The world’s armies have never been bigger, global tension has never been higher, and the world is perpetually on the brink of World War 3. But which countries are most likely to trigger the war that really would end all wars, and who has more troops ready, armed, and primed for conflict should the unimaginable happen and World War 3 become a reality?
The Express has kindly listed for all those potential troublemaking nations out there, the top 10 “nations you would not want to go to war with.” Heading the list of heavyweight contenders who could hold their own corner in the event of a global war is our old friend China.
With a fear-inspiring 2,333,000 troops on active duty and the same number again in its reserve forces, China is one Asian powerhouse ready to rumble at the drop of a bomb. China has a working age population of 600 million, all of whom could be called upon in the event of World War 3. The country also boasts a formidable amount of firepower, with thousands of military vehicles and aircraft at its disposal.
The U.S. slots sharply into second place with an active military force of 1.4 million. Amazingly, America has nearly double the amount of aircraft carriers than the rest of the world combined. So sovereignty of the skies is sort of assured. Which is no surprise, considering in 2015, Washington’s defense budget was almost $800 billion. That’s a lot of dollars, folks.
Although never considered a real threat in terms of triggering World War 3, India should be taken very seriously indeed. With an army of 1.3 million, it’s not exactly short of troops, even if it does lack the firepower of the other big players on the list.
Up next with 1,190,000 active personnel and an army which consists of almost four out of every 10 people is North Korea. And with you know who in charge, you dismiss this country at your peril.
Although Russia is in a somewhat surprising fifth place with only 765,000 trained troops, you can bet your bottom dollar that every one of those soldiers is trained extremely well. And in case we forget, Russia boasts more nuclear weapons than any other country in the world.
The rest of the list consists of Pakistan (630,400 active personnel), South Korea (630,000 active personnel), Iran (534,000 active personnel), Turkey (510,600 active personnel), and Vietnam (482,000 active personnel).
You might well ask yourself where does the poor old U.K. fit into all of this. Well, it’s not something the British government has given much thought to. Dramatic cuts in recent years have reduced the size of the British army considerably, and it now ranks at 38 on the Global Firepower index, languishing limply beneath countries such as Greece, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.
Yet, the million-dollar question is, firepower aside, which of the above global hard-hitters is most likely to trigger World War 3?
Unsurprisingly, it’s not Greece, and if to prove the old adage “might makes right,” the countries named as the most likely to drag the world into an abyss without equal are Russia, Turkey, and the U.S.
Pakistan, North Korea, and Syria are all listed as potential culprits when it comes to ushering in a conflict worse than the Second World War. However, the finger of suspicion seems to firmly point Russia’s way when naming one of the countries most likely to cause World War 3.
Why? Because relationships between Russian and Turkey are at an all time low since Turkish artillery shot down one of the Kremlin’s Su-24 fighter jets last November. Putin has promised retaliation for the act, and as we all know, Putin is not the sort of Russian bear who will be prodded indefinitely with a big stick.
China is also thought to be a high risk when it comes to creating a situation that could escalate into all-out war. The Asian nation’s repeated claims to territory in the South China Sea and overall expansionist policy has put it at loggerheads with Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, and the U.S.
Some believe that if World War Three were to slash its scars into the 21st Century, North Korea would wield the knife. The little country’s threats of war aimed at South Korea and the U.S. may be considered empty by the cynics, but North Korea’s aggressive stance, unpredictable temperament, and ties with China and Russia make it a likely source of global conflict.
Yet, it’s the U.S. that many fear as being the spark which will ignite World War 3. America has been involved in nine separate conflicts in the last 20 years, and although under Barrack Obama, the number of American troops stationed in foreign countries has fallen, the U.S. is still considered the enemy by many countries who would like nothing more than to deliver a sucker punch to poor old Uncle Sam.
[Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]