at will.
That is indeed the attitude of some Western Europeans who regard America’s sole superpower status with apprehension. They fail to recognize, however, that one can hardly blame the USA for the imbalance. It’s only natural that a state should pursue power.
France and Germany cannot expect that other powers serve their priorities. They have to take responsibility for their own agenda.
It begins with a reasonable defense budget and acquiring logistics that can actually reach places like East Timor, Darfur, and Zimbabwe. The foundation has to be, however, that France and Germany finally come to terms with globalization. They need to restructure their states and economies so that the considerable creativity of their citizens and residents can be unleashed in the market place.
Until then, there will be no balance in world politics . . . and only France and Germany are to blame.