Top 10 Military Powers 20 years from now

akiboy

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The Top Military Powers 20 Years From Now
by Harold C. Hutchison
May 18, 2005
Discussion Board on this DLS topic

Who will be the big world powers twenty years from now? This is a difficult prediction to make, largely because in 20 years, many unexpected changes could take place. For example, two decades ago, the United States and Soviet Union were locked in a Cold War. Nobody expected that in five years from then, the Berlin Wall would fall and the Soviet Union would literally disintegrate. That said, there is an idea of who is emerging, and who is fading.

10. Brazil – This country is emerging as the dominant military and economic force in Latin America. It operates the only aircraft carrier outside the US Navy in the Western Hemisphere. Currently, Brazil is trying to build up its forces still more, and is pursuing a program to build a nuclear-powered attack submarine and could be pursuing nuclear weapons development as well.

9. South Korea – This country has an indigenous naval program that is quite solid, and one of the better armies in the world. The only thing holding it back is a reliance on foreign designs for aircraft, although it is manufacturing F-16s locally.

8. Germany – Despite reductions in the German defense budget after the end of the Cold War, this military has several quality systems (like the Leopard 2 main battle tank and the Type 212 submarine). Germany also has had a tradition of effective military forces (just ask the Romans).

7. Japan – This is a country which has, with one hand tied behind its back, developed the number two navy in the Pacific Rim, and arguably the second-best air force (tied with China). The only thing that holds Japan back is an apparent lack of desire. Things could rapidly change on that front, though.

6. Russia – This country has a lot of nukes, and a lot of bombers. While naval designs (like the Kirov-class battlecruisers and Oscar-class submarines) are good on paper, they still have quality issues, and accidents are not unheard of. Still, this is a country that has some advantages, and is no pushover.

5. France – Probably in better shape than what one would expect. This is largely because of the quality of the troops (due to career NCOs). Has remained self-sufficient in terms of producing major weapons systems (see the Rafale), and operates the only CVN outside the U.S. Navy (even though it has had problems).

4. China – This is a force that has quantity on its side, and is rapidly trying to improve its quality. Their air force will probably have the largest force of Su-27 fighters in the world (at least 580, compared to the 550 in Russian service). The Chinese navy is rapidly introducing new classed of destroyers and frigates that are close to the quality of American and Japanese surface combatants. That said, it is still behind, and the Chinese financial situation could go downhill rapidly.

3. UK – While small, this is a force that not only had a tradition of high quality, it has proven as recently as 1982 that it can operate half a world away and still accomplish a difficult mission. Sailor for sailor, there is no better navy than the Royal Navy.

2. India – Probably the most dynamic country in terms of the leaps. India is rapidly becoming self-sufficient in a number of areas, and what it cannot produce, it is able to buy. Currently reasearching the Surya ICBM series with a range of 13,000 km and equipped with a 250 kiloton warhead beating any Chinese ballistic missile in terms of range and yield. Plus , India is developing the Sagarika Cruise Missile which will be second only to the American Tomahawks.It also has some of the best training in the world, and can give an unsuspecting opponent a surprise. Probably the next superpower due to a more firm economic footing, and the fact that its Navy is much more advanced than China’s.

1. USA – Even while fighting a war on terrorism, the United States is pursuing new technology (such as UCAVs) to maintain an edge over any potential challenger. The forces are well-trained, and the United States Navy is still the most powerful in the world. The term superpower almost understates what the United States can do – it is arguably a hyperpower.
 

Dirt McGirt

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An interesting topic but I don't buy the author's reasonings. Only the top 4 are going to be considered mega superpower armies. I'll call it a tie between the US and China for the top spot 20 years from now.

1. US
1. China
3. Russia
4. India
5. France
6. Japan
7. South Korea
8. Israel
9. Germany
10. Ukraine, Brazil, Iran, and the UK all tied here.

North Korea is a top 10 military power today but 20 years from now I don't know if they'll even be around.
 
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akiboy

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An interesting topic but I don't buy the author's reasonings. Only the top 4 are going to be considered mega superpower armies. I'll call it a tie between the US and China for the top spot 20 years from now.

1. US
1. China
3. Russia
4. India
5. France
6. Japan
7. South Korea
8. Israel
9. Germany
10. Ukraine, Brazil, Iran, and the UK all tied here.
North Korea is a top 10 military power today but 20 years from now I don't know if they'll even be around.
Russia can no longer be considered in the top 3. Maybe in the top 5 but definitely not in the top 3. Russia's military is facing a severe budget cut and cannot expand/upgrade their huge arsenal. The Russian Navy which was so formidable during the Cold War is silently degrading after the breakup of the Soviet. One can find many Cold War era ships rotting away in the ports of Russia. Plus , Russia hasen't come up with any new subs or missiles. They don't even have enough money to upgrade their old nuclear facilities. I recently read in the news that Russia is planning to re equip its mobile lauchers with old Topol M warheads..I don't know how much of that is true but one thing is for certain Russia can never become the military powerhouse it once was. Yes , I know they still have enough warheads , bio/chem weapons facilities to blow the world thrice but their Air Force and Navy are in bad shape. There is practically no organization in their huge land based army. But , yes they still can destroy any nation's economy and civilian population.
 

ekrem

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Russia can no longer be considered in the top 3. Maybe in the top 5 but definitely not in the top 3. Russia's military is facing a severe budget cut and cannot expand/upgrade their huge arsenal. The Russian Navy which was so formidable during the Cold War is silently degrading after the breakup of the Soviet. One can find many Cold War era ships rotting away in the ports of Russia. Plus , Russia hasen't come up with any new subs or missiles. They don't even have enough money to upgrade their old nuclear facilities. I recently read in the news that Russia is planning to re equip its mobile lauchers with old Topol M warheads..I don't know how much of that is true but one thing is for certain Russia can never become the military powerhouse it once was. Yes , I know they still have enough warheads , bio/chem weapons facilities to blow the world thrice but their Air Force and Navy are in bad shape. There is practically no organization in their huge land based army. But , yes they still can destroy any nation's economy and civilian population.


That is not true.
Russians have very good military projects ongoing like T-95 and Black Eagle in MBT areas
http://armor.kiev.ua/fofanov/

S-47 and MIG 1.44 test-projects with Plasma Stealth experiments to counter F-22 and F-35 will be implemented on 5th Generation fighter Suchoj T-50 which is in development.
http://www.aeronautics.ru/archive/plasma/index.htm

Besides Russians are modernizing especially their tactical Missiles and Navy Fleet (25 modern ships being constructed).
http://warfare.ru/?linkid=1720&catid=243&pending=true

Also the Russians have GLONASS, the Russian GPS, for military use.


Also Russian defense budget grew from 2004 to 2005 by 27%.
http://www.mosnews.com/news/2004/08/20/defensebudget.shtml

And from 2005 to 2006 by 22%.
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com...cial-fy-2006-russian-defense-budget/index.php

From 2006 to 2007 budget will raise again by 29%.
http://warfare.ru/?lang=&linkid=2279&catid=239

Never underestimate the Russians, in areas like defensive and offensive Missile Technology they are leading and in all other areas they do not need to hide from any other state.
Russia has Know-How and what is more important, with constant high prices of oil and natural gas the neccassarily Dollars to make use of that Know-How.
Russian Know-How can cope with armed conflicts of the 21st century.
I think Russia will be for next or 2 decades still Number 2 military power behind
USA.

Only China can kick Russia from that position, India never.
Both India and China still are biggest importers of Russian military hardware and Technology Know-How Import.
 

Said1

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And don't forget the rootin', tooting, cowboy shotin Canucks. I mean really, somebodies a gonna getta hurt with that giant acme sling shot, eh. one of these days, pow, right in the kisser.

And while I'm at it, take off, eh!
 

ekrem

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This is very speculative, as many factors have to be considered, such as Know-How, economy, ressources, changeing security threats (like Japan) etc.

But, for next 20 years without considering nuclear capability i would say:

1. USA
2. Russia and China
3. UK and Japan
4. Germany and India
5. Brazil, France, Italy, Turkey, South Corea
6. Israel and Spain
7. Indonesia, Mexico, Canada, Pakistan
8. Egypt, Australia, Argentina, Sweden
9. Saudi-Arabia
10. Iran, Thailand, Ukraine
11. Greece
 
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akiboy

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That is not true.
Russians have very good military projects ongoing like T-95 and Black Eagle in MBT areas
http://armor.kiev.ua/fofanov/

S-47 and MIG 1.44 test-projects with Plasma Stealth experiments to counter F-22 and F-35 will be implemented on 5th Generation fighter Suchoj T-50 which is in development.
http://www.aeronautics.ru/archive/plasma/index.htm

Besides Russians are modernizing especially their tactical Missiles and Navy Fleet (25 modern ships being constructed).
http://warfare.ru/?linkid=1720&catid=243&pending=true

Also the Russians have GLONASS, the Russian GPS, for military use.


Also Russian defense budget grew from 2004 to 2005 by 27%.
http://www.mosnews.com/news/2004/08/20/defensebudget.shtml

And from 2005 to 2006 by 22%.
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com...cial-fy-2006-russian-defense-budget/index.php

From 2006 to 2007 budget will raise again by 29%.
http://warfare.ru/?lang=&linkid=2279&catid=239

Never underestimate the Russians, in areas like defensive and offensive Missile Technology they are leading and in all other areas they do not need to hide from any other state.
Russia has Know-How and what is more important, with constant high prices of oil and natural gas the neccassarily Dollars to make use of that Know-How.
Russian Know-How can cope with armed conflicts of the 21st century.
I think Russia will be for next or 2 decades still Number 2 military power behind
USA.

Only China can kick Russia from that position, India never.
Both India and China still are biggest importers of Russian military hardware and Technology Know-How Import.
Gosh.. I didnt know this. Thanks for the links. I came to my conclusions based on recent news reports of Russia's failed Bulava class SLBM tests and Russian defence budget cuts. There was also info on the Russian Navy's Cold War era ships decaying in Russian ports.

As you yourself said India can never kick Russia from that position...You are absolutely right.But neither can CHina. That is why India is ahead of CHina in the list (which was not written or thought by me before you start coming to any conclusions). If you have a look at the Indian military's upcoming projects you will agree. I agree that India has depended a lot on Russia for its defence needs but now India has indigenioulsy started developing its own defence stuff. The Surya 1 and Surya 2 ICBM is testimony to that. So is the Sagarika cruise missile (which is second best only to the Tomahawks). India's navy has started building 5 new aircraft carriers which will be ready by 2009-2010. The Indian Air Force is much much better than CHina's I agree India dosent have nuclear capable aircraft yet...But , India has the latest Migs and Sukhois purchased from Russia which beat any Chinese fighter. (The chinese have the Su-27 while the Indians have the Su-30 and Mig 27).Plus , india's army gets one of the best training in the world. The "Gurkha" regiment of the Indian Army is one of the best in the world.
India has already started building French Scorpene submarines locally in its docks as the technical know how has been given from Paris.

So , neither CHina or India can ever beat Russia or USA in terms of defence and military might. But India can be the third most powerful nation in the world in terms of military might.
 

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Oh sure, fighting Argentina with hidden US help is really difficult.Operating used US naval systems is even more difficult. Buying/Gaining US technology is also difficult. You must be a superpower to do that.
:clap2::clap2::clap2::clap2::clap2:
:tongue::tongue::tongue:
 
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RetiredGySgt

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I believe in the 90's the Indian Air Force managed to beat a US team in a practice fight.
 

Ringel05

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I believe in the 90's the Indian Air Force managed to beat a US team in a practice fight.
A couple of my friends were driving Abrams in Germany not that long ago. They were part of a joint exercise between the Germans and American forces. To make a long story short the Germans kicked our butts. Superior tactics managed to destroy our armor and air support with their armor, air and ground support.
 

Annie

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I believe in the 90's the Indian Air Force managed to beat a US team in a practice fight.
A couple of my friends were driving Abrams in Germany not that long ago. They were part of a joint exercise between the Germans and American forces. To make a long story short the Germans kicked our butts. Superior tactics managed to destroy our armor and air support with their armor, air and ground support.
I think the US will be in the top 10, but not necessarily the top 5. Russia? Depends on whether or not Putin is able to grab territory. China/India definitely.
 

Ringel05

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I believe in the 90's the Indian Air Force managed to beat a US team in a practice fight.
A couple of my friends were driving Abrams in Germany not that long ago. They were part of a joint exercise between the Germans and American forces. To make a long story short the Germans kicked our butts. Superior tactics managed to destroy our armor and air support with their armor, air and ground support.
I think the US will be in the top 10, but not necessarily the top 5. Russia? Depends on whether or not Putin is able to grab territory. China/India definitely.
Like Ekram stated, never under estimate Russia. Putin and the Russians are scary, he has a long term goal to make Russia the Superpower it once was, plus some and will do just about anything to achieve that goal. The Russians, even more than the Chinese, are not to be trifled with.
 

shawn_gg

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Why didn't anyone put the North Koreans into the list as well?


1. US
1. China
3. Russia
4. India
5. France
6. Japan
7. South Korea
8. Israel
9. Germany
10. Ukraine, Brazil, Iran, and the UK all tied here.
 

eagleseven

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I don't believe the North Koreans should be on the list...they have bodies and little else. Poor as hell, and so they have outdated junk. Modern technology differentials more than compensate for manpower, as one bullet is still cheaper than one man. If I had to rank them:

1. USA
2. China
3. India
4. Russia
5. South Korea/Japan/UK/Germany (small, but advanced)
6. Brazil


USA: While the US will be reducing its massive defense budgets in the short term, we have a trump card. Within the next two decades, we will see the full-scale deployment of laser weaponry on US naval vessels, aircraft, and armored vehicles. Needless to say, this will render virtually all other heavy weapon systems obsolete, and cause a paradigm shift in military doctrine.

UK Telegraph: US Military Develops Anti-Aircraft Laser
Wired.com: Military Laser Hits Battlefield Strength
New Scientist: US military sets laser PHASRs to stun

China: Self-explanatory. Money + Massive Manpower + Modern Designs = Superpower. China edges out India, primarily because the Chinese military has the practical experience required to develop effective doctrines for their manpower.

India: Nearly tied with China for similar reasons, although I rank them below China primarily because their modern military remains largely untested. The last major action India saw was WWII, and the world has changed dramatically since then. Yes, I do realize that India fought four wars against Pakistan, but India demonstrated a critical lack of an unified military doctrine (ie didn't learn from their mistakes). Perhaps India will develop a cohesive doctrine eventually, but in the near future, China has the advantage.

Russia: Still maintains a massive, if aging arsenal, but is hurt by lack of funding and manpower. They are holding onto their position primarily due to their oil wealth...but may lose it to its EU neighbors if Russia becomes too aggressive. With just oil wealth, however, they will be unable to keep up with the top three.

Smaller States: They are all linked to the US, and so will benefit from US tech developments, and still have significant manpower reserves. What puts them over the top, however, is their extraordinary wealth, wealth that is increasingly being poured into weapons development.

Brazil: Brazil, though no doubt a rising economic power, still lags behind the smaller states in terms of military power in the long term. Why? Due to a lack of immediate threats. Japan, India, and South Korea all have the threat of China to encourage military spending. Germany and the UK must provide a counterbalance to the new Russian Empire. Brazil, in contrast, has no effective threats from its neighbors. The only remotely militaristic South American regime, Hugo Chavez, has a population, military, and economy a tiny fraction of the size of Brazil's.



Well, there's my two cents...
 
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JW Frogen

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The list makes sense, I will not argue with it, but mark my words there will be some rouge wild card that threatens far more havoc than these powers.

I mean who would have thought a Saudi psychopath dependent on Yak powered dialysis machines would strike a major blow against the US?

It is the crazy fuck wad powers you really have to worry about, those who could give a fuck about balance of power, like Iran.
 

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Russia can no longer be considered in the top 3. Maybe in the top 5 but definitely not in the top 3. Russia's military is facing a severe budget cut and cannot expand/upgrade their huge arsenal. The Russian Navy which was so formidable during the Cold War is silently degrading after the breakup of the Soviet. One can find many Cold War era ships rotting away in the ports of Russia. Plus , Russia hasen't come up with any new subs or missiles. They don't even have enough money to upgrade their old nuclear facilities. I recently read in the news that Russia is planning to re equip its mobile lauchers with old Topol M warheads..I don't know how much of that is true but one thing is for certain Russia can never become the military powerhouse it once was. Yes , I know they still have enough warheads , bio/chem weapons facilities to blow the world thrice but their Air Force and Navy are in bad shape. There is practically no organization in their huge land based army. But , yes they still can destroy any nation's economy and civilian population.
Rush ? Hannutsy ? Ann ? Is that you posting ?:confused:
 

Charles Stucker

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USA: While the US will be reducing its massive defense budgets in the short term, we have a trump card. Within the next two decades, we will see the full-scale deployment of laser weaponry on US naval vessels, aircraft, and armored vehicles. Needless to say, this will render virtually all other heavy weapon systems obsolete, and cause a paradigm shift in military doctrine.
When did lasers become able to ignore fog, dust, smoke, etc? Something which obscures sight effectively blocks lasers used as weapons. Too much power is lost over any distance. As a sighting/rangefinding tool, fine - works great. As a battlefield weapon - I would have to see it in practice before I would give it much credence.
 

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20 years from now the US will be so broke that it'll cause the states to separate.
 

mightypeon

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As Ekrem said, even parts of the Russian Cold War arsenal are ahead of some junk the oh so mighty US Army uses today. As a former artillery jock, I am hard pressed to come up with an Self propelled barrel artillery system currently in use by a non third world country that is Worse than the US M109.
Also, the Russians (who were locally outnumbered, who was fighting in Georgia was the 56 Army, not the entire Russian military) totally trounced the US/Israeli trained Georgian army, although the Russians were tactically suprised.

Presently, I can see China overtaking Russia, but not India. This is because:
1: China has more dangerous neighbours, they have a crazy shithead with Nukes (North korea), 2 US proxies (Japan, South Korea), the Russian bear, a bunch of Moslem Seperatists (Do you know who actually borders Afghanistan? :D ) and India. Lets not forget the Vietnamese, with whom they also have ongoing border conflicts in the Spratly islands. In comparison, India only has to worry about Pakistan, and can assume that the Chinese have around 10 more pressing problems then border conflicts in the Himalaya. Also, China not quite democratic system will have much less problems in maintaining an (expensive) armament programm than India would.

Therefore, China will invest more of its resources into the military, and thus stay ahead of India.
Given the difference in manpower, I can see them overtaking the Russian federation, I cannot see how India would invest the significant ressources to do so.

Germany has the industrial potential to "outproduce" France or the UK with relative ease, however, it does not have the slightest reason to do so. As we Krauts finally learned after a bunch of World Wars (including the 7 years and the Napoleonic Wars), Russia is a far better trading partner/ally than a military opponent, the same reasoning also applies to the Russians.

Historically, if Germany and Russia fought against each other, things tended to go downhill for at least one, more often both sides, alliances (Polish Partitions, against Napoleon, against the Ottomans) were much more fruitfull.

Brazil is a country I cant really comment on.

South Korea, Spain and Sweden have a too low population base to really matter on a global scale I am afraid.
I am inclined to believe that both Indonesia and Vietnam may overtake them.
 

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