Thursday, December 1, 2016

Comparing The U.S. And Russian Economies

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Jacob L. Shapiro, Geopolitical Futures: A Tale of Two Economies: Russia and the US

Regionalization can reveal much about countries’ economic structure and relative power.

Power is a relative concept. To say that one state is powerful means nothing. Power only derives meaning if it is evaluated in comparison. Two of the states whose powers we constantly re-evaluate are Russia and the United States. Much of our analysis is driven by just how weak we believe the Russian Federation is. When we look at its moves in Syria or Eastern Europe, we keep in mind Russia’s relative strengths and weaknesses compared to its neighbors and the United States. There are many different ways to evaluate this discrepancy, but comparing the regional economies of the U.S. and Russia is particularly striking.

The first element of this analysis must be to recognize how much larger the U.S. economy is than the Russian economy. Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of area – almost 11 percent of the world’s landmass is sovereign Russian territory – but Russia’s economy pales in comparison to the U.S.’ According to 2016 first-quarter figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. GDP is around $18.1 trillion. Russia’s economy is roughly a tenth the size of the U.S.’ (the World Bank stated that Russia’s GDP in 2015 was $1.3 trillion.) According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, U.S. military expenditures in 2015 were 3.3 percent of GDP, and Russia’s were 5 percent of its GDP. That still puts Russia among the top five military spenders in the world, but in absolute terms it means Russia’s military expenditures add up to roughly 10 percent of U.S. military spending.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I always laugh when the Russian bogeyman raises its head in the West. When it comes down to real power .... and I mean real raw economic power and the political power it gives  .... Russia is puny when compared to the West and the U.S..

6 comments:

RRH said...

http://harpers.org/archive/2016/12/the-new-red-scare/


In most departments, they don't square up militarily either, despite all the hullabaloo.

Fusion said...

I'm sure B. Poster will prove this all wrong. ;)

Caecus said...

If only GDP translated directly into military prowess

B.Poster said...

Fusion,

As I've stated many times, the only way to "prove" this and to "know" the outcome would be to actually fight the war. Given the formidable military prowess Russia does have combined with it's cyber warfare capabilities, excellent human intelligence, and its vast media network of supporters to get its message out, this is something we would prefer to avoid.

WNU,

Very respectfully, when the "Russian boogeyman" rears its head either in the US or the "west" there is always substantial and influential media opposition to it that explains the falsehoods behind much it. When the "American boogeyman" rears its head pretty much anywhere, there isn't the media pushback against it that anti Russian messaging has. As you have stated elsewhere, you have developed thick skin to deal with this sort of thing. As an American, I have yet to develop such thick skin when America is criticized unjustly. I'm getting there but have yet to fully develop this.

Caecus,

Unfortunately the size of the economy does not translate directly into military prowess. While article narrowly focuses on the size of the economy and military spending, it mostly ignores the massive debt the US has, the crumbling infrastructure, and the dependence on others for certain raw materials and manufactured goods. For a complete analysis, these factors would also need to be considered. Additionally it is very likely the US dollar will lose its role as world reserve currency within the next few years. This is completely ignored.

Finally, the current state of the US military is not even considered. Due to continuing and generally fruitless operations around the world the Us military is worn down, badly depleted, equipment is in poor shape, training is poor, and morale is low. As such, should the US end up in a shooting war with say a country like Iran or North Korea victory is far from assured. Since victory cannot be guaranteed against a mid power, military victory against a major power such as Russia or China is going to be even more problematic. Perhaps the nuclear arsenal can make up for conventional military shortfalls. That is assuming it still works. To add to the problems, US Intelligence services are staffed and managed by a combination of incompetent boobs and political hacks. As such, very little of what they produce can be relied upon.

Again, we cannot "know" the outcome of a war between the US and Russia in advance without fighting the actual war. I would also add to this in such a war Russia would be able to rely on countries such as China, North Korea, and Iran for assistance. Also, expect numerous countries in Central and South America to be on their side as well. In contrast, US "allies" consist of a combination of washed has been powers, never were powers, and never will be powers. This broader base of support would give Russia a huge advantage and, at the very least, would act as a counterweight to ay advantage America might have.

As such, very respectfully to everyone Russian power relative to the United states would appear to be definitely not "puny." When a "foreign devil" is needed, it is helpful to trot out the United States and overstate its relative power. It's far easier to demonize someone if we overstate their power while understating that of adversaries and potential adversaries.

Aizino Smith said...

Victory is measured in throw weight, planning, execution, elan, morale and such factors.

It is not necessarily measured in $$$.

Aizino Smith said...

"Unfortunately the size of the economy does not translate directly into military prowess. While article narrowly focuses on the size of the economy and military spending, it mostly ignores the massive debt the US has, the crumbling infrastructure, and the dependence on others for certain raw materials and manufactured goods. For a complete analysis, these factors would also need to be considered. Additionally it is very likely the US dollar will lose its role as world reserve currency within the next few years." <<< That is quotable.


"US military is worn down, badly depleted, equipment is in poor shape, training is poor, and morale is low"

Operations builds up experience, confidence.
Ops have countervailing trends of experience and depletion