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Subject: Top 6 armed forces, 2 lists(!) (specific requirements)
Knjaz    5/27/2011 9:18:41 AM
Looks like everybody have these lists... so, I guess I'll take one too. I ask you to name at least 6 countries, but you can as well name more, if you wish... USA does not participate in here to save place for others (since lists are short) First list - top 6 armed forces in terms of ovesea force projection capability and ability to do it for prolonged period of time. Second list - top 6 armed forces in terms of overall military force capabilities = Defensive capabilities AND capabilities to conduct offensive operations in neighbouring states. Oversea force projection is NOT taken into account. NOTE: A reference point for "defensive capabilities" will be taken as an ability to effectively protect itself from the military with best force projection capability, which is - from USA. No weapons are restricted to use (well, just stay real, USA wont be using nukes against Somalia, for example)
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Reactive       5/27/2011 9:53:35 AM
I think we could probably do without another list..
Why not reframe the question in terms of a specific scenario and repost the thread - the problem with the question as it stands is that all threats are not equal, each has very specific strategic and regional factors which has a correlating share of defense spending for each nation, of which many are equipped to deal with threats as part of alliances and therefore can't be isolated, how do you place NATO within this list for example?
I think if you put a specific set of starting conditions for the aggressor/s then you can start to look at various defensive capabilites but for the top 6 I'd argue that these capabilities are basically nuclear anyway, you don't avoid trying to invade Russia or China for fear of their conventional forces, and the same goes for the US, france, China, britain, Israel etc. What this means is that you then have to take the nuclear deterrents out of the picture which then brings you into the realm of fantasy because you are no longer dealing with anything close resembling real-world strategic decisionmaking. 
So the only list you can really make is of countries that a redundant long-range strike capability, (that means SLBN's and mobile Launchers).
And that's the problems with lists, you can't draw useful parallels becuase each is completely specific to the local and strategic environment that states find themselves in, you can't compare X with Y unless the starting conditions are the same and they can't be.
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smitty237    Scenario   6/1/2011 11:40:38 PM
Ok, how about this:  Let's evaluate force projection based upon a country's ability to transport a combat task force halfway around the world.  Let's make it a combat force that contains a mix of infantry, armored, artillery, combat support (engineers, MPs), and support (medical, logistics) units.  For sake of discussion let's make it a brigade sized force. 
To put a little geographical perspective on it, let's say that for European countries it would involve transporting a brigade sized force to the Caribbean or Southeast Asia.  For an Asian country it would involve sending troops to the Americas or west Africa.  For a country in the Americas it would mean a deployment to the Middle East or Africa, and so forth.  How many countries could do this?  As a follow up, how many countries could sustain that force for more than a few months?  Let's assume that there is high public and political support for the mission. 
The USA, Britain, France, Russia, China, and India could pull this off.  Who else? 
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