"Now the kingdom of Qin threatens us from the west, the kingdom of Chu surrounds us from the south, the kingdom of Zhao attacks from the north, the kingdom of Qi comes close to our eastern borders, the kingdom of Yan cuts us off from the rear, the kingdom of Han intends to invade our lands from the front. From the troops of the six kingdoms we must defend ourselves from all sides. The situation is very unfavorable, "
U-Tzu, "On the art of war"
Has the world become safer?
On the eve of September, 11, 15 celebrated its anniversary in New York, of which more than nine thousand people were killed, of whom nearly three thousand were killed.
Nine days after the tragic events, September 20 of 2001, then US President George W. Bush, in an address to Congress and the American people, officially declared war on terrorism:
“Our war on terrorism begins with al-Qaida, but this will not end. It will not end until every terrorist group in the world is found, stopped, and defeated.”
Two weeks later, on October 7, the United States launched Operation Enduring Freedom. The operation took place before 2014 in Afghanistan, Western Sahara and the Philippines. From that moment on, the arms race resumed in the world. All major states began to build up military force to prevent terrorist attacks in their territories.
To increase the budget expenditures on the defense industry, Western politicians have come up with other “threats”, the main of which they consider the Russian Federation, which, in their opinion, pursues an aggressive policy in Eastern Europe.
In fact, the United States does not like that with the advent of Putin, Russia began to pursue an independent foreign policy. This is what the US military uses, claiming that independent Russia is a threat to "democracy" and world security. Thanks to this image of the enemy, the American army is receiving ever greater budgetary injections for the development and production of new deadly machines.
However, Russia, China, India and other large states also increase defense spending. And then the main question arises: has this arms race made our world safer? Or is it all a waste of budget money?
Before answering, one should compare the military potentials of the world's strongest states and understand how each of them is ready to participate in the war against world terror.
To successfully wage any war, a country needs to spend a large amount of budget money on the army. In this regard, the United States is leading by a large margin, whose military budget in 2015 was more than 580 billion dollars.
Expenses were spent not only on the manufacture of air, sea and ground equipment, but also on innovative technologies. In the United States at the moment, great attention is paid to robotized equipment, infantry equipment and the creation of new systems that allow secretly to conduct operations in the sky and on the ground.
In addition, the United States is constantly increasing its presence in space: the largest grouping of military satellites of the world belongs to the United States. In principle, every “civilian” satellite (whether it is a communications or navigation satellite) can at one moment become an instrument of military operations. If we take into account that more than 30 units fly around GPS satellites, then this amount is enough to track the movement of all the armies of a potential enemy.
As for the other countries on our list, the sum of their military budgets will be 1,75 times less than US defense spending. The Russian military budget, interestingly, is eight billion dollars less than that of the UK. The main item of our country's military expenditures (68%) is the state defense order - the purchase of mass-produced weapons and prototypes of military equipment and small arms. weapons. In the operations of the Russian special services, it is increasingly possible to notice robotized equipment, which is bought abroad, and is being done by domestic manufacturers.
Without oil, the entire army will be completely immobilized, therefore the indicators of oil production and consumption are among the main ones in the assessment of the country's military potential.
Despite a smaller amount of proven reserves of black gold than, for example, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, or even Canada, Russia is the world leader in oil production. In terms of oil consumption, Russia ranks fourth, overtaking only the UK and France.
Consumption and oil production have a ratio of one to 3,33. In the United States, this ratio is 2,23 / 1: oil consumption is 19 million barrels per day, and production is 8,5. For the US, such a large gap between consumption and production is quite reasonable, since, unlike in the Russian Federation, oil products for them are not the main export item: almost all the oil produced goes to the domestic market.
In addition, the United States has nothing to worry about, because Venezuela is close to them - the Latin American state with the largest proven oil reserves in the world. This state supplies the United States with 86% of all exported oil. Approximately the same situation with the other countries that are considered in the rating: China, India, France and the United Kingdom do not depend on the export of raw materials as much as Russia.
China, the largest state in terms of population, at the same time has the largest number of people who can be drafted into the army in the event of a major local or global conflict. The size of the army (including those transferred to the reserve) is the largest in the world and is 4,6 million people.
Not much for this indicator lags behind China, India, whose population has recently reached 1,3 a billion people. Russia, despite the relatively small number of people, has the third largest army: 3,2 million people, of whom 760 thousands serve. The United States, on the contrary, has the second-largest army of soldiers, but the number of soldiers in the reserve is only 1,1 million people. France and the United Kingdom in this case do not have such high rates.
Ground systems are designed for combat such as ground-to-air and ground-to-ground. They include Tanks, armored personnel carriers (armored personnel carriers), self-propelled artillery mounts (self-propelled guns) and launchers, which are an integral part of missile systems.
The Russian Federation leads in the number of tanks, self-propelled guns and launchers. The most common tanks are the upgraded T-72 and T-80. At the same time, Russia has more new T-90, as well as tanks of the latest generation T-14 "Armata".
In this case, the United States focuses on armored personnel carriers, which are often equipped with anti-tank guns (for example, LAV-25, equipped with TOW).
The remaining states do not have such significant quantities of ground systems and often purchase or copy models of equipment developed in the USSR / Russia and the USA.
The undisputed leader in the number of air forces is the United States, which in wars focus on Aviation.
The fact is that the USA is a country inaccessible and is surrounded, in general, by allied states (Canada in the north and Mexico in the south).
It is known that the United States has a significant number of bases throughout Eurasia, however, to deliver the necessary equipment to them, a large number of transport aircraft are required. Actually, the United States has more than five thousand of them (against 1100 of the Russian Federation, which is closest to the United States in this indicator).
Fighters also allow you to destroy both air and ground targets. America has almost two times more of them than China and three times more than the Russian Federation.
Despite the fact that Russia has access to the 13 seas, its naval forces are much inferior to the Chinese and American ones. However, the Western media for a long time frightened their readers and viewers with Russian submarines. It is not surprising: our submarines surfaced somewhere near the west, then not far from the east coast of the United States. Recently (8 June 2016) one of our submarines was intercepted and deployed by a British frigate on its way to the English Channel.
The leader in the number of naval combat units became the United States. The only parameter by which they did not become the leader of the list is the number of frigates, of which China has eight times more.
In addition to the statistical factors described above, there are others. For example, the experience of the troops. It is impossible to accurately calculate the experience, but it is not difficult to understand that the United States is leading in this regard. The army of this country since 1990-s has participated in countless local conflicts in the Middle East.
Another important factor is the geopolitical factor mentioned above. The United States on both sides — west and east — is surrounded by oceans, and from the north and south by Canada and Mexico, respectively. Relations with both countries in the United States are at a high enough level, and in the event of a global conflict, they are unlikely to turn to the side of the enemy. America is again in a winning position. No other major country has such advantages. The enemy can get to them except by air and sea, but it will take an unforgivably long time (and not as shown in American movies and video games, where the “evil Russians” capture New York in two hours).
There are, of course, nuclear weapons, but if the largest states start waving nuclear batons, there can be nothing left of the Earth overnight.
Hack and predictor Aviator
Despite the rapid development of weapons, the world has not become safer. The war on terrorism declared by the Americans is still not over. Despite the massive bombing and ground operations. Why all? Because this war is an illustration of the “race between the bullet and armor,” where the “bullet” is always slightly ahead.
Terrorist organizations today use more efficient ways to conduct their activities. They do not just mindlessly attack military convoys, but carefully plan their operations. Today they are shooting a large group of police or military, and tomorrow a lone terrorist will do his dirty work in the center of some European city. The Islamists have moved from the creation of groups to the formation of pseudo-caliphs with a multi-million population.
This fact does not mean that we must stop fighting terrorism and let radical Islamists into the UN. No, the civilized world must unite. Moreover, not around one of the superpowers, but on an equal basis.