According to the Global Firepower (GFP) website’s 2023 rankings report, Russia closely follows the United States in terms of military strength, while China is rapidly catching up. This annual report has been produced by GFP since 2006 and ranks 145 countries worldwide based on their “potential war-making capability across land, sea, and air fought by conventional means.” The methodology used by GFP takes into consideration factors such as manpower, equipment, natural resources, finances, and geography, and assigns an index score to each country.
The United States is ranked at the top with an index score of 0.0712. GFP highlights that the US leads the world technologically and is advanced in key sectors such as medical, aerospace, and computer/telecom. The US also demonstrates self-sustainment and has commanding numbers in material, financial, and resource categories. Factors such as the Pentagon budget, which is over $750 billion, the size of the US Navy’s carrier fleet, and the size of the US Air Force are taken into account in GFP’s calculations.
Russia, with a score of 0.0714, is placed just behind the US in terms of military strength. GFP acknowledges that the conflict in Ukraine has exposed certain limitations in Russian military capabilities, including issues related to preparedness, leadership, training, and supply. However, GFP relies on open-source intelligence to estimate Russian combat losses. China is ranked third with a score of 0.0722 and is steadily moving closer to Russia’s position as a regional powerhouse.
India is ranked fourth with a score of 0.1025, followed by the UK in fifth place with a score of 0.1435. The UK’s ranking is influenced, in part, by the presence of the two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers in the Royal Navy. Among other rankings, France is placed ninth, behind Japan in eighth place, and Italy is ahead of Türkiye at tenth place. Iran is ranked seventeenth, ahead of Israel in eighteenth place. Poland holds the twentieth position, while Germany is placed twenty-fifth.
Ukraine, which ranked fifteenth in this year’s report (up from sixteenth in 2022), has seen an improvement due to its response to the conflict and financial and material support from the West. The country achieved a score of 0.2516 as of May 31. However, it is important to note that the numbers for Ukraine’s armor, artillery, and aircraft are estimates provided by GFP.
The exact details regarding the location, funding, and ownership of GFP are not entirely clear. The organization does not assume responsibility for the accuracy, correctness, completeness, reliability, and up-to-dateness of the information it provides, as stated in its disclaimer.
In summary, the 2023 GFP rankings report highlights the military strength of various countries, with the US leading the pack, followed closely by Russia and China making significant progress. The report sheds light on the factors considered in the rankings and acknowledges the limitations of some countries in terms of their military capabilities. However, it is important to approach the information with some caution, given the disclaimer provided by GFP regarding the accuracy of the data.