American Muscle Over Russian Intimidation


Randle De Graaf, Staff Writer

With President Donald Trump’s continued air strikes against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, the world watched as U.S., British and French missiles rained down in a precision-guided attack. Many wondered as to how Russia would respond to the escalating situation in Syria. Syria’s alliance with Russia dates back to the end of World War II, and many view Vladimir Putin and Assad as two brutal dictators.

While tensions have remained high between both sides, if a war were to break out, the outcome would be overwhelmingly short. I have to admit I have some bias towards the U.S. military, but in terms of sheer numbers and technology, we have Russia beat.

Despite popular belief, Russia’s military today is only a shadow of what it was during the Cold War. A good example of this can be seen with aircraft carriers. Aircraft carriers are instrumental in forward deploying aircraft from the sea, and aircraft carriers tend to be heavily armored and often unsinkable. The U.S. has 20 aircraft carriers. Russia, has one. The U.S. also boasts a larger air force compared to Russia. Russia has more fighter jets (629) compared to the U.S. (388), but in sheer numbers of aircraft, the U.S. has Russia beat 12,000 to 4,000. If a war were to break out between the two, it would likely take place at sea and in the air rather than on land. Just by numbers alone, America has Russia beat.

If war were to break out on land, the story could be much different. The one area where Russia trumps America in terms of numbers is in artillery pieces and land-based fighting vehicles. Compared to the 8,848 tanks in service in the United States, Russia boasts 20,050. Russia has significantly more armored fighting vehicles, artillery, self-propelled artillery and rocket artillery. If a land war were to break out, this could lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

If a land war were to break out, the U.S. military has two significant advantages over Russia, despite being outnumbered by land-based artillery. For one, the U.S. has nearly twice the number of troops, 73,270,043, than Russia’s 34,765,736. Couple that along with our $554 billion defense budget ($69 billion for Russia), and we would outnumber Russia by almost half and have significantly more and better equipment than them. To put it in simple terms, Russia just cannot compete with the overwhelming size of our military.

There is one last option, and that is nuclear. The U.S. has 7,200 nuclear warheads compared to Russia’s 7,500. It’s unlikely that these numbers would matter in a nuclear war. If a nuclear war were to occur, well, the previously aforementioned numbers would become irrelevant. There would be no victor.