Chart of the Day

The following chart rather dramatically illustrates why talk that our military is being cut back to much is simply not the case.  (It also show why one of the classic blunders is getting involved in a land war in Asia):

Global Firepower Index Graphic


Source:  The Business Insider.

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. CB says:

    The carriers are the exclamation mark here. Nobody, except nobody, has the power projection capability of the US. Not even close.

  2. legion says:

    Uh, I gotta say, that “Available Manpower” column is total bullshit. You could only get a figure like that for the US if you counted every human being of draftable age, without regard to physical capability or potential deferment. Not to mention the amount of time & resources to turn those draftees into even cannon-fodder…

  3. Mu says:

    Most of the data seems to refer to “what that country could do with 2 years warning”, like reactivating all those airplanes sitting at davis montham of the US, or dragging all those T-62 out of storage for the 15,000 tanks in Russia.

  4. @CB: Indeed, in re: the carriers.

  5. DC Loser says:

    Most of the North Korean subs are mini subs used for special forces infiltration to the south. They can’t be compared to conventional attack or missile subs.

  6. DrDaveT says:

    If you want to measure military might, “nuclear warheads” is the wrong measure for that particular dimension of power. Having warheads doesn’t do you any good unless you can get them to where you want them to go boom in a timely fashion.

  7. Tyrell says:

    I am shocked about the naval power of Great Britain. What has happened to “rule Britannia”, the king of the sea? And how about Germany? The country that built the Bismarck, the “biggest ship with the biggest guns.” What happened to the German tank power? Marshall Rommel would pitch a fit.

  8. gVOR08 says:

    @CB: @Steven L. Taylor: And it’s actually much more uneven. The foreign carriers are roughly equivalent to our amphibious assault ships, of which we have nine in addition to the 10 much larger Nimitz class “supercariers” listed above.

  9. michael reynolds says:

    I’ll add one more point: of the top 10 powers, how many have combat-experienced officers and NCO’s? Just us and our best buddy the UK.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:


    What happened to the German tank power?

    Ummm… They lost a war?

  11. Tyrell says:

    Iran’s aircraft – does that include the flying carpet squadrons?

  12. DrDaveT says:

    @michael reynolds:

    how many have combat-experienced officers and NCO’s? Just us and our best buddy the UK.

    The Russians haven’t exactly been sitting back at the base playing cards for the past couple of decades. If nothing else, the South Ossetian War of 2008 (short as it was) had them in real combat against an alleged near-peer adversary.

  13. bill says:

    @Tyrell: their bff is taking care of it, like most of europe.