What role can or should Europe play in the world? Should it remain an economic power? Or should it also become a military one? But have not the limits of the use of force become all too clear these days? If Europe wants to be an actor on the international stage, should it not define more clearly its own conception of the world that needs to be built? And should it not use the means that suit those ends?
Before attempting to answer these questions, it would be useful to examine the issue of military power as experienced by the United States. After the Wall came down in 1989 and the USSR disappeared in 1991, East-West bipolarity gave way to unipolarity. Today, the US is the world's one and only 'hyperpower', and it has grown stronger than ever. US military spending alone accounts for 45% of the world total.