What threats could China and Russia pose to America. Economically, World Power-wise, and lastly war... What If --- They combined forces?
Economically: Nothing much from Russia, as they have very few resources to boast about, and they attract very little in the way of scholars and skilled workers from foreign nations. Even their tourism industry is nothing compared to some third-world countries. I will give it to them, though, if they switched to a more-friendly stance and gained access to more warm water ports they could start posing as decent competition.
World power-wise: They have no power projection capabilities to match anyone else who matters. Their ships and planes are antiquated rust buckets, and their tech that actually meets the modern age standard are few and far between. The biggest threats they pose to anyone else are their nukes, their allies in sheer number and brutality, and their geographic location that leaves them pretty much untouchable by a strong conventional front for most of every year. It can also be said they have an amazing cyberwarfare unit, but really I just think its accurate to say they are unscrupulous in those suites.
War/combining forces: If this were to happen, ever, then it would only be for a very short time. Like America, both Russia and China are imperialist nations. We will work with one another, we will tolerate one another for business, but we will all fight tooth and nail for that top seat. History has shown us that we make great bedfellows, and even today we work well together in short bursts; however, that mutual support lasts only as long as we can hide our espionage going on when everyone's looking the other way.
To give credence to any "doomer" theories on future war, assuming we limit it to conventional war, it would be a zero-sum game. We fight large nations in economics, social issues, and unstable territory; everything is done via proxy so that war does not break out. We let the Russians war with their neighbors that we supply, and we occupy land that Russia wants in the Middle East; equally, we support the militaries of nations that oppose China, and both China and Russia try to buy them off with better prices so they don't support us.
We all make better competitors than friends, and we get along better as competitors as well. The last time we worked with Russia closely, from what I recall, we started bombing out their air force bases in the ME, and they hit our operators in their bases. Losses on both sides were miniscule, but enough to say, "Hey, guys, let's stop this before it gets out of hand."
Those are very complex questions and I decided to go for it instead of shooting from the hip. So, I apologize for the length of this post.
They both are very worrisome to say the least in my view. Russia is simply more aggressive today from threatening nations to sophisticated cyber warfare to modernizing weaponry and nuclear capability. From a Heritage.org article Russia - Assessing Threats to U.S. Vital Interests they state, "Russia remains a formidable threat to the United States and its interests in Europe. From the Arctic to the Baltics, Ukraine, and the South Caucasus, and increasingly in the Mediterranean, Russia continues to foment instability in Europe."
Economically their only threat is with their natural resources oil and gas mainly influencing our gasoline prices. They do impact NATO nations as they seek to do business with them. I fear the gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, which would hurt European energy security. Biden is considering sanctions on Russia because of it that may alienate Germany. One other consideration is Russia really does not have any allies and those are from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO): Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.
China is a whole different matter that is a huge threat economically as they seek to be the world powerhouse. Also, stated at BBC article China is greatest threat to freedom - US intelligence chief, "The top US intelligence official says China is the "greatest threat to democracy and freedom" since World War Two." in Dec 2020 and after reading the article is gives me great concern.
They, too, are threatening nations as seen in the South China Sea. They are exerting themselves economically on Australia and testing Taiwan constantly.They are modernizing their military and have even garnered the notoriety of having the largest navy now, though arguable. They have more active ships by count, but not by tonnage. In other words more smaller craft. The best I could muster for allies is: North Korea, Cambodia, Pakistan, Djibouti, Laos, a few of Central Asian Republics and a few African countries.
(Footnote: Those who read Ken's posts may have learned how much of a threat they are in different progressive actions like technology and education.)
As far as who is the most powerful it remains the U.S in my view. I can only say that with my gut and referring to a CeoWorld article The World’s Most Powerful Countries For 2021, Ranked. They analyzed "7 key categories: political stability, economic influence, defense budget, country’s weapons, global alliances, soft power, and military strength." They did 190 countries ranking them where the top five in order are:
Finally, War. First, stating the obvious if China and Russia combine forces most certainly in pure numbers they would overwhelm the U.S. alone. But, then come alliances giving a whole different picture. The wild card would be India being the fourth for military strength as ranked by Global FirePower They seek to be a neutral nation. Yet, they don't really get along with China and they are topsy turvey with Russia still buying arms.
Global FirePower uses 50 indicators for the metrics including items such as manpower, equipment, natural resources, and geography. The top five dogs for military strength in ranking order are:
Each country name is a link to see the finer details. And, at the main page you can compare country to country that will show each category side by side. There is also a coalition option where I did Russia combined with China compared to the U.S. alone where it was obvious of the differences, though the U.S. did have one category out of nine where they were higher - Air Power. So, alliances can be analyzed up to seven countries. I did NATO top seven nations for military strength compared to Russia. Russia was higher with tanks and self propelled artillery where as the NATO nations used blew them away. So, with there being 30 nations I speculate it would blow Russia out of the water. Of course that is using total numbers, which wouldn't be reality with the U.S since their whole military is not in Europe. Besides, Russia has the threat of nuclear power, which they have threatened other nations with before.
So well researched, I learned a ton. I think you should have put together a Hubpage on the subject matter. I especially took interest in your opinion in regard to Russia and China and warring. I must admit your view presented perfect common sense. Thank you for adding this informative comment.
Thank you! I debated on writing it because I knew it would be lengthy hence my notice in the beginning. It is really is a set of really complex questions and could be several books I think. Yet, the OP sent me on a journey of learning and I did, so for that I am thankful. I am going to continue here and there because of our importance in the world politically, militarily, culturally, and economically.
I hope you will post a few threads here on the forum. It is clear you like to delve into political subjects that really matter. And are well versed due to your research. I appreciate the lengthy comments that give way to really learning not only about the subject but getting to see how one truly formed their opinion.
So glad you will be sticking around. Shar
Why would anyone consider power play and war to be part of a strategy? Is it because you (Americans) think this way?
My personal relations to both Russia and China allow me to think differently about threats from either country.
History: Why should Russia try to be a threat to the US? Has Russia ever gone beyond their direct neighbourhood in protecting their interests? Does Russia posess any "colonies" after the cold war was over? Does Russia run aircraft carrier groups controlling the oceans?
History: Do you know Chinese colonies? There are a number of Asian countries with substantial Chinese population, but are they colonies?
Economy: Russia is rich in natural resources but lacks organisational skills. Russia has a highly skilled science and engineering workforce, but again the lack of organisation combined with bribery doesn´t allow Russia to get the rubber on the road. No threat economically.
Economy: China is an economic powerhouse. Main reason is their high population and their well developed skills in organising matters. However their science and engineering skills still hold room for improvement. China doesn´t have to do much to overtake the US. It is already happening. A future economic threat? No, the game is already lost.
Geopolitics and strategy:
Both China and Russia have the privilege to do long term thinking. While Putin has to face elections once in a while, Xi is a lifetime chairman. No need to adjust strategies to tactical voting decisions. "China incorporated" simply does not have to face shareholders frequently with quartely earnings.
The strategy of the British Empire was simple. Britannia rules the waves and whatever it takes to keep it this way was good. Destroy and derange uncontrollable landmasses (the Euroasia continent). You simply can´t send a fleet to Kasachstan, Iran, Kaukasus. The US of today and the past 70 years do exactly the same with their aircraft carrier groups to control the sea. If someone tries to establish land connections: "the new silk road" from China to the North Sea (Germany, EU), this is treated like a direct threat. Actually this is why the US is destabilizing the Ukraine and Iran. These countries serve as a road block.
The real threat for the USA is the US itself. Not necessarily the potential to be innovative. But the marginalisation of its industrial base is a real threat. It does not help to have I-Phones, Teslas and a few Boeings if the status quo must be described by decade long large trade deficits. The US is simply not making enough to feed itself (literally, not in terms of crops, corn, fruit or beef). And what the US is producing is swallowed to a large extent by the military. All goes along with large distress in society (inequality, racism, injustice).
China is not threatening the US. Russia is not threatening the US. Both countries are busy to take care of themselves. Ah -yes, last but not least Russia found out how easy it is to trick a mostly uneducated US population with a few internet trolls.
In our interconnected world any hot war between nations holds no benefit for respective contrahents. Why drop bombs on factories that manufacture the products you need. Why drop bombs on cities where all consumers live who buy your products? Does not make sense. Not in today´s small world.
Very common sense perspective. I found it interesting to learn what one from another country thinks about the US, China, and Russia's relationships.
I very much agree with your view in regard to the problems the US created and ignore in regard to decade-long large trade deficits. We defiantly took a wrong turn by outsourcing most of our manufacturing to other nations. And it is costing us as a Nation. And one would have to be blind not to see that. We have become a somewhat hollowed-out Nation in many ways. In my view, we need to draw a hard line in regards to trade and make a very aggressive attempt to bring back some manufacturing in some form. Harder said than done.
I agree with your sentiment that In regard to our interconnected world any hot war between nations holds no benefit for respective contrahents. Hopefully, China and Russia share that sentiment.
Both China and Russia look upon America as a hotspot of innovation and creativity.
Will they ever combine their military forces? ~Na! If they do, then NATO will come into effect immediately, initiating the World War 3!
Here is some video material that you might find engaging and also interesting:
Over the past decade, the combined BRICS' GDP has grown 179% and total trade of the member nations has risen 94%. From 2008 to 2017, the world's average growth rate was around 1%, but that of BRICS nations was about 8%.. That's Brazil Russia India China and South Africa.
I traveled in the USSR in the 70s and have toured fully 4 continents and half of Africa Today USA reminds me much of how USSR was, that being their empire is breaking up. This covid has taken this world maddness for many loopholes. In the end, it really will be China that will become the next superpower of the 21 century. Don't think the Great Reset threat will grow legs.
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Back your answer with proof of your choice being a Super Power - Economically and Military Strength.
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