The comparisons of the present military capabilities and capacities can be looked at the following statistical figures, as presented below. The key items chosen here are:
- total population,
- GDP (PPP-adjusted),
- size of armed forces (= number of military personnel) and
- military expenditure (PPP-adjusted).
Additional comparison data, based on very large statistical re-counting operation, covers conventional weapons and other key military equipment as well as nuclear weapons, assessed in various dimensions.
In statistical presentations and comparisons below, there are two groups or alliances:
- The West including the US, NATO, Japan and South Korea
- The East including China, Russia, CIS&CSTO, SCO, Iran, North Korea
Key statistical data of national capabilities, great powers and their alliances, 2018
Some overall comments on above figures
- the West has quite clear air-superiority, whereas
- the East has a “crossing” superiority on the ground with heavy weapons
- in the naval field, the situation is near- parity in quantitative measures
- when taking into account the top-quality air defense technology of the East (Russia’s whole air defense range), the cutting edge has moved towards east.