Easiest (and Hardest) Countries to Take Over

Easiest (and Hardest) Countries to Take Over

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Prepare for a double feature, because  today we're showing you who the top ten   weakest militaries in the world in 2022 are  going to be, and why the top ten strongest   militaries in the world really aren't. Did  your nation make the cut on either list? 10th Weakest: Panama Panama is the second country in Latin  America to abolish a standing army,   After having its government overthrown by the  military, Panama remained a military dictatorship   until the removal of the infamous Manuel  Noriega in a US invasion. After the invasion   President Guillermo Endara prohibited the  nation from having a standing military,   and instead the nation operates a Panamanian  Public Force made up of paramilitary units such   as police which can be supplemented by a drafted  standing army in case of external aggression.

Today the country can call upon a total  force of 35,000 in case of a hostile invader,   though the nation is severely limited by  its lack of military equipment. It has no   air force other than a few transport planes  and helicopters, and only 55 lightly armored   vehicles- mostly reinforced civilian models  seized by its police forces from drug offenders. With US forces frequently  based out of Panama though,   the nation has little to fear from an invader.

10th Strongest: Pakistan In 2022 Pakistan is set to continue to  widen the gap between itself and Turkey,   the nation from which it took the number 10  strongest military power in the world from.   While this is no small achievement given  the capabilities of the Turkish military,   Pakistan isn't nearly as  strong as numbers suggest. Today the nation boasts a military of 654,000  personnel, though the quality of armaments varies   greatly. Even outdated equipment is still fairly  effective though against everything but a modern   superpower, and Pakistan has no threat of facing  such a conflict today. Its biggest threat comes   from India, and its historical rival has shown  the great weakness of the Pakistan military.

India's new war doctrine in case of  conflict with Pakistan, dubbed 'Cold Start',   aims to drive a spear deep into the heart of  Pakistan with very little advance warning.   The strategy was developed to attempt  to counter Pakistan's nuclear weapons,   and shows why the nation is actually  weaker than most people think. In the late 1980s, Pakistan began to accept  that its decades of sheer hubris and pride   in its military was greatly misplaced, and India  had not just matched Pakistan in terms of ability,   but greatly outmatched it. To balance the  equation once more, Pakistan turned to   expanding its nuclear options, including the  use of tactical nuclear weapons. Without the  

tactical nuclear option, Pakistan's armies  simply cannot withstand an Indian offensive-   and even with them the nation's leadership  accepts that they will still be forced to cede   large tracts of territory to the Indian army  before stopping its advance with a dug-in defense. But that's the entire point of Cold Start- force  Pakistan to use tactical nuclear weapons on its   own soil, and not on Indian army formations  in India. Such a move would be absolutely   catastrophic, and using nuclear weapons on  Indian territory would only prompt a swift   nuclear response from India itself. Pakistan  today faces two equally horrible choices- nuke   itself or nuke India and get nuked in response-  and without the ability to stop an Indian invasion   with conventional power, the nation is not  nearly as powerful as its rank suggests it is.

9th Weakest Nation: Central African Republic The Central African Republic is a nation with an  extremely troubled relationship with its military.   The military has launched multiple coups since its  independence in the mid 20th century, and in the   21st century has been responsible for large-scale  unrest and even outright crimes against humanity. The biggest problem with the CAR military has been  the domination of its military by a single ethnic   group, which has often left it unreliable or in  outright rebellion against sitting presidents   from the northern tribes. However, recently France  and now Russia has been working to reorganize the  

CAR military, with Russia even going so far  as to push for a greater ethnic mix within   the ranks of the CAR armed forces in order to  stabilize the cultural unrest within its ranks. Russia's efforts so far have been successful,  and the nation has donated a large amount of   military equipment to the CAR after its latest  internal conflict left it with only 70 rifles.   Today the CAR has a military of 7200,  with 65 armored vehicles- mostly   donated from Russia- and 3 antiquated Cold  War era T-55 tanks. It's one-time inventory   of just 70 rifles has been revitalized  by a donation of 900 modern pistols,   5200 AK family assault rifles, and 270 rocket  launchers of an unspecified make and type. The   CAR's navy is made up of a single US-made river  patrol boat, and it has no air force to speak of.  Our next nation dominates its sphere of  influence, but has a crippling weakness.

9th Strongest: Brazil The Brazilian military is  South America's own superpower,   and the undisputed heavyweight in the  region. However, several key weaknesses   plague Brazil's military, and while on paper  it is the 9th strongest power in the world,   in reality Brazil risks losing a conflict against  a much weaker opponent if ever forced into combat. The nation boasts a total military  force of 334,500, with over three   times as many reservists. In the air it has  a capable, if aging fleet of 43 fighters,   77 ground-attack aircraft, and just 12 attack  helicopters. It's fleet of 439 tanks is made up   of Leopard 1s and American-made Patton M60s.  It's navy though is where the nation shines,   with a fleet of 112 vessels- including 1  helicopter carrier for amphibious operations, 7   frigates and 2 corvettes capable of sea, air, and  underwater defense operations, and 6 submarines.

One of the problems facing the Brazilian military  is its lack of modernity- its entire fleet of main   battle tanks is hopelessly antiquated and  heralds from the Cold War era, though 116   of its Leopards will soon be upgraded with modern  upgrades, with the rest decommissioned. However,   the Leopard platform is still based on  Cold War era engineering and tank design,   severely limiting its abilities against  a modern foe even with future upgrades.   Thus Brazil is turning to its  Novo Couraga Program to design   and develop a modern main battle tank  that will fully replace its fleet. Its air force is in a similar state, with  it relying heavily on American-made F-5s,   a light attack platform hailing from all the way  back in the 1950s and 1960s. The jet remains very  

capable for regional conflicts, but would  be easy prey for any modern air force. The   nation is modernizing with its purchase of  Swedish-made JAS 39 Gripens, a very capable   multirole fighter which can stand toe-to-toe with  most 4th gen aircraft. As the world enters the   4.5 generation and 5th generation era though,  the Grippen is unlikely to remain competitive. Brazil's biggest weakness however is its lack  of experience. Despite providing support to the   Allies in WW2, and sending a small amount  of forces in support of various US global   operations since then, the Brazilian military  has zero experience fighting a modern conflict,   which is a delicate ballet of coordinated  logistics and combined arms warfare.  

This lack of experience, combined  with a majorly deficient air force,   means Brazil is simply not as strong as numbers  suggest in a modern conflict. While it would be   difficult if not impossible for any nation to  attempt a total invasion of the huge country,   securing its major cities and choking  off trade outside those cities would   be relatively easy for any nation with a large  amphibious capability and long-range airpower. 8th Weakest: Gabon The Gabonese national army is a tiny  force incapable of defending its own   territory from a hostile invader. Its  active personnel number only at 5,000,   and it has no main battle tanks. Its air  force consists of 6 Mirage F1 fighters and   3 Gazelle light attack helicopters along  with a variety of transport and utility   helicopters and two transport planes- one a  C-130 Hercules capable of paradrop operations   for the nation's single Airborne regiment- a  rare feather in the Gabonese military's cap.

The biggest problem with the Gabonese  military- other than its paltry size-   is its lack of experience and training. While  its 1800-strong Presidential guard is very   well trained by any nation's standards, the  rest of its army is largely left to its own   devices, with just a select few individuals  receiving premier military training abroad. Another significant issue with the  Gabonese military is its uncertain loyalty.   For decades the ruling elite relied on gifts and  promotions to keep military leadership loyal,   but as the government's coffers run low  and these gifts become ever more rare,   the future relationship between the government  and its military remains uncertain. This,  

more than anything else, remains the reason  why the Presidential guard is so large and   well-trained in comparison to  the rest of its armed forces.  Our next nation used to be a superpower, but  today is barely strong enough to defend itself. 8th Strongest: United Kingdom Once it was a global superpower, today  it's a shadow of its former self,   plagued by what has been termed  the British 'era of retreat'.   That however doesn't mean that the  UK doesn't still pack a serious bite,   it's just that the British military's teeth  are increasingly irrelevant in a modern war.

It's military is made up of  195,000 active duty personnel,   and unlike most militaries in the world  those personnel enjoy modern equipment   and high levels of training. What's  so wrong then with the UK military? For one, its famous Royal Navy, once in  undisputed command of all seven seas,   is now incapable of carrying out operations  far from its own shores. Even in what should   have been a mismatched conflict against Argentina,  the UK military covertly relied heavily on the US   military for assistance just getting  its forces into theater, with the US   lending the nation the use of various  air strips, millions of gallons of fuel,   thousands of rounds of mortars, and the aid  of various reconnaissance platforms to include   satellites. As the British publication  The Economist detailed in the late 1980s,   the entire campaign “could not have been  mounted, let alone won, without American help”. Since then, things haven't improved much.

Famously the UK Navy has  been forced to cannibalize   parts from other ships to keep a  number of its ships operational,   and UK soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan quickly  got the nickname of 'the borrowers' because   of their reputation for trading random  bits of hardware for basic equipment. Today the UK operates the smallest  military force it has had in 300 years,   and incredibly is set to shrink even further in  coming years. Internal reviews have criticized   the nation for relying on its nuclear weapons  as a shield, while allowing its conventional   power to atrophy and wane. Today the UK  military's relevancy is rapidly fading,  

and without the capability of launching operations  outside of its own shores without US aid,   the country is unlikely to stay in the  top 10 of military powers much longer. 7th Weakest: North Macedonia North Macedonia is a rare entry into this  list of weakest militaries in the world.   Unlike most other nations on this list,  North Macedonia is a NATO member whose   military is in full compliance with NATO  training standards, and the nation has   solid operational experience thanks to its  robust participation in various NATO missions. Its relatively small army of 8,000 personnel  is well equipped with a match of American   and late-era Soviet equipment that is still  very relevant on a battlefield. A $30 million  

donation by the US will help  North Macedonia's arsenal expand   with US-made Stryker vehicles, some of  which will be of the anti-tank variant.   Its air force consists of only a handful  of transport helicopters and 6 Soviet Hind   attack helicopters which are still of  great potency on a modern battlefield. So why is North Macedonia's military so weak?  It's largely due to the nation's inability to   wage a long-term conflict. A measure of military  might is more than just equipment or personnel,   it also includes a nation's ability  to actually support war financially,   and its resource security. North Macedonia's tiny  population of just over 2 million is amongst the   smallest in the world and it simply can't  support a long-term conflict of any scope,   with an estimated labor force of only 793,000. The  nation is also completely incapable of securing   any imports or exports, its tiny military leaving  its economy extremely vulnerable to disruption.

Despite this though, North Macedonia would  handily defeat any other military force on   this list of weakest militaries in  a short-engagement stand-up fight.  Our next nation rose from the ashes of World War  II to become one of the best militaries in Europe,   but today faces seriously challenges  if actually forced to fight a war. 7th Strongest: France The French military is a well-trained,  well-equipped professional fighting force,   and of all the nations on this list likely  has the fewest weaknesses undermining its   capabilities in a future conflict. However,  those weaknesses could prove to be fatal. In the early 2000s, France quickly recognized  a critical lack of ability in conducting   global operations, relying heavily on  the United States for logistical support.   Unlike most other European powers, France  quickly set to correcting this flaw,   and as has been proven by its  ongoing presence in Africa,   today the French military is more than ready  to flex its muscles as far from its own shores   as needed- including even the Indo-Pacific  region as China threatens regional stability.

French armed forces are 270,000 strong, but its  lack of a ready reservist force- numbering only   35,000- is a critical vulnerability in the face  of major conflict. In the air, France operates   one of the world's finest air forces, with  269 modern or very near-modern fighters and   69 attack helicopters. However, the nation relies  heavily on multi-role fighters for ground-attack,   having zero dedicated ground-attack platforms-  yet another massive vulnerability if facing off   against a modern power such as Russia. For too  long European nations have relied on the United  

States to 'fill in' capability gaps, and this  has left the French air force in dire straits. On the ground, the French army operates  406 very capable main battle tanks,   and has a fleet of over 6,000 armored vehicles to  provide protected mobility to its infantry. At sea   France really shines, with 1 aircraft carrier,  3 amphibious assault helicopter carriers,   11 destroyers, 11 frigates, and 10 submarines-  all of which are extremely capable platforms.

France's biggest weakness however doesn't  come from its military or equipment. First, the French military faces increasing  fatigue as its forced to conduct on-going   domestic patrols as part of Operation Sentinelle,  which sees French military forces stationed   throughout major cities to act as deterrent to  a spike in terrorist activity. Around 10,000   personnel are deployed throughout France on the  lookout for terrorist activity, and to provide   rapid response in case of an attack. This not  only places on-going operational strain on   equipment and personnel, but ties up a significant  portion of the French military in case of war. Secondly, France's extreme right-wing element  is a major threat to its ability to continue   to support NATO operations, especially in  light of growing hostility from the Russian   and Chinese governments. A significant element of  the French population holds far right sentiments,   and the nation is rife for infiltration by  Russian propaganda agents. Ongoing Russian  

public influence campaigns in the nation have been  wildly successful to date, and as these far-right   sentiments infiltrate the French government at a  growing rate, the nation's war-fighting capability   may become sabotaged from inside in case NATO is  called upon to defend Eastern Europe from Russia. 6th Weakest: Eritrea Eritrea has one of the largest armies in Africa,   and yet is ranked as the world's 6th  weakest military- how can that be? The nation has a standing force of 200,000, a  mostly conscript force as service is mandatory   at age 18 for a period of 18 months. Training is  sparse, with an initial training period before   conscripts are sent out to either perform  military duties, or more likely serve in   an industrial role throughout the country such  as working farms or building roads. This leaves   the Eritrea military a very undisciplined,  unprofessional force, as evidenced by the   numerous massacres performed by Eritrean forces  in Ethiopia during the ongoing Tigray War. Logistically the nation operates almost  exclusively antiquated equipment, very old Soviet   Cold War leftovers and a mishmash of international  personal equipment such as battle rifles and   machine guns. Despite a force of 300 tanks, only  150 of which are in service, these are all T-55s  

who would have a tough time defending themselves  from even the anti-tank capability of a modern   infantry company. The nation also has absolutely  no air force and only a token, and antiquated,   air defense capability that would be absolutely  useless against even a modestly capable foe. A lack of training, discipline,  and equipment, as well as a very   weak national economy make the Eritrean  military amongst the weakest in the world. 

The next nation on our list far  outweighs its historical rival in   terms of raw power- but that power  can’t hide a deadly vulnerability. 6th Strongest: South Korea South Korea is a modern military miracle. At  the end of the 1990s the nation was a relatively   primitive military power, operating aging Cold War  hand-me-downs and utterly incapable of combined   arms operations. Today, South Korea operates  an extremely capable military outfitted with  

modern hardware, and its navy and air force is  one of the best in the region- if not the world. So why is South Korea not  nearly as strong as it seems? One of the biggest problems with the South Korean  military is its ongoing reliance on conscription,   with something like half of its military forces  being conscripts serving out mandatory terms. The   nation has a difficult time luring volunteers  or conscripts to remain for full-time military   service, seriously weakening its capabilities  due to a lack of military professionals. But conscription directly impacts another   major weakness of the South  Korean military- its funding. Back in 2010 the South Korean government  implemented a plan to modernize its military,   opting for the Cold War strategy employed by the  west of outperforming the Soviet bloc by fielding   a smaller, but much more capable military than  its adversary- North Korea. In order to do this,   the nation downsized its military  significantly, and called for even   greater reductions by 2020- a trend which  has slowed, but not stopped. The plan also  

called for a 10% increase to the defense budget  every year, a goal which has never been met. In order to quell national dissatisfaction with  mandatory service, the ROK diverted large amounts   of badly-needed funds to increasing pay and  benefits for both conscripts and volunteers. Then,   the nation poured much of available funds directly  to the Navy and Air Force, developing a modern and   extremely capable fighting force in both the air  and sea. Its army however was left to languish,   with planned replacement main battle tanks  never appearing in sufficient quantities,   and equipment shortages so severe that regular  infantry units lack everything from body armor   to night vision and even basic weapon optics. To  make matters worse, the army continues to shrink   year by year, as the ROK focuses almost  myopically on its navy and air force.

Today, South Korea relies on a ground fighting   force of 463,00 to fend off a North  Korean force of over one million,   and to make matters worse its army is expected  to shrink to just over 350,000 by 2025. 5th Weakest: Suriname Suriname has a tiny military of between 2,000  and 2,500, and operates only a very small number   of armored vehicles. Donated by Brazil in 1983,  its fleet of 55 armored vehicles have some light   anti-tank capabilities but mostly operate in an  infantry support role. Thanks to an agreement   with Brazil, the Brazilian government has been  slowly refurbishing this tiny fleet over time,   though much of it remains in  need of maintenance and upgrades. The United States maintains a training program  with the Suriname military, though recently   China has sought to expand its influence in South  America and as part of those efforts has donated   a number of small arms and patrol boats to the  Suriname armed forces. Due to a military coup  

in the 1980s, the US has also been engaged in the  training of the Suriname armed forces on the role   a military plays in a civilian-led government,  hoping to avoid a repeat of the previous coup. With little in the way of equipment,  and entirely reliant on Brazil and the   Netherlands for protection, Suriname is one  of the weakest militaries in South America.  The next strongest nation on our  list is strong enough to fight   off a kaiju- but only if the battle  happened right off its own shores. 5th Strongest: Japan For much of its modern history Japan was  a military powerhouse, with a cult-like   devotion by its population to the strength  of its armed forces. That was a path that  

led to disaster though, and after the defeat of  the nation by the US in the second world war,   a similarly strong anti-war sentiment swept  through the country. This made the Japanese   Self-Defense Forces an object of ridicule  for much of their lifetime, with the civilian   population seeing their own military as inept,  useless, and something worthy of only mockery. That attitude began to change in the  2000s, and today the Japanese military   is a modern force that routinely impresses  its American allies in joint exercises with   their discipline and training. Its navy  sports modern and highly capable ships,   and its air force is now equipped with the F-35.  Even its army, the least important arm of its   military in most people's minds, is equipped  with very modern and capable main battle tanks. But the Japanese military is all but  useless in anything but a defensive mission.

Due to its constitution, Japan has  a self-imposed ban on any and all   long-range offensive capabilities.  That means that while it boasts   formidable defensive firepower, and it would be  a nightmare for an enemy to invade the nation,   Japan completely lacks the ability to engage  any enemy far from its own shores with anything   other than air power. The Japanese navy sports  impressive anti-ship and anti-air capabilities,   but has a complete lack of ground-strike  assets, and likewise the Japanese air   force relies on multi-role fighters for the  ground-attack role because it has no bombers. As tensions with China ratchet up, it's becoming  clearer that if Japan is to successfully defend   its sphere of influence from Chinese forces it  must invest in long-range attack capabilities.   While some progress is being made in this  regard, the Japanese people have for too   long had the luxury of remaining pacifists  due to the US's protection, and now the   Japanese military faces a steep uphill battle  to properly arm itself for coming conflicts.

4th Weakest: Sierra Leone The Sierra Leone military  consists of 8500 personnel,   with officers trained by the British.  Other than coast guard operations though,   the military is incapable of  conducting any other major operations. Its soldiers are armed with a hodgepodge  of various different small arms,   all of them donated by various countries or  purchased on the international arms market.   This lack of standardization makes maintenance  and training extremely difficult. While on   paper it operates 2 Soviet-built Hind attack  helicopters, it is not believed that they nor   the two T-72 tanks in its inventory are currently  operable due to a lack of trained personnel.

Its navy operates a small fleet of patrol craft,  donated or funded by both Britain and China, and   regularly undertakes anti-piracy operations within  its territorial waters. With no assets to speak of   though, the Sierra Leone military is completely  incapable of doing much more than police actions   against pirates from neighboring countries. The next nation on our list skyrocketed in power   to completely dominate its long-time foe and  next-door neighbor, but today would doubtlessly   lose a war to its new regional rival. 4th Strongest: India

India is the world's largest democracy, and  with a population well over 1 billion strong,   it should be able to field a significant  military. The reality is far from this though. The Indian navy is a very capable force with an  aircraft carrier, 17 submarines, 10 destroyers,   13 frigates, and 23 smaller corvettes. The  navy has proven its worth time and again in   conflicts with Pakistan, and unlike its greatest  modern rival, China, the Indian military is   thoroughly tested in battle. However, the rest  of its armed forces are in a very sorry state. The greatest problem with the Indian military is  a constant switching of priorities from Pakistan   to China as India's number one threat. This  has often led to a confused deployment of its  

military assets and even greater confusion  by its bureaucracy in budget priorities. The Indian Air Force has long languished from an  inadequate budget, and Indian aircraft suffer from   a lack of modern avionics and sensors. Much to  India's embarrassment, in 2019 two Pakistani F-16s   shot down an aging Mig-21 sent to intercept them,  showcasing the complete overmatch of the Indian   air force even by a weaker power such as Pakistan.  A border clash with China in 2020 drove the   Indian government to place an order for 36 French  Rafale fighters, as well as 12 Sukhoi MKI-30 and   21 Mig-29 fighters from Russia. These will take  years to appear in the Indian inventory, but even   after their inclusion only highlight another major  problem for the Indian military: standardization. For a long time India has walked  a fine line between world powers,   refusing to be forced to pick a side. While  this strategy has served it well politically,  

its military has suffered dramatically for  it. India's mish-mosh of various weapon   systems from nations all over the world means  that maintenance is an absolute nightmare,   and attrition will be a debilitating issue  in any prolonged conflict due to a lack of   available parts. Compounding India's problems  is the fact that what little defense industry   it does have is not suited for developing much  needed modern replacements for its ground and   air forces, with the last attempt at building  a domestic tank ending in a 30 year disaster   that produced a tank too heavy and too  lightly armored to be of any practical use. Thanks to a growing relationship  with the United States though,   India is gaining access to US surveillance  and recon assets it badly needs, and in the   future an even closer relationship may help India  modernize and standardize its equipment- otherwise   the nation cannot hope to win a war against its  greatest threat: the People's Liberation Army. 3rd Weakest: Somalia Somalia has a long warrior tradition, but  today its military forces are almost the   weakest in the world. The nation can only  field an army of 20,000, and has no heavy   equipment to speak of save for a few dozen  armored vehicles donated by various nations.

As part of an effort to stabilize the government  and the overall region, the United States and   European Union have engaged in regular training  of the Somali military, but readiness is still a   major issue. As recently as 2013 less than half  of available troops were fit for service, and   the situation has yet to significantly improve.  Clan and tribal influences make cohesion of the   armed forces difficult to maintain. An effort to  enhance cohesion was undertaken by the US starting   in 2014, with special commando units of mixed  ethnicity trained by American private military   contractors and reimbursed by the US State  Department. The program has apparently been a  

success, and Somalia has been able to help the US  fight against extremists within its own borders. Despite this, the nation remains completely  incapable of the necessary intelligence gathering,   monitoring, and direct action needed to eliminate  terror threats, and relies heavily on US aid.  Now we enter the top 3 most powerful nations,  but while number 3 may seem like a superpower,   it’s barely able to fight  and win in its own backyard. 3rd Strongest: China A rising military juggernaut, China may be  history's greatest success story. In the  

span of two decades, China has uplifted hundreds  of millions from poverty and reinvented itself   from a second-world nation to a first-world  power. Its military now operates the world's   largest navy, and it has an entire branch of the  military dedicated to missile warfare. To date,   it is one of three nations to successfully  develop a fifth generation fighter. Despite this, China may be a paper tiger. The Chinese military is very impressive on paper,  but faces a large amount of real-world problems   that seriously threaten its ability to win a  war against a peer power such as Russia or the   United States. Chief of these problems  is its lack of experience- the last war  

China fought was against the comparatively  tiny Vietnam, and this resulted in thousands   of casualties and a hasty retreat after only  a few weeks. Until only relatively recently,   China even refused to send troops to aid  in international peacekeeping operations-   a critical source of experience for many  military powers- due to fear it would be   embarrassed by its troops’ performance. While the situation is improving,   its troops suffer from a lack of adequate  and realistic training. Most training has   historically been conducted under extremely  favorable conditions meant to make troops   look good for visiting dignitaries, with little  effort put into simulating real-world conditions.  

Famously, in one of its first attempts to conduct  a real-world training scenario in the early 2000s,   a group of Chinese troops became so demoralized  by the harsh conditions that entertainers were   brought in to lift their spirits. This is  a far cry from the regular and realistic   training conditions that Russian and American  troops routinely undergo to maintain readiness. While China does not employ conscription  and is able to recruit enough volunteers   to fulfill its military needs, it  has notably dropped its recruitment   standards at least three times since 2000.  As has been noted, many Chinese recruits   do not meet physical or mental health  standards set by other modern militaries. Bureaucracy is another major  problem for the Chinese military.  

Deeply entrenched bureaucratic processes lead  to an inefficient top-down command structure   reminiscent of the Soviet Union. While the  Chinese Communist Party's absolute control   makes gearing the Chinese military to specific  threats much easier, it also leads to a rigid,   inflexible force that cannot react quickly to  a rapidly evolving battlefront. By comparison,   western militaries encourage a large degree of  autonomy within its command structure, allowing   even individual unit commanders the initiative  needed to rapidly adjust to evolving threats.

The People's Liberation Army's biggest problem  however is decades of rampant corruption,   and despite a massive anti-corruption effort  the PLA's command structure is still riddled   with inefficiencies and incompetent officers  promoted only by buying their rank. The military   also suffers from a longtime lack of a joint  command structure, preventing the various arms   of the Chinese military from working together.  Though Xi Jinping has taken steps to rectify this,   the lack of combined arms experience  still haunts the Chinese military,   and a lack of realistic training  only compounds this problem.

While China remains a formidable military power,   it is unclear if its military is capable  of navigating a dynamic modern battlefield. 2nd Weakest: Liberia With a military of just 2200 personnel, Libera  is one of the weakest militaries in the world-   and for many years was not even commanded by  a Liberian, but rather by a Nigerian officer.   Recently command of the Liberian military  is now once again under one of its own,   but its armed forces remain small,  poorly equipped, and poorly trained. The nation has no heavy equipment save for 55  armored vehicles in varying states of repair.   Efforts to reestablish the nation's  coast guard have met with difficulty   due to funding problems, despite the training  of 40 personnel by the United States Coast Guard   and America's donation of two  Defender class patrol boats.   The US Navy also constructed a boat ramp and  perimeter wall for a coast guard installation.

The nation operates no aircraft, as its small  air force was dissolved in 2005 as part of   its armed forces demobilization program. At number 2, Russia is a fierce fighting   bear- but this bear’s teeth are  getting old and starting to fall out. 2nd Strongest: Russia Increasingly isolated on the world stage,  the Russian military under Vladimir Putin's   command remains a formidable power, and  the world's second best fighting force-   but its position in the number two  spot has been eroding for years,   and it's doubtful Russia will  retain it for much longer. There's few militaries more terrifying on paper:  1 million active duty personnel, 789 fighters,   538 attack helicopters, 13,000 tanks,  6,540 self-propelled artillery,   3,860 rocket artillery, and 27,100 armored  vehicles. Without a doubt the Russian military  

brings enough firepower to make any nation  second-guess getting into the ring with it. But in reality, an insidious  decay has been gnawing at the   heart of the Russian military for three decades. The nation faces multiple crisis points that  see its military power very quickly eroding,   as well as its international relevancy. The first  problem Russia faces is an exodus of professionals   from the nation due to international sanctions  and an economy that's not very well diversified.   Every year Russia loses thousands of engineers,  scientists, and artists who seek out better   opportunities abroad. This brain drain directly  affects the already faltering Russian economy, and   in turn a military force that has been struggling  to modernize and remain relevant for decades.

Funding for the Russian military has been  inadequate almost since the end of the Cold War.   This has only been compounded by sanctions leveled  against Russia due to Putin's invasion of Crimea.   But it's not only a lack of money, it's also  sanctions on the sale of dual-use technology   which can be converted to military use, such as  satellite and reconnaissance technology. This has   left the Russian military with a great deal of  firepower, and very little certainty that it's   actually going to hit what it's aiming at. Against  a modern foe such as the United States, armed   almost exclusively with precision-guided weapons,  this represents an immediately lethal deficiency.

Despite attempts to create an all-volunteer  force by increasing pay and benefits,   Russia still relies heavily on conscription,  with almost half of its military made of   draftees. A conscripted force not only under  performs versus an all-volunteer force,   but is more susceptible to enemy  psychological warfare operations   and makes it more difficult to retain trained  military professionals for long-term service. Russia's biggest problem however is its  inability to field modern equipment.   While the nation regularly achieves  great technological breakthroughs,   it's unable to translate these breakthroughs into  suitable numbers capable of affecting a military   campaign. Most famously, Russia's Su-57 ranks  well above China's J-20 in capabilities, but to   date only a dozen aircraft are in operation,  and 10 of these are still test platforms. The T-14 main battle tank likewise  was a significant accomplishment,   and would have outclassed even modern variant  American M-1 Abrams, but Russia could never   afford to bring the tank to a full production run,  and so far plans to acquire it have been canceled.

While Russia has begun to acquire some  of the next generation weapons it will   need to remain a relevant military  power, such as hypersonic missiles,   the nation is unable to fully modernize its  military and keep pace with the United States   or China. Inevitably this will lead  to the slow but certain decay of the   Russian military, leaving it a power capable  of threatening its neighbors- but little else. Number 1 Weakest Military In The World: Kosovo Established in 2008, the Kosovo Security  Force is not technically a military just yet,   but steps are being taken towards formalizing  it as such. Overseen by NATO since the end  

of the Kosovo War, the KSF is made up of  5,000 personnel, all trained by NATO staff.   In a bid to lessen ethnic tensions and prevent  another catastrophic flareup of violence,   NATO led the effort in recruitment of ethnic  minorities into the KSF to expand diversity. Well trained and equipped with light arms, the  KSF lacks any form of heavy military hardware   except for armored trucks. Despite  its small size and lack of equipment,   the KSF is a professional and capable force.

Honorable mention: Bhutan Bhutan is another military force overseen by a  foreign power- this time India. India remains   largely responsible for defense of Bhutan, and  regularly helps train a small force of 7,000   as well as provides small arms and equipment.  With its complete reliance on India and small   numbers though, Bhutan's military is more a  paramilitary organization than a proper army.  Sitting at the number one spot the United  States is the most powerful nation to ever   exist, but today a dizzying number  of problems and mistakes makes it   uncertain if it’s able to win a war against  a near-peer adversary like China or Russia.  Number 1 Strongest: United States A superpower is defined as a nation  able to extend military, economic,   cultural, and scientific power  across the entire world- today,   the United States remains the only nation  capable of meeting these requirements.   Its military is the best fighting force the planet  has ever seen, operating almost completely modern   equipment and maintaining a program of constant  modernization to keep weapon platforms on or   near the state of the art- an accomplishment  matched by no other military in the world.

Despite this, the United States military is  more vulnerable than it has ever been in the   last 100 years, and while it faces no threat  of being toppled as the world's premier power,   its ability to win a war against  Russia or China is far from certain. The follies of the US military are numerous,  and staggeringly expensive. Untold billions   have been completely wasted away by the US  Department of Defense over the last two decades,   resulting in weapons programs that  have yielded zero, or very little,   benefit to the fighting force. Boondoggle  after boondoggle have wasted enough tax payer   money that it could have funded other  nation's entire militaries for years.

Perhaps the US military's greatest folly was  its rush to redefine warfare by embracing   cutting edge technology at the start of the  21st century. After 50 years of technological   breakthroughs that completely overmatched any  opponent's capabilities, the US military was   quick to embrace 21st century technologies and  engaged in a whirlwind sprint to develop the   next break-trough technological achievements,  no matter the cost or probability of success. The Future Warrior concept promised to completely  redefine how the individual American soldier   operated on the battlefield, and after years  of cost overruns and no operational technology,   the program was finally canceled.  The US Navy was quick to join the   US Army in burning taxpayer money as  quick as it could get its hands on it,   resulting in the Zumwault destroyer program and  the Littoral Combat Ship design. The Zumwault   ended up needing ammunition so expensive that  the navy couldn't afford to arm its main cannon,   and the Littoral Combat Ship was not just  unsurvivable in any combat scenario due to   poor armaments, but the design is so bad that the  navy has begun to prematurely retire the ships a   decade or more before their projected end of  lifetime date. After purchasing 40 of them.

The Air Force however takes the cake, and  its motto of 'Aim High' is well suited as the   service tried its best to absolutely bankrupt  the United States with the F-35 program,   costing US taxpayers over a trillion  dollars over its lifetime for a jet   that both the Navy and Air Force have so  little faith in, both services have placed   orders for the same 4th generation planes  the F-35 was supposed to replace by now. A history of constantly failed moonshots  throughout the 21st century have cost the   US military decades in responsible technological  development, and its once insurmountable advantage   has now eroded to the point that victory against  a near-peer power is in question. It has even been   completely outclassed in some regards, and today  the United States remains the only nation out of   the top 3 with no hypersonic weapons- a critical  vulnerability that for the first time since World   War II sees the US military the one facing  a technological overmatch from an adversary. To make matters worse, many fear that the  US is failing to recognize the next shift   in naval doctrine, as it stubbornly adheres to the  employment of large, extremely vulnerable aircraft   carriers as the preeminent naval weapon. These  massive ships are not just expensive and take   years to build, but with the advent of hypersonic  weapons and unmanned drone swarm tactics,   are more vulnerable than they have ever been  to weapons a tiny fraction of their price.   The loss of even a single supercarrier worth  billions of dollars and with a crew of thousands   to a weapon system that costs a few million  in comparison would be a strategic disaster   the US Navy would take years to recover from-  and might clinch victory at sea for the enemy.

Now go check out Why this could be  the most powerful military in 2050,   or click this other video instead!

2022-02-20 04:47

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