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The “security dilemma,” which is one of the most well-known concepts in the international relations literature, reflects the basic logic of offensive realism. The essence of the dilemma is that the measures a state takes to increase its own security usually decrease the security of other states.
Tags » Mearsheimer
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An example of a case that contradicts offensive realism involves Germany in 1905. At the time Germany was the most powerful state in Europe. Its main rivals on the continent were France and Russia, which some fifteen years earlier had formed an alliance to contain the Germans.
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Great powers are determined largely on the basis of their relative military capability. To qualify as a great power, a state must have sufficient military assets to put up a serious fight in an all-out conventional war against the most powerful state in the world.6 The candidate need not have the capability to defeat the leading state, but it must have some reasonable prospect of turning the conflict into a war of attrition that leaves the dominant state seriously weakened, even if that dominant state ultimately wins the war.