Courtesy Reuters

The world does not need to be reminded that it exists in a formal state of anarchy. There is no international government. Nor is there sufficient interdependence or division of labor among states to transform international relations into a social system akin to domestic affairs. Under prevailing circumstances there are only three methods by which that anarchic system can be regulated or prevented from lapsing into chaos: the traditional balance of power; nuclear deterrence; and rule by a central coalition. Each system has been employed at different times during the last two hundred years.

The balance of power held sway

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