Economic strength is at least as important, maybe even more important. Nations are currently scraping to pay down deficits, and many of them are not able to keep their military as strong as they would like. The US has much of the latest technology, but can the US afford to keep purchasing this military strength with growing deficits. Much of the current deficit occurred during the Reagan years of military build up, and this now limits what we can do well into the future.
Some nations have more stable financial situations, but do not have the total amount of money necessary, because of their size, to be a real strong military power. Many of the nations that have valuable natural commodities that the world wants, such as oil, precious metals, etc., have acquired a strong standing in the world of foreign relations. The world's nations have to include the wishes of these countries in their policies because of these resources.
He who has the gold rules.