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Originally posted by specialasianX
Best in terms of pure numbers: China
Best trained soldiers: UK
Most funding/Technology: USA (Russia or UK in far second)
Originally posted by Phoenix
For shear operational success, chutzpah and doing the seemingly impossible with miminal forces and miminal casualties, I've got to say the Israeli defense forces get my vote. what other Army and Airforce has done so much with so little?
They have driven off invasions by well supported and armed adversarys simultainously, not once but several times by using superior tactics against forces that far outnumbered them.
The Israeli airforce decimated the syrian airforce in a rout over the Bekaa valley that made history.
They have successfully pulled off many spec-ops operations such as the Enttebe raid and the raid on Osirak.
Nobody in their area of influence will take them on military to military allied or not because of the determination and tactics used.
Israel today has the power to take on any adversary short of Russia and the U.S. due to their medium size nuclear arsenal and the existance of SLBM on their subs. Even China, UK, France would be hard pressed to prevent a determined Israeli attack, you piss these guys (and gals) off and they will do something about it, maybe just not in the conventional sense, thats what makes them #3 to me.
Originally posted by Leveller
I really don't think that Israeli military forces are "all that". When you look at the capabilities of their neighbours, it's really an uneven match. Militarily they really haven't proven themselves against good opposition and although they do have the advantage of being one of the only nations to get day to day combat training, they really haven't managed to sort out the Palestinian problem. Put Israel up against a modern technological nation and then maybe there can be a claim to them being something special.
On the other hand, their intelligence services are probably amongst the best in the world.
I would place China second. Sheer numbers and the speed of their technological advance means that they have leapfrogged the Russians. It's easy to place Russia second in our minds because it was our recognised foe and closest competition for decades - this means that China has largely been ignored. You also have to remember that as Russia was the intended enemy, weaponry evolved for specific scenarios. Some of this weaponry is not relevant to modern day tactics. For example - the UK has probably the most advanced fleet of submarines in the world - it's job was to defend the North Atlantic as a nuclear deterrant. With the demise of the Cold War, the submarine fleet is really only now useful for launching Cruise. Nuclear war between nation states is becoming an irellevancy and the submarine fleet is not having half the money put into it now that it was given during the Cold War.
For third best military, I would go for Russia. Their forces are degrading but it takes time to drop from 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th. Maybe in a few years time they will drop further down the list, but at the moment, the Cold War has supplied enough power to keep them in 3rd place.
Originally posted by oscrogo
If China and Russia were to goto war, navy would have little to do with the conflict, except for maybe air support.
China has the economy to support a war, Russia would all but collapse in an all out war with a top five power right now. This fact alone, the ability to make and sustain war based on economy, makes China's military better than Russia's.