most powerful militaries

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most powerful militaries

Postby TerraFrost » Tue Sep 07, 2004 7:49 pm

clearly, the US has the most powerful military in the world. with over a million troops, supplied with some of the most advanced military equip. in the world, and around 10,000 nukes, it's hard to deny that. a few interesting quotes from the wikipedia entry on the united states armed forces...

the American military is unique among national militaries in its goal to maintain a large number of capabilities and to have the ability to project power globally. If its only goal were to maintain a credible nuclear deterrent and sufficient forces to defend against a direct attack on the American homeland, it could well have made do with a much smaller budget. However, the goals of the American military are much more expansive than that.

the United States is the only military in the world which is capable of global operations. Maintaining the ability to conduct operations throughout the world include the need to maintain power projection capabilities and the ability to deal with unexpected events - this includes the ability to fight (and win) multiple wars at the same time.

unlike the case with the Soviet Union, the amount spent by the US appears to be sustainable.

after the US, i think it would have to be russia. i don't know how many troops they have in their military, but they have around 19,000 nukes, and their military is probably outfitted with equipment that is, at most, ten or twenty years behind what the US is using.

an interesting quotes from wikipedia's entry on their military...

A new Russian military doctrine, promulgated in November 1993, implicitly acknowledges the contraction of the old Soviet military into a regional military power without global imperial ambitions.

after russia, i think it'd have to be china. they have the largest army in the world, although i think it's around 40-50 years behind the US's army, tech wise, and around 400 nukes. (wikipedia entry, cnn article).

after china, probably israel. i don't know the size of their military, but technology wise, it is comparable to, if not slightly ahead of the US. they also have around 200 nukes.

from their wikipedia entry:

The IDF is considered to be one of the most high-tech armies in the world, possessing top-of-the-line weapons and computer systems.

Currently Israel is the only country in the world with an anti-ballistic missile defense system "Hetz" and working with the USA on development of a tactical high energy laser system against medium range rockets (called Nautilus THEL)

after israel, i'd speculate india. wikipedia's entry on them is *very* sparse, but their entry on their WMD's suggests that they have up to 120 nukes. they also probably have a military whose size is comparable to china's (since both india and china have about the same pop., iirc). tech-wise, they're probably behind china.

after india, perhapes north korea. they have the world's fifth largest army, with around a million troops at their disposal, no nukes, and are, i would guess, are behind china, in terms of tech. a quote from their wikipedia entry follow:

The North has perhaps the world's second-largest special operations force (55,000), designed for insertion behind the lines in wartime. While the North has a relatively impressive fleet of submarines, its surface fleet has a very limited capability. Its air force has twice the number of aircraft as the South, but, except for a few advanced fighters, the North's air force is obsolete.

(cnn, wikipedia).

after north korea, i'd speculate that south korea was the most powerful. they have the world's sixth largest military, with around 650,000 troops, no nukes, and a military that, i would guess, is better equiped than north korea's military. (the above cnn article talks about their military, and their wikipedia entry is even sparser than india's).

the united kingdom probably falls somewhere in there. wikipedia doesn't seem to have one entry that covers all of the british armed forces, but their WMD article about the UK suggests they have around 200 nukes. they also probably have a military that's just a few years behind the US.

anyway, here's a thread at another board that sorta relates to this subject:

http://www.military-quotes.com/forum/vi ... php?t=3143

EDIT: on the subject of israel, israel apparently had the longest and strongest foward defense line in the history of warfare:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar_Lev_Line
Last edited by TerraFrost on Tue Sep 21, 2004 5:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby tsian » Wed Sep 08, 2004 6:18 am

I wouldn't forget Japan's SDF.

Should Japan ever decide to get rid of the Peace Clause in their consitution, their military would easily be one of (if not THE) best equipped in the world.
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Postby TerraFrost » Wed Sep 08, 2004 7:05 am

hmmm. i can't really comment on how high tech their military is, although seeing as how their sorta an industry leader, it stands to reason that they'd have a high tech military. size wise, they have around a quarter of a million troops, and they have no nukes (although since they have nuclear power plants, they could probably make nukes very easily, if they wanted to).

from wikipedia's entry on 'em...

the JSDF has a very limited oversea capability, lacks long range offensive capabiliteies like long range anti ground missiles, air-refueling (as of 2004), Marines or amphibious units, special forces, large cache of ammunitions, or ROE (Rules of Engagement). Japan's USD $42.6 billion/year budget makes it the fourth largest military spender in the world, after the big three -- United States, Russia and the People's Republic of China.

incidently, the number of nukes for the US and Russia, although correct, according to the links i provided above, seem to be incorrect, with regard to this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... ar_weapons
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Postby theprophet123 » Thu Sep 16, 2004 3:00 am

i mostly agree except u seem to be forgetting about pakistan
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Postby theprophet123 » Thu Sep 16, 2004 3:06 am

i feel really stupid about replying again but the article u used seems to be slightly obsolete(no offense intended) because the way it seems now north korea does seem to have a small nuclear aresenal
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Postby TerraFrost » Thu Sep 16, 2004 5:23 am

i'm assuming your refering to the reported siting of a mushroom cloud over north korea, next to the chinese border?

if so, then i'm not 100% convenced that that was a nuke. any sufficiently large explosion will create a mushroom cloud, in fact. also, there are certain tell tale give aways when there's a nuke. for example, seismographs should pick it up, satilites should detect heat spikes, etc (atleast according to the reading i did on the subj.). none of this is being reported for the mushroom cloud that appeared of n. korea.

and you're right about pakistan...

they have the eigth largest army, with around 600,000 troops, and around 35 nukes. (ref)
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Postby theprophet123 » Fri Sep 17, 2004 6:26 pm

that thing about north korea is true but as everyone knows they do have nuclear ambitions but that is true about the explosionsso ill awknowledge that its possible that they dont have nuclear weapons :MIB
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Postby Rapscallion » Fri Sep 17, 2004 10:51 pm

Has the Bosnia situation blown over yet?
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Postby TerraFrost » Fri Sep 17, 2004 11:34 pm

the Bosnia-Herzegovina conflict was, essentially, resolved with the Dayton Accords in 1995 (according to wikipedia, atleastl, heh). in all, around 200,000 people died from the conflict (ref)

incidently, there are several countries currently in situations similar to Bosnia-Herzegovina (where two countries are disputing land), and they can be read about, here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territorial_dispute

i was surprised to see that East Timor wasn't on the list. their territorial dispute with Indonesia seems to have ended mid-2002, with 100,000 to 250,000 dead (ref).

here's the status of some of the terrotorial disputes i was aware of before reading the wikipedia article on 'em:

the disputes over Kashmir (claimed by both India and Pakistan) seem to be rather peaceful since the mid-70's (ref).

same goes for the dispute over the Golan Heights (claimed by Syria and Israel), the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip (the last two are claimed by Israel and Palistine) (ref1, ref2).

on the mentioning of israel, it is kinda interesting to note that israel made all of these claims after the six-day war (in which they also decimated egypts air force) (ref)

the dispute over taiwan (between the republic of china and the people's republic of china - bet you didn't know they were different, heh) seems to have been relatively non-violent since the 60's, but only until the late-80's was martial law lifted (so while it may have been non-violent, it was still rather oppresive) (ref).

the dispute of chechnya (between russia and chechnya) has resulted in around 40,000 civilian deaths (ref).
Last edited by TerraFrost on Fri Sep 17, 2004 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Rapscallion » Fri Sep 17, 2004 11:38 pm

1nce again, thanks, Terra.
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Postby TerraFrost » Mon Dec 13, 2004 7:10 am

back to this subject again, heh...

the US spends, by far, more money than any other country on their military (ref). in fact, it may well be more than the rest of the world's military spending combined (i haven't added it up to verify).

the second table on this page provides a breakdown of where, exactly, the money alloted for the military went last year:

http://www.cdi.org/budget/2004/topline.cfm

you may note that no money is alloted towards intellegence organizations such as the CIA and NSA. that's because of the Central Intellegence Act. to quote from wikipedia's entry on the CIA (here)...

In 1949, the Central Intelligence Agency Act was passed, permitting the agency to use confidential fiscal and administrative procedures and exempting it from many of the usual limitations on the use of federal funds. The act also exempted the CIA from having to disclose its "organization, functions, officials, titles, salaries, or numbers of personnel employed."

i don't know if that applies to the NSA but irregardless, here's what wikipedia states is known about their budget:

Despite being the world's largest single employer of Ph.D. mathematicians, the owner of the single largest group of supercomputers, and having a budget rather larger than that of the CIA, it has had a remarkably low profile until recent years. For a long time its existence was not even admitted by the US government.

and...

The scale of the operations at the NSA is hard to determine from unclassified data, but one clue is the electricity usage of NSA's headquarters. NSA's budget for electricity exceeds $21 million per year, making it the second largest electricity consumer in the entire state of Maryland.


whether or not the CIA / NSA ought to be included in the military budget is a matter, i suppose, that's up for debate, but the CIA, atleast, has engaged in several clandestined military operations as described here.

personally, i don't know why one doesn't figure out how much the US spends on covert stuff by simply adding the year's deficit to the year's budget and then subtracting from that the amount of money the US has said its spent. of course, if the US hides their undisclosed spending amounts in other things (ie. if the military's budget was really only $100 billion, even though it claims to be ~$400 billion), that method wouldn't work.

anyway, all that said, here's a page that provides an interesting discussion of the US military and its budget, among other things:

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/040611.html
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