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Country vs country: Russia and United States compared: Military

Author: chris.lockyer781

Author: chris.lockyer781

The news has been filled lately with the tensions between Russia and the rest of the world. With Russia positioning its troops in the Crimea section of Ukraine and threatening to invade Eastern Ukraine, many have begun to talk in cold war terms and speak of a renewed military conflict between the US and Russia. As tensions rise it is important to look at the current position vis-à-vis the two military powers to see how they compare.

According to the best military analysis, the United States and Russia rank #1 and #2 respectively in military power today. When comparing military power one must take several factors into account. Of significant importance is the population of both countries ready to fight. The US has a population of roughly 316 million with 120 million fit for military service and over 4 million reaching military age each year. Russia on the other hand has a population of only 145 million with only 46 million ready for military service and 1.3 million reaching military age each year. From a population standpoint, the US is a much better position.

From there, one must look at two things: 1) would a conflict involve most land forces or be fought primarily in the air and sea and 2) would the conflict be limited in nature or total war?

Russia and the United States have taken divergent paths to military might. The US dominates the air with far more bases, fighter jets and bombers than Russia but Russia is superior on the ground with more tanks, artillery and land vehicles. At sea, the countries are more evenly matched, but here the US has the edge with more destroyers, submarines and aircraft carriers. It must also be mentioned that the US military spending also dwarfs that of Russia, 612 billion to just 77 billion. That means that in a conflict the US would be in a much better position to ramp up production for new or replacement weaponry.

Of course, all of the conventional military comparisons mean nothing if a conflict between the two powers fought a total war that led to a nuclear exchange. Although both countries have reduced the levels of their nuclear arsenals over the past two decades, both still have thousands of nuclear warheads. Use of nuclear weapons would negate any real or perceived strengths in other military areas, although some military strategists argue that with is population spread out over a greater distance and its population centers smaller and more dispersed, fewer Russian people would be affected by a nuclear war. They would however remain in a world dramatically altered.

Definitions

  • Armed forces personnel: Total armed forces (2000)
  • Conscription: A description of the status of conscription in the nation in 1997.
  • Expenditures > Percent of GDP: Current military expenditures as an estimated percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually > Males: This entry is derived from Military > Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually, which gives the number of males and females entering the military manpower pool (i.e., reaching age 16) in any given year and is a measure of the availability of military-age young adults.
  • Manpower reaching military age annually > Males: This entry is derived from Military > Manpower reaching military age annually, which gives the number of males and females entering the military manpower pool (i.e., reaching age 16) in any given year and is a measure of the availability of military-age young adults.
  • Military branches: This entry lists the service branches subordinate to defense ministries or the equivalent (typically ground, naval, air, and marine forces).
  • Military expenditures: This entry gives spending on defense programs for the most recent year available as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP); the GDP is calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). For countries with no military forces, this figure can include expenditures on public security and police.
  • Military expenditures > Percent of GDP: This entry gives spending on defense programs for the most recent year available as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP); the GDP is calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). For countries with no military forces, this figure can include expenditures on public security and police.
  • Military service age and obligation: This entry gives the required ages for voluntary or conscript military service and the length of service obligation.
  • Personnel: Armed forces personnel are active duty military personnel, including paramilitary forces if the training, organization, equipment, and control suggest they may be used to support or replace regular military forces.
  • Personnel > Per capita: Armed forces personnel are active duty military personnel, including paramilitary forces if the training, organization, equipment, and control suggest they may be used to support or replace regular military forces. Per capita figures expressed per 1,000 population.
  • Service age and obligation: This entry gives the required ages for voluntary or conscript military service and the length of sevice obligation.
  • WMD > Nuclear: A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of nuclear weapons
STAT Russia United States HISTORY
Armed forces personnel 1.52 million
Ranked 2nd. 11% more than United States
1.37 million
Ranked 3rd.

Conscription <a href=/graph-T/mil_con>Conscription</a> exists (<a href=/encyclopedia/artificial-intelligence>AI</a>). No <a href=/graph-T/mil_con>conscription</a>.

Expenditures > Percent of GDP 3.9%
Ranked 24th.
4.06%
Ranked 22nd. 4% more than Russia

Manpower available for military service > Males age 16-49 None None

Manpower fit for military service > Males age 16-49 None None

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually > Males 693,843
Ranked 17th.
2.16 million
Ranked 5th. 3 times more than Russia

Manpower reaching military age annually > Males 693,843
Ranked 17th.
2.16 million
Ranked 5th. 3 times more than Russia

Military branches Ground Forces (Sukhoputnyye Voyskia, SV), Navy (Voyenno-Morskoy Flot, VMF), Air Forces (Voyenno-Vozdushniye Sily, VVS); Airborne Troops (Vozdushno-Desantnyye Voyska, VDV), Strategic Rocket Forces (Raketnyye Voyska Strategicheskogo Naznacheniya, RVSN), and Aerospace Defense Troops (Voyska Vozdushno-Kosmicheskoy Oborony or Voyska VKO) are independent "combat arms," not subordinate to any of the three branches; Russian Ground Forces include the following combat arms: motorized-rifle troops, tank troops, missile and artillery troops, air defense of the ground troops United States Armed Forces: US Army, US Navy (includes Marine Corps), US Air Force, US Coast Guard

Military expenditures 3.9% of GDP
Ranked 6th.
4.6% of GDP
Ranked 1st. 18% more than Russia

Military expenditures > Percent of GDP 3.9% of GDP
Ranked 11th.
4.06% of GDP
Ranked 10th. 4% more than Russia

Military service age and obligation 18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; males are registered for the draft at 17 years of age; service obligation is 1 year (conscripts can only be sent to combat zones after 6 months of training); reserve obligation to age 50; enrollment in military schools from the age of 16, cadets classified as members of the armed forces 18 years of age (17 years of age with parental consent) for male and female voluntary service; no conscription; maximum enlistment age 42 (Army), 27 (Air Force), 34 (Navy), 28 (Marines); service obligation 8 years, including 2-5 years active duty (Army), 2 years active (Navy), 4 years active (Air Force, Marines); DoD is eliminating prohibitions restricting women from assignments in units smaller than brigades or near combat units

Personnel 1.45 million
Ranked 4th.
1.55 million
Ranked 3rd. 6% more than Russia

Personnel > Per capita 10.15 per 1,000 people
Ranked 28th. 95% more than United States
5.22 per 1,000 people
Ranked 70th.

Service age and obligation 18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; males are registered for the draft at 17 years of age; service obligation - 1 year; reserve obligation to age 50; as of July 2008, a draft military strategy called for the draft to continue up to the year 2030 18 years of age (17 years of age with parental consent) for male and female voluntary service; maximum enlistment age 42 (Army), 27 (Air Force), 34 (Navy), 28 (Marines); service obligation 8 years, including 2-5 years active duty (Army), 2 years active (Navy), 4 years active (Air Force, Marines)

WMD > Nuclear The Soviet nuclear weapon program began during World War II and culminated in a successful atomic bomb test in 1949. Russia, as the successor of the Soviet Union, is a nuclear weapon state party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). According to estimates by the Natural Resources Defense Council, by 1991, the Soviet Union had approximately 35,000 weapons in its stockpile, down from a peak in 1986 of approximately 45,000. Russia is estimated to now have around 20,000 nuclear weapons, although total stockpile size is uncertain because there is no accurate count of tactical nuclear weapons. However, in 2002 Russia declared it will eliminate its tactical nuclear weapons by the end of 2004. Under the START I Treaty, the Russian nuclear arsenal has been reduced to approximately 7,000 strategic warheads. The START II Treaty, which was declared non-binding in June 2002, would have reduced this number to between 3,000 and 3,500 strategic nuclear warheads. The Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (Treaty of Moscow) requires Russia to reduce the number of deployed strategic warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200 by the end of 2012. Russia inherited a massive nuclear weapons production complex and large stocks of weapons grade fissile material. It is estimated that Russia has between 735 and 1,365 metric tons (t) of weapons grade-equivalent highly enriched uranium (HEU) and between 106 and 156 t of military-use plutonium. As one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the United States maintains a sizeable arsenal of nuclear weapons, including approximately 10,350 intact warheads, 5300 of which are considered active or operational. Approximately 4,530 strategic warheads are operational, 1,150 of which are deployed on land-based missile systems (Minuteman and Peacekeeper ICBMs), 1,050 on bombers (B-52 and B-2), and 2,016 on submarines (Ohio-class subs). 780 are tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs), and consist of an estimated 200 Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles (TLAM/N), and 580 B61 bombs. The remaining warheads are stockpiled. The only remaining U.S. weapons in forward deployment, aside from those on SSBNs, are approximately 480 of the 580 operational B61 bombs, located at eight bases in six European NATO countries. According to the May 2002 Treaty of Moscow (the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, or SORT) between the United States and the Russian Federation, both countries are required to reduce their strategic nuclear arsenals to 1,700-2,200 operationally deployed warheads by 2012. In June 2004, the US Department of Energy announced that "almost half" of these warheads would be retired for dismantlement by 2012. This statement suggests that the total stockpile of 10,350 warheards would be reduced to about 6,000 by this date. Over 5,000 warheads have been removed from deployment by the United States and placed in a "responsive reserve force" (active but not deployed or in overhaul). These "spares," or warheads on inactive status, have not been dismantled, in keeping with past practice under previous U.S. arms control agreements. The Bush administration has rejected U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, but calls for a continued moratorium on nuclear testing. The NPR calls for a reduction in the amount of time needed (now 18 months as mandated by Congress, but this could be reduced to as little as 12 months) to test a nuclear weapon, suggesting that the United States might decide to resume nuclear testing, although Bush administration officials deny that this is currently planned and explain the shortening of test-site readiness time as a logical extension of the U.S. decision to maintain a testing option. The NPR also calls for discussion on possible development of new, low-yield, bunker-busting TNW. A law barring research and development that could lead to the production by the United States of a new low-yield "bunker buster" nuclear weapon (warheads with a yield of 5 kilotons or less) was passed by Congress in 1994. In its FY2004 budget request, however, the Department of Defense requested a repeal of the 1994 law, suggesting that the U.S. government intends to proceed with development of new nuclear weapons. The repeal was approved by the Senate on 20 May 2003. The Bush administration has requested an additional $8.5 million in its 2006 budget in order to continue research of nuclear "bunker busters" under the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) Project. Congress rejected RNEP funding and resources for the Advanced Concepts Initiative, one that would develop mini-nukes or exotic designs, completely for FY2005. Weapons laboratories under the Department of Energy began research on the RNEP Project in 2003, and the study is expected to be complete in 2006. The United States used nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, making it the only country that has ever used nuclear weapons during a conflict. It ratified the NPT in March 1970.

SOURCES: IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies). 2001. The Military Balance 2001-2002. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland, 1997. Data collected from the nations concerned, unless otherwise indicated. Acronyms: Amnesty International (AI); European Council of Conscripts Organizations (ECCO); Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC); International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHFHR); National Interreligious Service Board for Conscientious Objectors (NISBCO); Service, Peace and Justice in Latin America (SERPAJ); War Resisters International (WRI); World Council of Churches (WCC); All CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 18 December 2008; CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011; CIA World Factbooks 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013; World Development Indicators database; The Nuclear Threat Initiative

Citation

"Military: Russia and United States compared", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Russia/United-States/Military

7

The news has been filled lately with the tensions between Russia and the rest of the world. With Russia positioning its troops in the Crimea section of Ukraine and threatening to invade Eastern Ukraine, many have begun to talk in cold war terms and speak of a renewed military conflict between the US and Russia. As tensions rise it is important to look at the current position vis-à-vis the two military powers to see how they compare.

According to the best military analysis, the United States and Russia rank #1 and #2 respectively in military power today. When comparing military power one must take several factors into account. Of significant importance is the population of both countries ready to fight. The US has a population of roughly 316 million with 120 million fit for military service and over 4 million reaching military age each year. Russia on the other hand has a population of only 145 million with only 46 million ready for military service and 1.3 million reaching military age each year. From a population standpoint, the US is a much better position.

From there, one must look at two things: 1) would a conflict involve most land forces or be fought primarily in the air and sea and 2) would the conflict be limited in nature or total war?

Russia and the United States have taken divergent paths to military might. The US dominates the air with far more bases, fighter jets and bombers than Russia but Russia is superior on the ground with more tanks, artillery and land vehicles. At sea, the countries are more evenly matched, but here the US has the edge with more destroyers, submarines and aircraft carriers. It must also be mentioned that the US military spending also dwarfs that of Russia, 612 billion to just 77 billion. That means that in a conflict the US would be in a much better position to ramp up production for new or replacement weaponry.

Of course, all of the conventional military comparisons mean nothing if a conflict between the two powers fought a total war that led to a nuclear exchange. Although both countries have reduced the levels of their nuclear arsenals over the past two decades, both still have thousands of nuclear warheads. Use of nuclear weapons would negate any real or perceived strengths in other military areas, although some military strategists argue that with is population spread out over a greater distance and its population centers smaller and more dispersed, fewer Russian people would be affected by a nuclear war. They would however remain in a world dramatically altered.

Posted on 30 Mar 2014

chris.lockyer781

chris.lockyer781

378

5

Russia and the US are old rivals. They became important allies during the Second World War, but the alliance became a very intense rivalry that threatened the very existence of every living being on the planet. Indeed, there were many occasions which could have led to a nuclear confrontation between the two powerful countries. Fortunately, both countries were well aware of the consequences of an all-out nuclear war.

Today, the rivalry is no less severe. While the two have not really engaged in a direct war, they have used proxy countries and participants to test each other’s capabilities. When the USSR disintegrated more than two decades ago, it was assumed that Russia would no longer pose a threat to the US as the former tried to adopt a more democratic form of government like that of developed Western countries. However, Vladimir Putin’s takeover of the Russia is negating that old assumption. While Russia is just a shadow of its former self, it cannot be denied that it still owns a very formidable arsenal, not counting its still numerous nuclear warheads. In fact, Russia is touted to be the second most powerful country in the world after the US.

There is no doubt that Russia is in constant upgrade and buildup of its armed forces. Technologically, new Russian weapons systems are thought to be on par with that of the US. Su-33s and Su-35s are, in fact, superior to US counterparts in terms of thrust-to-weight ratio. This means that, in a dogfight, Russian jets would easily eliminate US fighters. That is, of course, it would come to dogfights. US jets are so designed precisely to eliminate the need for dangerous dogfights. For instance, stealth technology, new radars, and missiles enable US jets to kill enemy aircrafts before a visual is even made.

Furthermore, the economic might of the US has allowed it to maintain a massive stockpile of navy, air force, and army materiel – so massive, in fact, that the power of the US armed forces is bigger than that of the next five armed forces combined. On the other hand, Russia’s economy was devastated when USSR broke apart. While it is steadily rebuilding its armed forces, there is little doubt that it is still far away from threatening the US military dominance.

Posted on 07 Apr 2014

Edsel.G

Edsel.G

246

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