While tensions with Russia are certainly strained, this is a great look at the two countries and their military might.
By: Jay Chambers
Since WWII ended, the USA and Russia – formerly known as the Russian Federation (USSR) until 1990 – had shown the world their supremacy, firepower, and economic standings. First, how did these two countries become the superpowers of the modern world?
After the collapse of the Third Reich, the only 2 superpowers remaining were the Americans and the Russians. As a matter of fact, as one war ended, another one started and it was named The Cold War. The word “cold” is used to describe the war for the sole purpose that no one died in this war and there were no actual fights. Although there were no Russian or American casualties, both countries supported wars until the communist block crumbled in the ‘90s. It was like a hidden war.
Imagining a war between these two superpowers is pretty easy and the damage scale is unimaginable, but some pressures continue to build between the USA and Russia. As power doesn’t mean only war and firepower showoff, there are other relevant categories where one could lose and the other could win.
As discussed above, both countries have immense military firepower and troops to engage in any kind of war, whether it’s a nuclear war, cyber war or classic troops and vehicles. Nonetheless, people fear that tensions will get high and something will spark a war, unleashing a devastating blow on all nations worldwide.
Basically, both of these countries seem to have just the perfect equipment in case they decide to start a war. People watch the news, and they start worrying for their safety when they find out about all the military equipment America and Russia own.
A nuclear war is what everybody fears. According to an inventory made in June 2018, Russia is superior to the USA when it comes to the total number of nukes. The USA has a total number of 6,550 warheads ready for dispatch as Russia has close to 7,000. But remember, all the credits in developing the first nukes go to the USA and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, after the Pearl Harbor events.
Speaking of manpower, the USA is superior to Russia as the number of personnel is almost double. Still, the available personnel might be double, but the reserve personnel is in the favor of the Russians. They have almost 2 million reserve troops in standby, but still, America will have the cutting edge in troop numbers.
According to a study on how much the nations are spending on military expenditures, the USA has a budget of a whopping $600 million and Russia has only $60 million. The number of tanks, machines and personnel carriers is superior to Russia and so is the technology involved.
When it comes to economics, both countries have the cutting edge over everybody else and a comparison is hard to make. Both countries depend on natural gas and oil reserves in order to gain some economic power. however, the gross regional product of the US is a huge one compared to Russia. According to a study in 2016 led by geopolitical specialists, America has a GRP of $18.1 trillion. No wonder as all the main corporations and companies in the world are located in the US. In the meantime, Russia has only $1.3 trillion, meaning a mere 10% of the American GRP.
When speaking about natural reserves in the natural gas field, Russia has the cutting edge. Russia supplies all the Europe with natural gas, thanks to the permafrost in the Siberian wilderness that holds 48 million cubic meters of natural gas. An astonishing amount compared to the 9 million that the US has. Believe it or not, the US even buys gas from Russia.
In the oil business, Russia is at the top of the food chain. Russia has a staggering amount of 80 million tones still in reserve and occupies the second position after Saudi Arabia as an oil supplier. Meanwhile, the US has only 30 million tons of crude oil, occupying only number 11 in the top oil suppliers on a global scale.
It’s safe to say that Russia, although it has a low GRP, is still on top when it comes to natural reserves.
The end of the WWII marked the beginning of the space exploration era. The USA was due to launch its first satellite into space in 1957 and it was announced officially in 1956. Russia heard of the intention and they have launched their first satellite into orbit, ahead of the Americans. With the satellite Sputnik 1 being launched in 1957, this sparked the Space Race between the US and Russia.
As the race started, the US had other plans. The first crew has landed on the moon on July 20th, 1966, taking the world by surprise and showing Russia what NASA was capable of.
Geopolitical and Historical Facts
Russia has an overall surface of 6.6 million square miles, making it the biggest country, stretching on two continents. Not only that it’s the biggest country by the surface, but most Asian countries were heavily involved in shaping the former USSR almost two decades ago.
Although Russia is very big, it is linked in every way possible with all its regions. To be remembered, the famous Trans-Siberian railway is still operational and a journey from Moscow to Vladivostok takes about 6 days through the Siberian wilderness.
America has its own things to brag about. America was established after the first English colonists set foot on American soil. At first, the colonists thought they’ve landed in India and no wonder the American natives are named Indians. From there on, everything has boomed, including the industry and the first car manufacturers.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, these two superpowers have very much in common and yet so many differences. From the WWII dark era to the space race, they’ve been in a constant battle for supremacy, but without any direct contact or conflict. However, no one actually wants to see a dispute between these countries and, as a matter of fact, both actual leaders are on good terms.
Globally speaking, both countries have the same objectives. But as a conclusion, USA has the advantage of economics, technology and not only.