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The United States (USA) vs The World – Who Would Win? Military / Army Comparison

August 31, 2019


A Superpower is defined as a state with the
ability to exert influence or project power on a global scale, and if needed, in more
than one region of the globe at a time. The United States- currently the world’s sole
Superpower- fits this description, with an official military doctrine that states its
military forces must be ready and capable to fight two major theater wars simultaneously,
a capability no other nation on earth can even approach. But what would happen if the United States
found itself in a war against the entire rest of the world? How would that war potentially play out? The rules of this Wargame will be as follows:
no nuclear weapons allowed, and war will be simulated to have broken out after weeks of
preamble, as in a surprise attack, the United States with its forces spread around the world
would likely lose its non-homeland forces entirely, but not before delivering crippling
blows to most of the world’s major powers and knocking them out of the conflict early. The US’s main opposition would be in the form
of a European coalition to include Russia and a China/India alliance. The rest of the world’s contribution would
be mostly in material supplies or financial backing, as while even nations like Japan
boast a formidable military capability, they mostly lack the ability to actually deploy
that power outside of their own borders. In fact, that would be the biggest hurdle
to any global offensive against the United States- with historical military preparations
focused on conflicts such as NATO vs Russia, or China vs India, most militaries around
the world lack the ability to transport military hardware across the oceans in a meaningful
quantity, making a decisive assault against the US homeland impossible. Meanwhile due to its commitments to fighting
wars well outside its own borders for the last 80 years, the United States operates
the world’s largest air and naval transport fleets that number in the hundreds of ships
and aircraft- more than most modern nations combined. This lack of mobility will prove to be a major
weakness for the global alliance, and severely hinder their ability to respond to US actions. Today the United States operates its forces
in every geographic area of the world, and has split its command structure into nine
combatant commands, six responsible for global geographic areas of responsibility. In the weeks leading up to the outbreak of
war, the United States would likely pull its forces out of Europe and non-American bases
in the Pacific, disbanding its European, African, and Southern Commands. Pacific Command, Northern Command, and Central
Command would absorb these forces. Battlefield 1: Middle East US Central Command would receive an influx
of former European assets, with the US bolstering its forces in the Middle East in bases in
Afghanistan and Iraq, with one goal- destroying the major oil refineries and distribution
centers while denying access to the sea lanes that transport oil from the region. 81% of the world’s oil reserves are located
in OPEC countries, and over 60% of the world’s oil passes through the Arabian Sea alone;
the US’s strategic goals would be simple: shut off the global oil tap. With the world’s 12th largest oil reserves,
the United States could easily supply itself, while denying the rest of the world access
to vital Middle East oil. Europe, which would represent the United States’
most formidable adversary, relies on Middle East oil for 40-50% of its total annual use,
meaning an American stranglehold on the region would cripple any European war effort as reserves
run out and their economies begin to collapse. China would face a similar problem, as 50%
of its total oil imports all come from the Middle East, making the region the first front
in our war. At the outbreak of war, the United States
would first strike at oil production and distribution facilities across the Middle East via carrier-based
strike aircraft backed up by former European theater aircraft now based off American bases
in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the world’s largest air tanker fleet
and flanking the all-important Persian Gulf from both Iraq and Afghanistan, American aircraft
could penetrate deep into Middle East territory with impunity, striking at targets from the
Straits of Hormuz all the way to the Suez Canal itself. Though regional forces would be able to offer
some initial resistance, most operate outdated Soviet-era or non-modern American built aircraft-
with the exception of current US allies such as Saudi Arabia, who would be able to field
modern variant F15s, Typhoon Eurofighters, and Italian/British Tornado multirole strike
aircraft in small numbers. Without European support however, the air
war would go very poorly for Middle East powers for several reasons: Firstly, lacking a joint unified command,
each nation would be unable to coordinate its air assets with its neighbors, resulting
in confusion and low sortie rates. Most middle east powers also field very few
electronic warfare or early warning and control aircraft; Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel
would represent the most formidable threats to American air power, yet neither nation
fields dedicated electronic attack aircraft, while the US is equipped with over 200- mostly
F-35 variants and EA-18G Growlers. Without adequate numbers of AWACS and electronic
warfare assets, Middle East powers would be unable to coordinate the large amounts of
sorties needed to counter US air power, and they’d find their aircraft and ground-based
air defenses actively jammed or spoofed by American EW assets. In the opening days of the Middle East war,
the US would likely see moderate casualties amongst its air forces, as it would be mostly
operating against obsolete aircraft and disorganized or inexperienced air forces. The greatest threat to US craft would come
from ground-based air defenses, which range in obsoletism yet remain a formidable obstacle
to US air power. With a concentration of American power in
the region, it’s a forgone conclusion that Middle East powers would have begun to move
their air defenses to protect vital oil shipping routes and manufacturing/distribution centers;
yet Desert Storm proved how effective the United States can be at dismantling a nation’s
air defense network, and most nations in the region have invested little into modernizing
their defense infrastructure in the years since. The US would suffer most of its losses to
its 4th-generation aircraft such as its F-15, F-16 and F-18s, while its 5thGen F-35s and
F-22s would prove much more difficult to contend with. With an inventory of 385 active F-35s, over
1,800 more on order, and 197 F-22s, the US retains the only operational 5th-generation
air fleets, with current allies fielding a token force of F-35s purchased from America,
and the Russians and Chinese still not fielding combat-ready 5thGen aircraft. Despite its technological and operational
superiority however, sheer numbers would present a threat to American forces; so instead of
seizing key oil production or distribution facilities, the US would instead focus its
efforts on keeping those facilities and trade route choke points shut down while defending
against attacks on its air bases. A single sunk supertanker could block the
Suez Canal for weeks, shutting down one of the most important oil trade routes in the
world, while constant harassment by American air power would make the Straits of Hormuz
impassable. With few major naval threats in the Pacific,
American Pacific naval forces would be split between containing China and bolstering US
Central Command forces in establishing a blockade of trade routes across the Pacific and Indian
Oceans. With 20 carriers, 11 of which are supercarriers-
more than the rest of the world combined- a blockade of the Indian and Pacific oceans
would be easily achieved. With a staggering 80 percent of global oil
trade passing through the Indian and Pacific oceans, the rest of the world would be forced
to abandon any plans to attack the US homeland and first try to dislodge the Americans from
the Middle East; yet they would be doing so while operating on a ticking clock as domestic
oil reserves begin running dry. In a prolonged conflict, immediate development
of oil reserves in Russia would begin, though with only 80 billion barrels of proven reserves
vs over 800 billion in the Middle East, it would be imperative for the global coalition
to dislodge the US from the region or face eventual oil starvation and defeat. Europe would be faced with the difficult decision
of committing the majority of its air and naval power to a Middle East campaign, yet
with an American navy larger than the next 8 navies in the world combined, they would
be doing so at the risk of leaving their coasts vulnerable to harassment from American attack
submarines and carrier strike groups. American attack submarines, in particular,
would prove to be an overwhelming force, with 55 nuclear attack subs alone. Europe, to include Russia, fields nearly 100
submarines, yet only about a third of those are nuclear-powered, and range from 10 to
25 years behind US subs in tech. Lacking in major transport capabilities and
the ability to adequately protect either their sea lanes or any attempts to move troops by
sea, the global coalition would be extremely hard pressed to dislodge the US from the Middle
East. While an eventual overwhelming of US ground
forces would be possible, it would take weeks of buildup and slow moving of forces via ground
routes, to avoid American submarines. Victory in the Middle East would be possible
for the global coalition, but would only come at great expense of dwindling oil reserves,
and any attempts to reopen the Middle East trade routes would certainly fail, as the
US would concentrate its nuclear attack subs and carrier battle groups in the region. The coalition would be forced to rely on existing
land-based pipelines, though these would not be enough to sustain the world economy, and
the United States would certainly commit its stealthy B2 bombers to the destruction of
these pipelines and any attempts at building new ones. In short, a land victory would be probable
for the global coalition, but without the ability to challenge the US Navy, global trade
routes would be permanently shut down, effectively crippling the economies of coalition nations
and the war effort. Battlefield 2: West Pacific The West Pacific and South China Sea is the
most economically important water way in the world, with a full 1/3rd of all global trade
passing through the area, or about $5.3 trillion dollars. China, South Korea, and Japan would especially
have a vested interest in keeping these sea lanes open, yet none of those nations field
a true ‘blue water’, or deep-ocean navy. In a global war, the United States would invest
the majority of its expeditionary firepower in the West Pacific, having little to fear
from an Atlantic incursion by European powers due to their lack of major military transport
capability, and navies designed for decades to engage Russian ships in littoral combat
rather than blue water operations. Japan would pose a significant challenge for
US forces due to its very modern and robust self-defense forces, yet the island nation
could be largely ignored due to Japan’s lack of air tankers limiting the range of its strike
aircraft and 70 year self-defense military doctrine, which saw the nation only recently
begin to build an expeditionary capability. With 155 F-15s making up the bulk of Japan’s
Air Force, and only a combat range of 790 miles (1270 km), it is doubtful the island
nation would risk its 5 operational airborne refueling tankers to attempt offensive operations
against the US Navy and its over 1,000 fighter aircraft, instead holding its air forces in
reserve in case of an American attack on the homeland. The US’s first goal in the region would be
to cut off all trade routes passing through the South China Sea. China would represent the US’s biggest global
adversary, yet like every other global power- to include Russia- it too lacks the navy and
the transport capability to actually threaten the US homeland. In order to deny the nation the opportunity
to build this capability, the US would immediately move to cut off Chinese trade through the
South China Sea- something China would be particularly vulnerable to as over 60% of
its trade is delivered by sea. Though China lacks a navy formidable enough
to threaten US Pacific forces, it more than makes up for this shortcoming with its ballistic
missile forces. It’s DF-26 ballistic missiles each have a
range of 3000-4000 km, and would threaten any US base or ship as far out as Guam. At the outbreak of war, China would immediately
launch a withering missile strike against American facilities on Guam. While Guam would be defended by THAAD, or
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile systems, AEGIS-equipped destroyers, and Patriot
missile batteries, China would rely on heavy saturation strikes and overwhelm American
missile defense systems, decimating the majority of American ground targets on the small island
and rendering it inoperative as a military forward staging area for weeks. This would force America to rely on its naval
assets in the region, which would be the secondary targets of China’s opening barrage. Though long-touted as ‘carrier-killers’, China’s
DF-26 and DF-21 ballistic missiles each rely on a very long and complex ‘kill chain’, or
chain of military assets required to recon a target, track it, and guide a missile to
it. In order to accomplish this, China operates
30 Yaogan tracking and reconnaissance satellites grouped into constellations that, working
together, would provide China 16 opportunities per 24 hour period to accurately target a
US Navy vessel to within 10 kilometers anywhere in the Pacific. The US would certainly seek to counter this
capability with deployment of its anti-satellite weapon systems, of which it remains extremely
secretive about. It is impossible to infer just how effective
US anti-sat weapons truly are, due to a lack of information, but it is known that in the
early 2000s, the US Air Force successfully tested a deployment of mini-sats designed
to kill or hijack enemy satellites, and in 2008 the US successfully targeted and destroyed
a defunct satellite with an SM-3 missile launched from the USS Lake Eerie in the Pacific. With every US destroyer and cruiser able to
carry the SM-3, this could potentially pose a serious threat to Chinese space assets and
degrade the capabilities of their ballistic missile forces. In a push into the Pacific, however, the US
would still suffer heavy casualties amongst its fleet due to Chinese long-range missile
strikes. It’s probable then that while it works to
destroy Chinese space assets from afar, America would instead send in its nuclear attack submarine
fleet to blockade Chinese waters. China operates about 60 submarines, yet for
years those subs did not go on patrols or even leave port as they were often sidelined
by maintenance issues. Only as recently as 2011 did Chinese subs
actually begin to leave port, giving US subs the opportunity to tail them and discover
that Chinese submarines were surprisingly easy to find and track due to their noisy
nature; defense experts estimated that Chinese sub technology was 10 years behind Russia
and about 20 years behind the US. The US meanwhile operates 55 nuclear attack
submarines, with most of these being of the modern Virginia class. Armed with torpedoes and a complement of Tomahawk
cruise missiles, Virginia attack subs could easily threaten Chinese surface and subsurface
vessels, and join its Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines in cruise missile attacks
against Chinese inland industrial and military installations. While in recent years, China has invested
heavily into improving its anti-submarine warfare capabilities, it is still critically
behind even regional powers, such as South Korea and Japan, meaning that in the end there
is likely little China could do to stop US attack subs. Though it could likely keep American carrier
battle groups out of the South China Sea for the first week or two of the war, China would
be helpless to prevent a naval blockade by US attack subs. India, also reliant on South Pacific trade
routes, would certainly dispatch its naval forces to attempt to break a US blockade,
but would face the same issues in challenging US subs that China would. Having only 15 active submarines and also
lacking in modern anti-submarine warfare capabilities, the Indian navy would quickly find itself
overpowered by American attack subs. Employing a combination of its submarine and
anti-satellite assets, the US would likely break through the Chinese ballistic missile
shield within 30 days and enact a complete blockade of the South Pacific, strangling
regional powers economically. With a blockade of Middle East oil exports,
the global war would then become a war of attrition, with the US starving out the world’s
major powers, while able to sustain itself off its own domestic oil reserves. Having little to fear from a European transAtlantic
offensive due to Europe’s lack of major military transport capabilities, American forces would
be free to initiate ground offensives against Canada and Venezuela in order to seize its
oil reserves as well. Ultimately the US Navy, the largest and best
equipped in the world, would be the deciding factor in a global war. With such overwhelming firepower superiority,
the United States would be able to fight defensively, and without launching any major ground offensives
outside of North America. Fielding a larger fleet than the next 8 navies
combined, the US Navy, backed by the US Coast Guard, would easily defend the Atlantic sea
lanes from any European incursion, while enacting blockades of major oil shipping routes through
the Persian Gulf, and Indian and Pacific Oceans. While the world would eventually be able to
muster a large enough force to threaten the US, current military capabilities across the
globe would be insufficient to prevent these naval blockades, and would require years of
build up and expansion of navies from every modern nation. With the majority of global oil trade shut
off by naval blockade however, European and Asian economies would quickly shrink or outright
collapse, making such a buildup improbable, and ensuring an eventual US victory. Yet that victory would come at a titanic cost
to even the US’s own economy, and in the end, the entire global economy would likely shrink
to levels not seen since the end of the second world war. So, how do you think this scenario would have
played out?! Let us know your thoughts in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video
called North Korea vs United States! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

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