The Elements That Make-Up a National Power of the USA

Topic: Social & Political Theories
Words: 386 Pages: 1

Any powerful state is built on several significant pillars: a strong army, a thriving economy, the ability to negotiate, and effective information resources. Therefore, speaking about the main elements that form national power, it is necessary to consider the concept of Diplomatic, Informational, Military, and Economic power (DIME). Each kind of power can affect the other and contribute to the development of national interest. For example, diplomacy guarantees good relations with neighbors, ensuring trade between countries on mutually beneficial terms and developing the economy. Informational power promotes ideological concepts and supports the army. None of these elements can lead to a country’s success on its own: they are dependent on each other.

Although state power and military strength are considered synonymous by many people, the army is not the only primary element of any country. A strong army without developed diplomacy is not enough: it can start world wars, which will bring nothing except the devastation and death of people. It would also be wrong to say that military power should rank last in influence on the nation. For instance, the Army of the United States was “a key player in the spread of democracy, building partner countries’ strength through military-to-military relationships, personnel exchange, and humanitarian assistance operations” (Ebitz, 2019, para. 4). However, only considering the rules of diplomacy and economic strategy, “the Armed Forces shape and employ the military instrument to advance and defend national security interests” (U.S. Department of the Army, 2000, p. 5). Although several people accuse the USA of wielding soft power, military diplomacy can affect the country more positively than hard power (Nye, 2004). Therefore, the military plays a significant role in forming the state’s might if it cooperates with other types of power.

Each element of the U. S. national power does not possess sufficient strength to contribute to the country’s development. An economically developed country without an army cannot defend itself. A state with a powerful army but without a strong economy will not be able to sponsor the conduct of hostilities. The use of diplomacy helps steer the military’s effort in the right direction: the military starts contributing to conducting the diplomatic mission of the United States. Therefore, it is possible to provide the state power only by combining the efforts of all forces of the DIME group.


Ebitz, A. (2019). The use of military diplomacy in great power competition: Lessons learned from the Marshall Plan. Web.

Nye, J. S. (2004). The decline of America’s soft power. Foreign Affairs, 83(3), 16-20.

U. S. Department of the Army. (2000). Joint publication 1: Joint warfare of the Armed Forces of the United States. Web.

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