Machiavelli’s Fundamental Contribution
to the National Security Concept
as Revealed in The Prince
LUMINA – The University of South-East Europe
Abstract: Identifying the contribution of Niccolò Machiavelli to the substantiation of the national security concept, ranks him among the major promoters of the war phenomenon and state, the policy stance by one of the pillars of its stability, namely national security. Today, more than ever, "The Prince" is increasingly present, this is determined by social, political and military instability, of the 21st century and that’s why this study is a research designed to range Machiavelli among the precursors of the phenomenon of war, along with Sun Tzu and von Clausewitz. At the same time, according to 21st century thinking, we have brought in actuality, the issue of power, as a political, social and military phenomenon, highlighting the American analyst Dick Morris’ position, expressed in the "New Prince. Machiavelli in the 21st Century".
Keywords: Machiavelli, national security, war, military action, military thought.
1. PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS
The approach to the identification of the contribution of Niccolò Machiavelli to the substantiation of the war and security issues is occasioned by the 500-year anniversary of the publication of The Prince. LUMINA – the University of South-East Europe, with respect to this event, dedicated number 4 of South-East Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), to focusing the debates under the title of: The Exercise of Power 500 Years after the Publication of The Prince.
Identifying its contribution to the military science and the determination of the contribution to the General Security (but especially the Italian Nation’s Security), represents one of the main concerns of international relations in the 21st century. The book of Machiavelli, considered a milestone of modern political theory, is the result of his assimilation of a great experience (political, diplomatic and military), acquired in his double quality, as Chancellor of the Florentine Republic and analyst of the Italian Renaissance society. Both positions led him to an avant-garde vision, resulting from the denial of the reality of his time, social practice experience, but mostly from intuition and the conflicting nature of his flesh. All of this led posterity (especially that of the 19th century) to consider Machiavelli and his work as revolutionary, with respect to the phenomenon of political, diplomatic and military thinking. What needs to be underlined is his practical and pragmatic sense, what made him, inspired by The Art of War by Sun Tzu (the Chinese military thinker), assume the connection between the political and military fields and to establish the military science as a form of modern military policy.
From this point of view, although it is envied for his pragmatism and duplicity, Machiavelli exceeds the threshold of his era, passing to modernity, and due to The Art of War, but in particular to The Prince, be the initiator of a first political, legal, diplomatic and military treaty, which is nowadays more present than ever. The style of Machiavelli’s works (we refer herein to those that address the military field, i.e. both The Prince and The Art of War) is a real battle, in which the author will triumph. The universal coverage of the ideas and concepts expressed by the philosopher comes from the fact that he acquired a vast culture (as the continuator of Dante), admirer of strong personalities (Cesare Borgia-like pattern of the leader), the forerunner of Italian patriotism and modern Italy, traveller and witness of the deeds of the major European monarchs of the Renaissance (France and Spain), diplomatic experience (transformer of the Principality), but also from the art and practice of military skills.
To demonstrate the contribution of Machiavelli to the development of military science, we think that it is necessary to approach the phenomenon under two aspects – military theory and practice – well defined in space and time, by having all the existing information held and sufficient. Having the theoretical data available, it is observed that in the evolution of military thinking over time (before and after Machiavelli), there were also outlined two essential moments: 1. the empirical military action – based on the practice of armed events (a decisive role, based on personality, character, abilities, skills, virtues, will and charisma of its military commander); 2. the construction of a theoretical platform of military thinking – based on: substantiation of the armed war laws, construction of strategic, operative and tactical doctrines, establishing of the armed war principles, use of the military arts experience, development of military sociology, diversification of forms and methods of waging armed battle, development of arms, equipment and ammunition of war, etc.
In the spirit of the above, Machiavelli asserts that: “Yes, war is an enhancement of policy […]. Military thinking is part of the education of a statesman […]”. Not devoid of significance (especially in the context of the work to be studied), such contributions are of philosophical, historical, geopolitical, political, economic, technical, practical, sociological nature, etc. brought along history (especially by the Renaissance). However, all of these are coming to ennobling the content of military science and art, as related disciplines.
Incidentally, the author summarizes the pragmatic component which should be included in the study of military science: “If wearer to handle the matter clearly, [...] we must examine whether, to lead to an end to the action you have taken, the other is to be imposed by coercion, [...]we need to know that rattled peoples are changeable; and it’s easy to convince people of something, but it’s hard to tell them to be firm in this conviction. That’s why it’s good to be so prepared that, when they will no longer believe, you can make them believe by force”.
With The Prince, and also with The Art of War, Machiavelli brings a decisive and fundamental contribution to the military art, as a derivative of military science. It was outlined that all the components of the military art: preparation of war, tactic and strategy, planning and execution of military operations, preparation of territorial and economic, logistic and procurement etc., are the fruit of the development of military thought, as the expression of human theory and practice. The Prince could be considered a Treaty of Military Art and National Security, that actually represents an amount of rules, standards, principles, laws, etc., which can be considered, on the one hand, “a program of national reawakening”, and on the other hand, a base for writing the first “security treaty” or more accurately, “the national security strategy of Italy”. The advice given by Niccolò Machiavelli to his hypothetic and ideal Prince is the synthesis of his long political, military and analytical experience, the result of his trips, missions, battles or diplomatic negotiations. The substance of the treaty is the inoculation among the young generation of the idea of Italian national unity, virtue, dignity and patriotism.
Starting from the contents of this books and in conjunction with the above, in the following we will try to demonstrate the contribution of Machiavelli to the substantiation of the “national security” concept and at the same time, to present the reasons of the theoretical and practical value of his work at the level of military science, art and thinking development.
2. ARGUMENTS OF MACHIAVELLI FOR THE FOUNDATION OF THE CONCEPT OF “NATIONAL SECURITY”
“A state cannot establish security otherwise than with its own arms […]” said Machiavelli in the late 16th century, with the belief that, based on the arguments given by the military science and art, a state may coagulate and build a new national defence and warfare concept. Moreover, convinced of his visionary spirit, the philosopher said: “War must be the only job of Governments, Republics and Kingdoms. Never should a State allow any of its citizens or subjects to employ it as a profession”. Based on his life long experience and the study of philosophy and management, Machiavelli, in the construction of the concept of “national security” starts from the development of military science and art. Here is what he said in a discussion with Cosimo Rucellai and Fabrizio Colonna, strengthening the ideas mentioned above: “I am most content that you, with these other young people here, should question me, for I believe that young men will become more familiar with military matters, and will more easily understand what I have to say [...] that in war (which is my profession) [...] like a science”.
Military science is a particular science, which belongs to the practical-applicative domain, but also to the general theory of science. Similar opinions expressed by Machiavelli in The Prince and strengthened in the contents of The Art of War, we find a comprehensive definition of military science made by Herve Begarie Coutau, that said: “there is nothing but that branch of science dealing with the identification, localization, definition and understanding of the trajectories, that is such cases, laws and laws living war phenomenon, military action in general, of the circumstances which he favours, which determines or require military action, conditions which generates the moments that trigger, determining the stage or stages of the military confrontation. […] The theory does not have a practical purpose: it does not provide recipes, it is required by the common doctrine”. In other words, we can say that, in Machiavelli’s opinion, military science “tries to adapt the best instruments of the military of a nation to the Government’s policy”. (“It studies the weapons used to respond in the proper way to the issues with which it will be confronted in an eventual war”.) This science also includes developing military theories relying on past battles, in order to develop strategies for defence or attack. Thus, it is about improving the combat capabilities or the response of the country’s army.
On the basis of a detailed study of The Prince, we have identified the main arguments raised by the author as a basis for the construction of a security strategy. We shall further on review the most relevant arguments, as follows:
1) the status of autonomy and lack of the Principality’s independence – that affects the leader’s position, the diplomatic and legal protection system of the State. Machiavelli observes “the difficulties in holding hereditary states, and those longer accustomed to the family of their prince than new ones; for it is sufficient only not to transgress the customs of his ancestors, and to deal prudently with circumstances as they arise, for a prince of average powers to maintain himself in his state, unless he be deprived of it by some extraordinary and excessive force”, what they cherish to think and analyse the most feasible state organisation (hereditary Principality, conquered or mixed). The author’s invocation is a hymn, being a proclamation by all principalities (the entire Italy) for the spirit of Italian nationalism and reawakening;
2) frequent changes in the geopolitical situation of the Principality – made the influence of France and Spain be decisive. Machiavelli with lucidity into the core problems, advocating independence and state union. His outburst “Esortazione a pigaliare l,Italia e liberarar la dalie mani dei barbari [Exhortation to take Italy and release it from the hands of the barbarians]” actually represents the justification for his writing The Prince;
3) modifications in European politics of the 16th century – through the author’s contribution, Italy kept its key role in the politics of Europe, making from politics a real science, much different from moral ethics and human dignity. Due to his contribution to policy development (especially the military one), Machiavelli won the reputation of being called by his contemporaries the Galileo affair. In a period of geopolitical mutations and animated conjunctures, Machiavelli builds a hypothetical Italian State (with all the characteristics of a nation: population, territory, race, language, culture, traditions);
4) development of military thinking – by Machiavelli’s contribution, it became an autonomous policy, subsumed within reason, as a dominant factor in the bodies of State power. The concept of military thinking (watching the geopolitical realities and truth), contributed decisively to the future national state and government edification of Italy. Machiavelli sees this as follows: “A prince ought to have no other aim or thought, nor select anything else for his study than war and its rules and discipline; for this is the sole art that belongs to him who rules”.
5) reawakening national sentiment – Machiavelli’s contribution to raising the level of the intellectual, ideological, political consciousness, patriotism and Latin virtues revival was depending on the aspirations and openings of the Renaissance. The author analyses the military history of Antiquity up to the present time, pointing out that “impartiality and purity are constituent items of virtue” (actually also pointed out by Marcel Brion in his Machiavelli). Alexandru Balaci, a Romanian Academician, in the preface of The Prince, shows that: “Patriotism has always been Machiavelli’s motor element, the first impulse of all his actions, serious emphasis that sealed his whole work”. Niccolò Machiavelli says that: “The Supreme good for the universality of the people of Italy consists of the country’s liberation from the domination of the barbarians and the building of a unitary State”;
6) the evolution of military armaments and materials– as seen by Machiavelli this refers to: improvement and enhancement of combat equipment production (quality ammunition and projectiles, technical and tactical performance, manoeuvrability, etc.); fundamental transformation of the means of fighting (improvement of infantry light weapons, diversification of means of individual defence, the development of fortifications by Vauban); disappearance of outdated and anachronistic military battle equipment (replacement piles, armour mobility, replacement of tournament armour).
3. THE RISKS AND THREATS TO SECURITY IDENTIFIED BY MACHIAVELLI
The early 16th century has changed dramatically the European and regional security framework. Security was considered exclusively a state’s (principality) problem, only to a limited narrow number of issues such as: peace and war. Of course, you don’t have to limit or minimize the role of states, quite on the contrary, their importance in this case, their sustained efforts and those of diplomatic treaties, the European powers and ecclesiastic actors represented by the Papal States, concerned to create the security environment, meant to guarantee peace and stability in Europe, particularly in the Mediterranean See basin. One of the ways used in achieving this goal, consists in an effort to avoid or reduce to a minimum “strategic risks, trends, issues and events capable or likely to affect or be passed on to the national interests of States”. The 16th century evolved towards the consolidation of a polarized Europe (around Austria, France and Spain). It is increased, so the world competition for control of strategic resources and the access to them, arrangements for identification and mitigation solutions for negative effects of Europeanization. The dimension of national security is working closely together with the determination of the risks, dangers and threats to it.
The undeniable merit of Machiavelli is to identify the risk factors for the principality’s security that ended by giving the character of the work as Treaty of Security and Geopolitics. The philosopher was able to identify the main risk factors in the form of: tensions and regional and sub-regional conflicts, uncontrolled and destabilizing accumulations of forces, development and dissemination of lethal military technologies and materials, extension in time of social difficulties, migration of populations, restricted access to vital resources, etc., which in his opinion might degenerate into threats and dangers.
When analyzing the phenomenon of security state (principality), the author asserts that: “the reaction to risks, threats, challenges and dangers to safety and national independence may take various forms of manifestation”, such as: political, economic, scientific and military integration of the Principality in the European society of the 16th century; improvement of the political and military alliance system; development of European and regional policy security cooperation and collaboration; regional policy initiatives of collaboration between roughly chopped Italian principalities; the need for dialogue within the framework of State structures and the State; involvement, through the Papacy, into collective security structures of the Mediterranean and Europe; agreements/bi and multilateral treaties, national and regional; changing the mentality on the national security organisation; responsible contribution of masses to the national-state values; strengthening institutions with competences in the field of State security. At the same time, we believe that it is necessary for the definition of the Principality as armed defence configuration to analyse the main risks and threats to the State, in order to identify future actions and determine the possible constraints in their preparation and enforcement.
3.1. External Risk Factors to the Security of the Principality
In the contents of external risk factors, Niccolò Machiavelli points out the following items:
1) the absence of security arrangements (alliances, diplomatic treaties, agreements) in order to provide security for small States in the area. Machiavelli establishes the effectiveness of such agreements of other States-provinces that have brought stability and progress: “[...] as one has seen in Brittany, Burgundy, Gascony, and Normandy, which have been bound to France for so long a time”;
2) deepening geopolitical, historical, military, and economic differences, as well as damaging the interests of strong European countries, stable and richone (represented by France, Austria and Spain) and of the smaller ones, roughly chopped and unstable States (Italian principalities). The arguments are convincing for doing so:“So if the first time was enough as a result, for the Duke Lodovico, to clink the guns on the border of Milan, in order for France to lose her mastery here”;
3) Europe’s population growth and its food needs;
4) the presence in the Mediterranean area (at regional or sub-regional level) of tensions and conflicts, that can extend, and the maintenance of such conflict hotspots;
5) uncontrolled and destabilizing accumulations of mercenary forces and military battle material in the strategic interest area of the Principality;
6) emergence of diplomatic imbalances in the balance relationship between the sub-regional and regional States;
7) emphasizing and worsening the effects of the conflict destroyers with the use of mercenary armed force on the Principality’s territory;
8) emphasizing external demographic pressure, followed by the exodus of populations and migration, from one Principality to another.
3.2. Internal Risk Factors to the Security of the Principality
1) State leadership instability, manifested through frequent changes of princes and his team of leadership and support. The philosopher remarks that “the instability (of the Prince and his Principality) will first stem from a natural difficulty [...] namely that people are glad mastery, in the belief that they will have another better one that causes them to lift their weapons [...]”;
2) absence of a national army, composed of citizens loyal to the Prince and who have to be animated by the noble ideals of obtaining the people’s independence, defence, security and safety. You can see the anger in his voice when annoyed Machiavelli states that: “Mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous; and if one holds his state based on these arms, he will stand neither firm nor safe; for they are disunited, ambitious, and without discipline, unfaithful, valiant before friends, cowardly before enemies; the fact is they have no other attraction or reason for keeping the field than a trifle of stipend, which is not sufficient to make them willing to die for you”;
3) the lack of national legislation on national security and the harmonisation of its failures with those of European countries [...] the only target and the only thought are that the best suited science is the rule of the war, organization and discipline [...] – is one of the strongest arguments for drawing up a legislative defence framework by scholars and friends of the Prince;
4) extension of the internal economic and social difficulties that affected in a vital way the functioning of the Italian society;
5) chronicity of some major economic imbalances in the Italian area;
6) personalities, scholars, scientists and cultivated Italian people migrating to other powerful countries of Europe (Austria, France, Spain, the German States);
7) constraint of the Prince to call in foreign experts and pundits specialized in the political, diplomatic, military field, a fact which is much more expensive for the Italian State;
8) decreasing the authority of state institutions in the field of national security;
9) authorities’ incompetence in the field of security and war issues;
10) decreasing the life level of the population below the level of impoverishment.
3.3. Military Risk Factors to the Security of the Principality
In the evaluation of military risk factors Machiavelli identified mainly the following activities and elements which, along with other types of risks, may affect the national security of the Principality:
1) lack of a national army. The author’s arguments for the formation of a national army characterized by dedication, bravery, love of country are reinforced by the following quote: “Auxiliaries, which are the other useless arm, are employed when a prince is called in with his forces to aid and defend…”;
2) transformations in neighbouring countries, strong from the military point of view;
3) heavy burden, on the Prince, represented by the existence of old armaments and equipment, antiquated, anachronistic, unsuitable to the modern requirements of battle in the 16th century;
4) impact of feudal movements, of the fighting over the national territory and State infrastructure;
5) the current supply of the military effectives with worn out physically and morally armament and equipment;
6) insufficient financial resources allocated to the security of the Principality and maintaining of the mentality of true mercenary;
7) decreased interest in the development of patriotic virtues and love of country, as the inner strength of the military education of the population.
We should also emphasize the emergence of other causes and new risks, threats and hazards during the reference period up to the development of a national security strategy of the Principality.
4. NATIONAL SECURITY IN MACHIAVELLI’S OPINION ON THE RENAISSANCE
As we have shown above, on the basis of careful study of his era mutation, Machiavelli has noticed and identified the most relevant aspects of the risks and threats to the security of the Principality. All of them have been related to his personal fears over the future of the Italian State. As previously stated, we will deal with the identification of the main aspects content security-related as it’s seen by the philosopher.
Machiavelli, from our point of view, makes of The Prince a National Security Treaty wherein the following issues are addressed:
1. the role of the State must be privileged to provide national defence;
2. the role of the Supreme leader (commander), as coagulant factor for all citizens of the Principality for the defence of the country;
3. organization and performance of the State security management;
4. use of intelligence (information system) on behalf of the European power balance;
5. organization of the national defence system through the use of local population (recruitment of troops, development of the training system, military troops organization, army and equipment acquisition, patriotic and moral education of the military, system security arrangements and alliances, etc.);
6. organization of the system of moral education, patriotic, civic national army;
7. development of courage and confidence in the national values of the Principality;
8. strengthening of the discipline as defence value.
The role of the national security state must take as a basis the analysis of the risks, threats and hazards (presented in the previous chapter) and geopolitical assessments of the strategic interest area of the Principality. We realize that Machiavelli, in his analysis, starts from the form of government, but he doesn’t forget to emphasize its role in achieving security. “All states, all powers that have held and hold rule over men have been and are either republics or principalities. Such dominions thus acquired are either accustomed to live under a prince, or to live in freedom; and are acquired either by the arms of the prince himself, or of others, or else by fortune or by ability”. The author also notices that: “You must never pass up an irregularity occur in order to avoid war, because it does not avoid, but only delay it at the expense of yours”. Using the force of example of large and powerful States of the age (France and Spain), but also of those provided by the Antiquity (the Roman Empire, Greece, Carthage, Persia), Machiavelli hinted at what role the State should play with respect to security problems and how to solve them.
If we think of the role of the Supreme leader (in this case the Prince) for the management of defence issues, then we cannot notice that, though he did not identify a particular person, the philosopher presents highly argued his own opinions regarding the human model, personality, qualities, skills, dignity, respect for the country and people, from the perspective of national security. While in the area of identification, throughout several chapters of the book, we observe that, in fact, the prototype of the future Prince is to twin the virtues and the qualities of a politico-military leader that will become the Supreme Commander of the national armies.
I could notice that, just a treaty on strategy, many pages of the book are intended for arrangements reinforced management exercised by the commander. Those are argued as follows: “Whenever those states which have been acquired as stated have been accustomed to live under their own laws and in freedom, there are three courses for those who wish to hold them… and establishing within it an oligarchy which will keep it friendly to you. Because such a government, being created by the prince, knows that it cannot stand without his friendship and interest…”.
Of course, to be intellectually much more, we cannot get over the tips that enable him become the Prince, the permanent advice coming just from the appropriate friends, possessing military qualities and diplomatic skills. This approach will facilitate the analysis of the geopolitics profile, the strategic interest area of The Principality. Thus, we have to underline Machiavelli’s clear-sighted vision with reference to the Italian principalities from the perspective of their future unification. Assuming the qualities and skills in the field of war of the great personalities of history, such as the military leaders (Louis XII of France, Cyrus, Theseus, Moses) makes it possible for the person in the position of the Prince to take shape. At the same time, we can’t forget the need for diplomatic and military arrangements to strengthen the security of the country.
Machiavelli specifies that in order to defend the security of a Principality, it needs information as power, through the performance of a country and its army. Here’s what he says: “He would have gained so much power and it would be acquired as long as the authority reserves that would be what he could keep further by his own forces and never would have depended on the fate of the forces of another”. Not unimportant is to identify, strengthen and defend the system of alliances, in order to be able to defend the security of a State.
In other words, the Commander’s skills in The Prince need to be supported by diplomacy and treaties with friends or collectivises (completed under the direct leadership of the Papacy). That is why, in order to strengthen the afore mentioned, we may refer the matter to the importance that Machiavelli attaches to “secretaries that the princes we have in addition to their own”, in other words, “the choice of servants is of no little importance to a prince, and they are good or not according to the discrimination of the prince. And the first opinion which one forms of a prince, and of his understanding, is by observing the men he has around him; and when they are capable and faithful he may always be considered wise, because he has known how to recognize the capable and to keep them faithful. But when they are otherwise one cannot form a good opinion of him, for the prime error which he made was in choosing them”.
The importance of their existence and their capacity, ministers, counsellors (advisers), skilled people in the security management of a State, is reflected in the Organization of the National Defence System. With regard to the Organisation of the National System of Defence on the basis of using the local population, Machiavelli asserts that it is necessary a system of recruitment of soldiers and relinquishment of the mercenaries, development of the army training system and the military organization of the troops to maintain permanent troops, able to meet the needs of defence requested by the Prince. Moreover, he lays emphasis on the army equipment, moral and patriotic education of the military etc.).
Pride is the attitude of a Prince who: “must have only one target and one thought and to consider that the most appropriate art for him is the war, organization and discipline he asks: for it is the only art that is appropriate to have one command”.
Organization of the system of moral education, patriotic, civic of national army means from the perspective of Machiavelli the basis and strength to support the entire body of State security. Furthermore, using the moral force, military psychology methods, is the balance between praise and reproof, between punishment and recognition. Native intuition, matched by military experience, but most of the diplomatic skills, made the philosopher to develop the thesis according to which, in war it is important to prepare the national territory for defence, especially in terms of the existence of a small princely state. Development of a system of fortifications in times of peace enhances the confidence of the Prince in his military qualities and, at the same time, has the support of the masses in defence of their communities and properties.
The idea-force of this book is: to organize and defend the security of the Principality under the symbol of the fatherland. The country (homeland) for Machiavelli is the flag of “the national interest: the Unity of Italy”.The homeland focus the whole thinking and life in order to make an ideal: the individuality, morality, determinism and the virtue bind. From the perspective of Machiavelli, any action that touches the ethics is relative.That is why our approach towards the concept of security and its form, armed defence, constitutes and arousing interest in the 21st century realism.
5. THE CONCEPT OF POWER AT 500 YEARS FROM THE PUBLICATION OF The Prince
We wonder if today, in the 21st century, everything he has conceptualized Machiavelli in relation to security and national defence also maintain the timeliness or changed. The concept of power is an extremely complex notion and we say relatively difficult to comprised and explained in terms of the challenges of post-modernism. In the sociological vision, the power means “someone’s ability to impose the will within the framework of social relations, despite any resistance encountered and regardless of the factors that determine this ability”.In the context of international relations and diplomacy, and the theme of our discussion, the concept of power is: “the ability of a State to influence decision or control other States by using its system of force, security or defence”.Henry Kissinger coined power as: “the ability of an entity to enforce the will over another or to resist pressure from other entity”, and Walter S. Jones considered that power is “the ability of an international actor to use the tangible and intangible resources in such a way as to influence the results of the national relationships to their own benefit”.So as to seize the time to Machiavelli, power is: “a disproportionate relationship between people, groups, organization, states etc., and its exercise is closely related to intentions, needs, values or interests them and/or the uneven distribution of resources”. In The Prince, Machiavelli managed to compare the power of the States, to outlining, depending on the power potential, what is a derivative of several variables such as: geographical and geopolitical position, demographic status, trade and economic development, military potential, etc., as we have intimated earlier, to all these should be added socio-psychological variables, volitional, national and cultural skills and the multiplication of the possibilities of defence.
To keep us in our approach to “the national security and defence”, currently, there are two streams of opinions regarding the power of a State: the first-economic power went first, military power losing in importance –and the second-military power is the only real element of power and a State. Although the use of military power is all the more intensely contested in international politics, continues to be used for unlocking strategic situations and play a major role in setting up the international relations and global security environment. By the way, we don’t know what has changed since Machiavelli’s days, but we only know that diplomacy is more declarative. Due to the change in power relations, especially after 11 September 2001, in our opinion, power represents the ability of a State, a corporation, military or globalist, to act for the preservation of its interests, sometimes through the use of armed forces by a State or alliances, provided primarily by a military potential.
Therefore, we are dealing with military capabilities, which is an instrument of power, the main indicators whereof might include: the number of population falling into categories of armed forces and support units or emergency situations; the number and quality of major weapon systems; the number and quality of communications and information systems; the diversity and quality of critical infrastructure; the seize of the defence budget. In addition, to attain the success of strategies, all these elements must be associated with the contribution of intelligence and military technology, structural upgrades and transformations, technical and technological change, policy brought about by the Revolution in Military Affairs. Last but not least, a superior quality of leadership, the level of training, material and spiritual satisfaction, strengthening cohesion and morale of their troops will increase the cost-effectiveness of achieving the tasks entrusted.
The capacity of a State to use its military potential, in accordance with security policy and the promotion of national interests, gives the actual size of military power. As indicators may be used: the level of training of the staff; the reaction time to requests; the ability to sustain and projection armed forces, including outside of national borders; the level of deterrence that produces; the comparative analysis between private security systems and the most important worldwide.
The power of the State is given by a city situation affords effective and balanced power components (political, economical, military, technological-informational). Therefore, there is no political power consistent with the rules of democratic life, if it does not rely on a robust economy, and any economic system needs the intervention of political factors for normal development.
With respect to military power, as an important part of the theories about the concept of power, we must specify that it is based on a serious political justification. The political factor plots directions of realization and manifestation of the power of the military component, while military power comes to support the political defence of national interests. It lies in a strong relationship of interdependence with other components: the political, economic, demographic, cultural, technological, and informational ones. There can be no military power without economic power, without a healthy economic growth. It has no field of application without cultural or political power. However, technological and informational supremacy currently seems to be the essence of building a credible power.
The exercise of power 500 years after the publication of The Prince by Machiavelli, from the analysis perspective of the security concept confirms its validity and authenticity, although human society has prospered, has modernised itself, and its exercise tools have become more sophisticated.Today, on the one hand, the trend of major actors of the international scene manifests itself to exercise the power at local, regional or world wide level, and, on the other hand, the power marked by the efforts of small and medium countries, to get out of the sphere of influence of certain States, and pass into other spheres of influence, where they can defend and promote their interests fully. In 2003, an important American political consultant came to Romania, a manager of President Bill Clinton’s campaigns, dubbed by Time magazine as “the most influential normal citizen in America”, Dick Morrison, who has re-edited a book, The New Prince. Machiavelli in the 21st Century. In his book, The New Prince, Dick Morrison provides a message to the world of today, namely to choose idealism as a pragmatic attitude, instead of election by the cynicism of politicians, for manipulating people.
“Pragmatism has gained a reputation, and Machiavelli’s is still worse. Both have become similar to trick, deceit and manipulation. But, in a democracy a pragmatic task is not to descend to the lowest level, but to be practical, he means to work as well as to win and maintain the support of the population”. The above quote comes to certify the actual value of Machiavelli’s work and to authenticate the exercise of power in the 21st century.Moreover, the military power, in terms of expanding trade-environment and the emergence of the informational war, as more and more States pay a greater attention to the spatial component of strategic security operations.Multiplication of space will constitute military actors, perhaps an important feature of the next decade, in the context in which new technologies and military equipment represent a key factor in maintaining and strengthening a credible military power, capable of dealing with new threats to security.
BĂHNĂREANU, Cristian, Puterea militară în secolul XXI: modalităţi de realizare şi manifestare a puterii militare în societatea democratică românească, Editura U.N.Ap., București, 2005.
BEGARIE, Herve Coutau, Bréviaire stratégique [http://www.stratisc.org].
BRION, Marcel, Machiavelli, Artemis, București, 2001.
DINICU, Anca, “Puterea pe plan internaţional şi factorii care o condiţionează”, Revista Academiei Forţelor Terestre, Vol. 4, No. 32, 2003.
DOLGHIN, Nicolae, Mutaţii strategice actuale şi implicaţiile lor asupra acţiunii militare. Reconsiderări asupra mascării operativ-strategice. Activitatea comandamentelor şi statelor majore pentru perfecţionarea mascării operativ-strategice (Teza de doctorat), Bucureşti, 1998.
JONES, William Samuel, The Logic of International Relations, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 1991.
MACHIAVELLI, Niccolò, Arta războiului, Antet, București, 2001.
MACHIAVELLI, Niccolò, Principele, Monderos, București, 1999.
MACHIAVELLI, Niccolò, Principele, Humanitas, București, 2013.
MĂGUREANU, Virgil, Studii de sociologie politică, Albatros, Bucureşti, 1997.
MORRIS, Dick, Noul Principe. Machiavelli în secolul XXI, Ziua, București, 2003.
USCOI, Nicolae, “Procedura analizei ierarhice ca metodă de evaluare a riscurilor strategice”, Impact strategic, No. 3, 2002.
ZAMFIR, Cătălin, Lazăr VLĂSCEANU (eds.), Dicţionar de sociologie, Babel, Bucureşti, 1998.
 Marcel BRION, Machiavelli, Artemis, București, 2001, p. 197.
 Niccolò MACHIAVELLI, Principele, Humanitas, București, 2013, p. 89.
 Idem, Arta războiului, Antet, București, 2001, p. 7.
Ibidem, p. 9.
Ibidem, p. 7.
 Niccolò MACHIAVELLI, Arta războiului...cit., p. 10.
 Idem, Principele...cit., p. 55.
 Idem, Principele, prefață de Alexandru Balaci, Monderos, București, 1999, p. IV.
Ibidem, p. V.
 Niccolò MACHIAVELLI, Principele, Humanitas, București, 2013, p. 159.
 Marcel BRION, Machiavelli...cit., p. 89.
 Niccolò MACHIAVELLI, Principele (prefață de Alexandru Balaci), Monderos, București, 1999, p. IX.
 Idem, Principele, Humanitas, București, 2013, p. 167.
Nicolae USCOI, “Procedura analizei ierarhice ca metodă de evaluare a riscurilor strategice”, Impact strategic, No. 3, 2002, p. 59.
 Niccolò MACHIAVELLI, Humanitas, București, 2013, p. 57.
 Ibidem, p. 59.
 Ibidem, p. 59.
 Ibidem, p. 57.
 Ibidem, p. 139.
 Ibidem, p. 159.
Ibidem, p. 151.
Ibidem, p. 53.
Ibidem, p. 73.
 Ibidem, p. 81.
Ibidem, p. 103.
Ibidem, p. 229.
Ibidem, p. 159.
 Cătălin ZAMFIR, Lazăr VLĂSCEANU (eds.), Dicţionar de sociologie, Editura Babel, Bucureşti, 1998, p. 478, cited by Cristian BĂHNĂREANU, Puterea militară în secolul XXI: modalităţi de realizare şi manifestare a puterii militare în societatea democratică românească, Editura U.N.Ap., București, 2005, p. 6.
 Cristian BĂHNĂREANU, Puterea militară în secolul XXI: modalităţi de realizare...cit., p. 12.
 Henry KISSINGER, Problems of National Strategy. A Book of Readings, Praeger, New York, 1971, p. 3; William Samuel JONES, The Logic of International Relations, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 1991, p. 241, cited by Nicolae DOLGHIN, Mutaţii strategice actuale şi implicaţiile lor asupra acţiunii militare. Reconsiderări asupra mascării operativ-strategice. Activitatea comandamentelor şi statelor majore pentru perfecţionarea mascării operativ-strategice (Teza de doctorat_, Bucureşti, 1998, p. 6.
 Niccolò MACHIAVELLI, Principele, Humanitas, București, 2013, p. 35.
 Anca DINICU, “Puterea pe plan internaţional şi factorii care o condiţionează”, Revista Academiei Forţelor Terestre, Vol. 4, No. 32, 2003, p. 66.
 Virgil MĂGUREANU, Studii de sociologie politică, Albatros, Bucureşti, 1997, p. 71.
 Dick MORRIS, Noul Principe. Machiavelli în secolul XXI, Ziua, București, 2003, p. XV.