Power is a relative concept. To say that one state is powerful means nothing. Power only derives meaning if it is evaluated in comparison. Two of the states whose powers we constantly re-evaluate are Russia and the United States. Much of our analysis is driven by just how weak we believe the Russian Federation is. When we look at its moves in Syria or Eastern Europe, we keep in mind Russia's relative strengths and weaknesses compared to its neighbors and the United States. There are many different ways to evaluate this discrepancy, but comparing the regional economies of the U.S. and Russia is particularly striking.