Russia is again in the top three of the world's armies, ahead of China. However, the opinions of military experts are very divided about this.
Russia ranked second in the ranking of the most powerful armies in the world according to the international company Global Firepower. The leader of the list is recognized by the American army, which is spending most of all in the world on defense, and the top three are closed by the largest in size Chinese People’s Liberation Army. The top ten also included the armed forces of India, France, Britain, Japan, Turkey, Germany and Egypt. Ukrainian army is located on the 30-th place. In total, the ranking indicates the armed forces of 133 countries.
The study took into account more than fifty factors. As the compilers of the rating explained, the ranking of participants depends not so much on the total amount of military equipment, but on the balance of the country's military power and the variety of available weapons. The key factor in the assessment is the size of the workforce. The geographical location of the country and the volume of natural resources were also taken into account.
Nuclear weapon was not taken into account by experts, but the nuclear powers received additional points. The political system and the nature of military leadership were not taken into account in the assessment.
The fact that the United States, Russia and China are the top three of the world's strongest armies is understandable and without any ratings, said Alexander Khramchikhin, head of the analytical department at the Institute for Political and Military Analysis. Moreover, according to the interlocutor of the newspaper “Kolokol of Russia”, overwhelmingly, all such ratings are common charlatanry, because it is unrealistic and unscientific to compare such a quantity of incomparable values.
"The Russian army is much inferior to the American in the naval navyHowever, it is significantly superior to the ground forces and ground defense. All this is determined by the fact that the armed forces of Russia and the United States face fundamentally different tasks, which is why armies are built according to different priorities. The main difference between the American army is that the United States is an ocean power that no one can challenge on the American continent, so its army is interventionist in nature and its actions extend far beyond its own borders. In turn, Russia is a continental country, focused primarily on the defense of its own borders, ”the expert explained.
The three leaders - the United States, Russia and China - remain unchanged for three years. It is worth noting that the most important criterion for assessing the army is fighting. And this option Global Firepower Index does not take into account. Russia and the United States have a clear advantage here, for example, over China.
“If we compare the Russian and Chinese armies, then the People's Republic of China is very closely behind the Russian Federation and even surpasses in some parameters, and in the coming years this gap can only increase. As for comparison with the American army, here China is already in something stronger than the United States. However, in the top three of the strongest armies of the world it is very difficult to judge objectively about real superiority and to determine exactly one of the armies in the top three. Therefore, there is not much difference in what place the country occupied in the top three strongest armies in the world, the first or the third, ”explained the military expert.
“If the Russian army is not the first, then certainly not the second,” military expert Vladimir Yazikov gave such an assessment to the Russian armed forces. Despite the fact that the military budget of the Americans is several times higher than the Russian one, like the power of the navy, however, the effectiveness of the US Army has always been a big question for many military experts.
According to the interlocutor of the newspaper "Bell of Russia", the recent case when a North Korean missile flew over Japan and was not shot down by the American missile defense system left great doubts about the effectiveness of the entire US air defense system. In addition, the Americans were repeatedly invited to Russia to tank biathlon, however, always refused to participate, so as not to become disgraced. Earlier, the US military participated in European competitions, where there were only four teams, and they took third place.
In turn, the Russian military became winners of the 2017 Army International Games, which ended on August 12 in the Moscow region. Military professionals from 28 countries competed in the ranges of five states. Artillerymen and pilots, paratroopers and scouts, doctors and dog trainers, military policemen and sailors, snipers and cooks participated in 28 competitions.
As for the military budget, then, in the opinion of Vladimir Yazikov, despite the enormous difference in the funds spent by the Pentagon, Americans spend many times more money than the Russian Federation on weapons with similar combat characteristics.
“The presented rating is based on bare figures, without concrete argumentation and real facts. Check the defense of the army is possible only in real combat. Earlier, the USSR tested its weapons in many conflicts, in particular in Korea, Vietnam, Angola and other local wars. Now the Russian Defense Ministry is engaged in checking its weapons in the Syrian conflict. Representatives of defense enterprises on-site monitor the effectiveness of the use of various weapons. During the Russian military presence in the Syrian Arab Republic in real combat conditions, more than 600 types of weapons were tested; some of them went for revision, and some of the samples had to be abandoned altogether, ”the source said.
The Pentagon’s military budget share in 2017 a year is 582,7 billion dollars, which is less than one percent more than the budget of the Ministry of Defense in 2016 a year - 580,3 billion. According to official data, the largest increase in the military budget comes from the Air Force, from 161,8 billion to 166,9 billion. A fleet budget came under reduction - from 168,8 billion to 164,9 billion.
As for Russia, according to the annual report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Russia has entered the top three countries with the largest military spending. According to the report, Russia increased its spending by 5,9%, to 69,2 billion dollars, however, significantly lagging behind the United States and China.