pinterest-p mail bubble share2 google-plus facebook twitter rss reddit linkedin2 stumbleupon

10 Countries That Could Win A World War III

Most Influential
10 Countries That Could Win A World War III

Via www.english.rfi.fr

It’s been 70 years since the end of the Second World War. In that time, technology has advanced dramatically, power balances have shifted, and the old wartime method of trenches and bayonets are truly obsolete. This gives rise to a hypothetical question: who is best-placed to triumph should a Third World War break out?

The way wars are fought have changed dramatically since WWII. Nuclear warheads have become more prominent, aircraft and naval technology is incredibly sophisticated, and the destructive capability of any modern military has exponentially grown since 1945.

Since there is no accurate way to predict the eventual winner of a hypothetical WWIII, this article approaches the question in a quantifiable manner by taking into account the military strength of each competing nation. Using the most recent statistics available, the criteria in which each country is judged is as follows:

  • Military personnel count: All active and reserve troops.
  • Total naval strength: Number of navy units.
  • Total air force strength: Number of aircraft.
  • Tanks: Number of tanks.
  • Military spending trends: Defense and military spending as a dollar amount and as a percentage of a country’s GDP.
  • Estimated nuke count: Number of disarmed, stockpiled, active nuclear weapons, and whether or not a country has the capability of building more.
  • Intangibles & Verdict: A summary of the country’s prospects and any outside factors that may swing the advantage towards a country

Using this simple criteria, here are 10 countries that have a shot at winning a hypothetical WWIII.

10. Turkey

shutterstock_279080378

  • Military personnel count: 410,500 active personnel, 185,630 reserve personnel.
  • Total naval strength: 115 naval units that includes 16 frigates and 13 submarines.
  • Total air force strength: 1,020 aircraft units that includes 223 fighters and 443 helicopters.
  • Tanks: 3,778.
  • Military spending trends: Approximately $18-22 billion (2.2% of GDP), which places it comfortably last on this list.
  • Estimated nuke count: None but is part of a nuclear sharing program. Good chance that they can build their own nukes if needed.
  • Intangibles & Verdict: Turkey has shown how you can do a lot with a minimal budget as it has a larger navy and air force compared to some of the higher ranked countries on this list. With the ISIS threat nearby, Turkey is also making efforts in improving every aspect of its military, from personnel training to technological innovation for its tank fleet, air force, and navy. With a series of borrowed nukes in its arsenal as part of the nuclear sharing program, Turkey could be a dark horse in a hypothetical WWIII situation if it plays its cards right.

9. Germany

shutterstock_252921634

  • Military personnel count: 179,046 active personnel, 145,000 reserve personnel.
  • Total naval strength: 81 naval units that includes 11 frigates and 4 submarines.
  • Total air force strength: 663 aircraft units that includes 105 fighters and 355 helicopters.
  • Tanks: 408.
  • Military spending trends: Approximately $46 billion (1.2% of GDP), ranked eighth or ninth (depending on source) in the world for military spending.
  • Estimated nuke count: None but has resources and capability to construct nukes if needed.
  • Intangibles & Verdict: Unlike its rivals, Germany has kept out of the military spotlight since WWII. Whilst Germany lags behind a number of countries in personnel and equipment on paper, there is great potential for another German uprising due to its strong economy, the leeway available to increase military spending, cutting-edge technology and innovation, and good training for all personnel. The only thing that could hold Germany back is its reliance on oil from Russia, but with all that engineering pedigree, Germany could probably engineer their way out of that problem before WWIII arrives.

8. South Korea

Via aprokonigeria.com

  • Military personnel count: 624,465 active personnel, 2,900,000 reserve personnel.
  • Total naval strength: 166 naval units that include 11 frigates, 12 destroyers, and 13 submarines.
  • Total air force strength: 1,412 aircraft units that includes 399 fighters and 668 helicopters.
  • Tanks: 2,381
  • Military spending trends: Approximately $36 billion (2.6% of GDP), ranked tenth in the world for military spending.
  • Estimated nuke count: None but has resources and the capability to construct nukes if needed.
  • Intangibles & Verdict: With North Korea constantly being a jerk by threatening to invade and stuff, South Korea has had to maintain a large and capable military in the event that North Korea decides to follow-up on their threats (which they probably never will). This has resulted in constant growth in the South Korean military and into new cutting-edge technology. The fact that South Korea is constantly on its toes also means that it will be ready to hold its own in the event a hypothetical WWIII should ever break out.

7. Japan

Via i.huffpost.com

  • Military personnel count: 247,173 active personnel, 57,900 reserve personnel.
  • Total naval strength: 131 naval units that includes 2 aircraft carriers, 43 destroyers, and 16 submarines.
  • Total air force strength: 1,613 aircraft units that includes 289 fighters and 741 helicopters.
  • Tanks: 678.
  • Military spending trends: Approximately $45.8 billion (1% of GDP), ranked anywhere from seventh to ninth (depending on the source) in the world for military spending.
  • Estimated nuke count: None but has resources and the capability to construct nukes if needed.
  • Intangibles & Verdict: Japan has become a pacifist country ever since post-WWII due to amendments to their constitution. The Japanese military is also comparatively tiny compared to its rivals but it is slowly growing. What the Japanese military lacks in numbers, it makes up for in technological innovation and the leeway to spend more on bolstering their military should war break out. Still, with a history of being honorable whilst being as tough as nails, a very well equipped military, and having geography play in its favor, you can be sure that when push comes to shove, Japan will pull out all the stops on all opponents.

6. France

shutterstock_199832462

  • Military personnel count: 202,761 active personnel, 195,770 reserve personnel.
  • Total naval strength: 113 naval units that includes 4 aircraft carriers, 21 frigates, and 10 submarines.
  • Total air force strength: 1,264 aircraft units that includes 283 fighters and 601 helicopters.
  • Tanks: 423.
  • Military spending trends: Approximately $62.3 billion (2.2% of GDP), ranked fifth or sixth (depending on source) in the world for military spending.
  • Estimated nuke count: 300 nukes, most of which are deployed on submarines.
  • Intangibles & Verdict: France is the military representation of the phrase “quality not quantity.” Despite being relatively quite small compared to other countries, the French military is highly-trained and possesses cutting edge equipment. With a fleet of highly advanced aircraft, tanks, and the only nuclear-powered aircraft carrier outside of the US fleet, France is definitely punching above their weight. What also goes in France’s favour is that they manufacture all their equipment, essentially giving them the ability to keep their weapons and equipment supply up in the event of a protracted conflict.

5. India

shutterstock_247365691

  • Military personnel count: 1,325,000 active personnel, 2,143,000 reserve personnel.
  • Total naval strength: 202 naval units that includes 2 aircraft carriers, 15 frigates, 9 destroyers, and 15 submarines.
  • Total air force strength: 1,905 aircraft units that includes 629 fighters and 584 helicopters.
  • Tanks: 6,464.
  • Military spending trends: Approximately $50 billion (2.4% of GDP), ranked around seventh or eighth (depending on source) in the world for military spending. Spending is expected to increase considerably over the next decade or so.
  • Estimated nuke count: Approximately 110 stockpiled nukes that were developed outside of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  • Intangibles & Verdict: With an ever-growing economy, India is among the second-tier group of upstarts who can potentially threaten larger military superpowers in the future. However, India’s quest for military supremacy is dulled somewhat due to its heavy oil consumption relative to the oil produced. Still, with a large number of raw man power at its disposal, plans for increased military spending and thus further technological advancement, there is potential for India to become a military superpower in the near future.

4. United Kingdom

shutterstock_180784073

  • Military personnel count: 146,980 active personnel, 182,000 reserve personnel.
  • Total naval strength: 66 naval units that includes 1 aircraft carrier, 13 frigates, 6 destroyers, and 10 submarines.
  • Total air force strength: 936 aircraft units that includes 89 fighters and 402 helicopters.
  • Tanks: 407.
  • Military spending trends: Approximately $60.5 billion (2.2% of GDP), ranked the fourth or fifth (depending on source) largest military budget in the world.
  • Estimated nuke count: Approximately 215 stockpiled nukes.
  • Intangibles & Verdict: What the UK lacks in sheer personnel, naval, aircraft, and equipment numbers, it more than makes up for it with its favorable geographic location. As the UK is situated on an island, it is difficult for any invading force to effectively attack without suffering considerable losses. Furthermore, the relatively strong UK economy allows for greater leeway into additional military spending if needed. The UK isn’t the most offensive nation compared to its nearest rivals, but it certainly will be among the best at defense.

3. China

Via YouTube

Via YouTube

  • Military personnel count: 2,333,000 active personnel, 2,300,000 reserve personnel.
  • Total naval strength: 673 naval units that includes 1 aircraft carrier, 47 frigates, 25 destroyers, and 67 submarines.
  • Total air force strength: 2,860 aircraft units that includes 1,066 fighters and 908 helicopters.
  • Tanks: 9,150.
  • Military spending trends: Approximately $216 billion (2.1% of GDP), comfortably the second highest military budget in the world.
  • Estimated nuke count: Approximately 250-260 stockpiled nukes. China has the fourth largest nuclear arsenal in the world and is increasing its arsenal size at a slower rate than its rivals.
  • Intangibles & Verdict: In terms of raw manpower, China would have everyone in the world beat if it were an old-school hand to hand battle. China still has a bit of catching up to do in terms of technology advancement, nuclear technology, and equipment numbers, but it is making great strides in modernizing its military. With its recent economic issues however, China’s march towards global domination is slowed somewhat but there is no doubt that China will recover.

2. Russia

shutterstock_220721938

  • Military personnel count: 766,055 active personnel, 2,485,000 reserve personnel.
  • Total naval strength: 352 naval units that includes 1 aircraft carrier, 4 frigates, 12 destroyers, and 55 submarines.
  • Total air force strength: 3,429 aircraft units that include 769 fighters and 1,120 helicopters.
  • Tanks: 15,398.
  • Military spending trends: Approximately $84 billion (4.5% of GDP) but it is expected that defense spending will grow considerably over the next few years.
  • Estimated nuke count: Approximately 3,200 retired nukes, 4,500 stockpiled nukes, and 1,582 nukes deployed. Russia has the largest nuclear arsenal of any country in the world and has plans for heavy investment into the modernization of its warheads.
  • Intangibles & Verdict: Russia controls a majority of the world’s oil, meaning that it has a considerable logistical edge over its nearest rivals. Despite a defense budget that is considerably less than its nearest rivals (for now), Russia is the world’s second strongest military power. With the ability to affect oil supply, plans to increase military spending over the next few years, the largest tank fleet in the world, the second largest aircraft fleet, and the third largest navy, there is little doubt as to who ranks second in military power in the world.

1. United States Of America

Via plus.google.com

Via plus.google.com

  • Military personnel count: Approximately 2.5 million (1.4 million active, 1.1 million reserve).
  • Total naval strength: 473 naval units that includes 20 aircraft carriers, 10 frigates, 62 destroyers, and 72 submarines.
  • Total air force strength: 13,892 aircraft units that includes 2,207 fighters and 6,196 helicopters.
  • Tanks: 8,848.
  • Military spending trends: With a budget of approximately $600 billion (3.5% of GDP), the US spends more on military and defense than all the other countries on this list combined. With that kind of money, they could literally throw money at a problem until it goes away.
  • Estimated nuke count: Approximately 2,340 retired nukes, 4,717 stockpiled nukes, and 1,597 nukes deployed. The second largest nuclear arsenal of any country in the world.
  • Intangibles & Verdict: Whilst the US has had its share of economy and debt troubles, they still have far and away the largest defense budget in the world, numerous cutting edge technologies at their fingertips, the best trained military personnel in the world, and a massive nuclear arsenal for good measure. With problems affecting its nearest rivals, it’s not hard to see why the US would be an easy favourite to win a hypothetical WWIII.

data.worldbank.org

More Quizzes

Videos