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24 Aug, 2023 19:26

US barely ahead of Russia in military strength – report

The Global Firepower Index for 2023 is based on a secret formula and open-source intelligence
US barely ahead of Russia in military strength – report

Russia is right behind the US in military strength, with China rapidly catching up, the Global Firepower (GFP) website said in its 2023 rankings report, released this week. 

GFP has been producing the annual report since 2006, ranking 145 countries around the world by “potential war-making capability across land, sea, and air fought by conventional means.” The in-house formula considers “manpower, equipment, natural resources, finances, and geography represented by 60+ individual factors” to arrive at an index, with zero being the theoretical perfect score.

The US “leads the world technologically and is advanced in key medical, aerospace, and computer / telecom sectors,” according to GFP, which assigned Washington an index of 0.0712. It also has “a certain degree of self-sustainment,” while displaying “commanding numbers in key material, financial, and resource categories.”

Factored into GFP’s calculations were the size of the Pentagon budget – over $750 billion, more than triple that of China – the US Navy’s carrier fleet, and the size of the US Air Force.

GFP claims that the Ukraine conflict has “showcased key limitations in Russian military capabilities” in terms of “preparedness, leadership, training, and supply issues,” admitting that it has relied on ‘open-source intelligence’ to estimate Russian combat losses. Even so, the outfit assigned Russia a score of 0.0714, just .0002 below the US.

China came in at third place with a PowerIndex score of 0.0722, but “continues its climb to the No.2 spot owned for some time by regional powerhouse Russia,” according to GFP.

India was fourth with a score of 0.1025, followed by the UK in fifth place at 0.1435. London’s ranking seemed to be influenced in part by the two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers in Royal Navy service. 

Global Firepower rankings showed France (9th) behind Japan (8th), Italy (10th) ahead of Türkiye (11th), and Iran (17th place) ahead of Israel (18th). Poland was supposedly 20th, ahead of Germany in 25th place.

Ukraine ranked 15th, up from 16th place in 2022, “as a result of its response [to the conflict], financial and material backing from the West.” It had a score of 0.2516 as of May 31, and its armor, artillery, and aircraft numbers were based entirely on estimates.

Global Firepower’s location, funding and ownership aren’t entirely clear. The outfit “does not assume responsibility as to the accuracy, correctness, completeness, reliability and ‘up-to-dateness’ of information made available throughout,” per its own disclaimer.

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