I have taken the liberty of starting a new thread on this, as I think it's an important and interesting subject of discussion, and one that's been raging probably since the 1880s, when our dominance first began to be challenged. I hope you'll be open to continuing the debate. In response to your last post: I have never said that we are a superpower. There is only one superpower in the world. I merely maintain that we are at the 'top of the pile' of the rest of the world. I don't think that we are as important as say, Japan, economically, and we are obviously not as populous as many other countries, but I do think that a case can be made for the view that we are overall at least as important as any country in the world, bar the US. As for 'realism', I don't think our drug problems nor having an unemployment rate as low or lower than nearly all of our main economic rivals undermines our standing in relation to them. I include my last post from the other thread: As does every country. This doesn't reduce our importance in the world. This again?! English is the most widely spoken language in the world. It is the language of popular culture, business, the internet. Apart from China, you name a country in which Mandarin Chinese is spoken widely, as either a first or second language. English is spoken as a first language in the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, Australia, NZ, and others, and it is spoken by a large proportion of the population as a second language in pretty well every country in the world. It is so much more important that every other language in the world that the point is really indisputable. Our relationship to the US is very important - everyone's relationship with the US is important because of her undeniable dominance. Our closeness to her is a part of our influence and strength, but not all of it. 1. That is of little consequence in our world-wide standing. Look at the size of the USA's debt. 2. What??? Our unemployment is extremely low compared to France, Germany and Russia, and practically the same as the USA's. Ours is approximately 5% (lower on some measures), as is the USA's. Both France and Germany have unemployment of over 10%, and I shudder to think what Russia's is. Japan is the only major power to have lower unemployment. 3. That is a cause of concern, but it hardly invalidates my argument. We still have the most important military force in Europe, and one of the most important in the world. 4. I think you must be getting very desperate for arguments. This point is just irrelevant. 5. This is irrelevant too. Would you prefer Chirac the Criminal, or perhaps Schroeder 'promise everything to get elected, oppose the US to get elected, then do bugger all as my economy goes down the pan'?