Researchers at European Geostrategy broke global powers down into four categories: Super Power, Global Power, Regional Power and Local Power.

The United States took the top slot as the world’s super power, while Britain took the only Global Power slot, bringing her in second behind America.

Regional powers include France, India and Germany, while local powers were those such as Italy, Brazil, and Turkey.

The organisation European Geostrategy rate the United Kingdom as a global power, they define this as:

“A country lacking the heft or comprehensive attributes of a superpower, but still with a wide international footprint and [military] means to reach most geopolitical theatres, particularly the Middle East, South-East Asia, East Asia, Africa and South America.”

The British Armed Forces comprise the Royal Navy, a blue-water navy with a comprehensive and advanced fleet; the Royal Marines, a highly specialised amphibious light infantry force; the British Army, the UK’s principal land warfare force; and the Royal Air Force, with a diverse operational fleet consisting of modern fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.

The country is a major participant in NATO and other coalition operations and is also party to the Five Power Defence Arrangements. Recent operations have included Afghanistan and Iraq, peacekeeping operations in the Balkans and Cyprus, intervention in Libya and again operations over Iraq and Syria.

Overseas defence facilities are maintained at Ascension Island, Belize, Brunei, Canada, Diego Garcia, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Kenya, Bahrain and Cyprus.

The UK still retains considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally. It’s a recognised nuclear weapons state and its defence budget ranks fifth or sixth in the world. The country has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its inception.

The United Kingdom also scores highly in the Chinese ranking system called ‘Comprehensive National Power’, this is a putative measure, important in the contemporary political thought of the People’s Republic of China, of the general power of a nation-state.

CNP is reportedly calculated numerically by combining various quantitative indices to create a single number held to measure the power of a nation-state. These indices take into account both military factors (known as hard power) and economic and cultural factors (known as soft power). CNP is notable for being an original Chinese political concept with no roots in either contemporary Western political theory, Marxism-Leninism, or pre-20th century Chinese thinking.

There is a general consensus that the United States is the nation with the highest CNP and that mainland China’s CNP ranks not only far behind the United States but also behind the United Kingdom, Russia, France and Germany.

The key in this matter is that while countries like China for example have a larger military than the United Kingdom, it does not have the logistical capability to deploy, support and sustain those forces overseas in large numbers.

Professor Malcolm Chalmers, director of UK Defence Policy Studies at the renowned Royal United Services Institute, says Britain would have a clear advantage in a straight fight at an equidistant location. This was described in a 2011 Briefing Paper:

“The UK will never again be a member of the select club of global superpowers. Indeed it has not been one for decades. But currently planned levels of defence spending should be enough for it to maintain its position as one of the world’s five second-rank military powers (with only the US in the first rank), as well as being (with France) one of NATO-Europe’s two leading military powers. Its edge – not least its qualitative edge – in relation to rising Asian powers seems set to erode, but will remain significant well into the 2020’s, and possibly beyond.”

According to Business Insider, Chalmers has since expanded on this:

“I think my 2011 comment remains valid. If you take individual elements of front line military capability – air, sea, land — the UK armed forces continue to outmatch those of China in qualitative terms by some margin. The UK also has greater capabilities for getting the most out of these forces, through key enabling capabilities (command and control, intelligence, strategic transport).

Not least, the UK has greater capability than China for operating at range. China (and even more so other Asian powers) remain focused on their immediate neighbourhoods, with limited capabilities for power projection. This is likely to change over the next decade. For now, though, China would still be out-matched qualitatively in a ‘straight fight’ with the UK in an equidistant location (the south Atlantic? The Gulf?), and would be unable to mobilise a force big enough to outweigh this quality gap. China’s quantitative advantages would come into play in the event of a conflict in its own neighbourhood – and its qualitative weaknesses would be less important, though still significant. So my statement was never meant to imply that the UK could outmatch China off the latter’s own coastline.”

Some people like to quote numbers from sites like Global Firepower, a site that rates countries on numbers without any regard for their ability to deploy, sustain and support those numbers, indeed it is the only place where a country gets a higher rank with 100 Soviet-era tanks than a country with 90 modern main battle tanks.

However when it comes to ‘soft power’, according to a study earlier this year, France has overtaken the UK in soft power.

France surpassed the US and Britain as the world’s top soft power, according to an annual survey examining how much non-military global influence an individual country wields. Britain headed the list two years ago, but was edged off top spot by the US last year.

However, the survey cites the election of Donald Trump, the Brexit vote and the election of Emmanuel Macron as factors that have shifted global perceptions.

The report found that “despite the looming public negotiations the UK’s objective soft power assets both state and privately owned remain strong”. But it warned the polling showed Britain’s rating was falling, largely due to a decline in favourability among European countries. Outside the EU, perceptions of the UK remained static.

Soft power is a concept developed by Joseph Nye of Harvard University to describe the ability to attract and co-opt rather than coerce, use force or give money as a means of persuasion. Soft power is the ability to shape the preferences of others through appeal and attraction. A defining feature of soft power is that it is noncoercive; the currency of soft power is culture, political values, and foreign policies. Recently, the term has also been used in changing and influencing social and public opinion through relatively less transparent channels and lobbying through powerful political and non-political organisations. In 2012, Nye explained that with soft power, “the best propaganda is not propaganda”, further explaining that during the Information Age, “credibility is the scarcest resource”.

The Soft Power 30, which uses a composite index to examine the strength of soft power assets at the disposal of countries, rates the top performing countries in order as France, the UK, US, Germany and Canada. Outside the top five, Japan and Switzerland have risen to sixth and seventh respectively. Overall the survey shows a sharp reversal from last year’s narrative of a Europe in soft power decline.

Described by Professor Joseph Nye, who developed the concept of soft power, as “the clearest picture to date”, it is the first index to include the rising importance of digital assets and to use international polling to gauge national reputations across the world.


    • What use is 7,000 nukes? Redundancy in case of failure to launch? Any more than around 200 is almost useless. Russia’s military while powerful do not have any reach; where’s their bases in the world? In ten years time when Russia’s money has completely run out they’ll be back to the year 2000.

      • because the first target of Russian nukes would be America’s unfired nukes, (and vice versa, of course,) so each side needs enough so that even if the other side fired first, they would have enough left to ruin the country who attacked them. Iirc, the calculation was that they would have 20% of their nukes left?
        Also, the count of all warheads would include tactical nukes, nuclear depth charges, etc.

        • So were assuming within 15 minutes of a Russian launch, the Allies will have reassigned their missile targeting information and launched themselves? Thats only capable on a very small amount of available missiles! I’ve just looked it up. If the UK was to target every major City in Russia; would they (without external assistance be able to confidently deliver to that target? The answer is yes. So my original point is could the UK alone disable Russia? yes!

          • Hi, im assuming u have no children?and no clue about science. Nuclear. You are very stupid. Sorry to tell you this and i didnt read all of what you said. Lol great init. X

          • Dumb comments when the UK has to ask permission of the uSA to fire its missiles which it ‘leases’ rom the USA. Do some fact checking and remember the Russian technology is far more advanced than anything the UK has. S400 S300 and soon S500. Hypersonic weapons and the capabilty to wipe the UK off the map before it could even get one hit on Russia.

        • Does the people in the UK think they are as advanced a Superpower as USA ?……….Why does the UK always think of itself as being in the same league as US, India, China, etc…………………The UK still has miles to go before it can match upto the levels of these countries, their Infrastructure is primitive to say the least & most of the UK population are still dependent on public transportation even at this day & age !!!

          • ? Honestly, India must stop issuing those 1950’s Soviet textbooks in schools and libraries. As for ‘not in the same league as India’, well…..

          • No there not the uk has far to many cars on the road I’d you ask me the uk has the logistics support for there army were as China Russia India have a bigger Forse but would not be able to deploy most of it as they could not supply them all with ammunition and food supply ex were as the uk can deploy verry successfully over sea and around the world that’s why it’s a global power it’s like having a v8 range rover and only having enough money to run mini

          • Did you just say ‘not in the same league and India and china” You do realise that the UK being the leading country in terms of soft power which means being able to persuade other countries or economies to do things. Using this fact and the power of the UK military, royal air force and navy the UK easily deserves the place as the second most powerful country in the world and would probably be first if the US GDP wasn’t so big. Also, how is the use of public transport a measure of anything?

          • simple we have strategic bases all over the world our queen is head of state in a number of countries that means she is head of there armoured forces so they are ours icing on we are an island nation cherry on the cake we have trident

          • India has power cuts several times per day, the streets stink of sewerage and the tap water is full of parasites. Hardly a country that could sustain a conflict. India has never successfully defended itself from outside invaders in over 2,000 years.

            At a decisive battle with the British, a section of the Indian army accepted a bribe to not fight for their own country, wives and daughters. Hardly a warrior race to say the least.

          • I have never read such a ridiculous post. In a detached theatre such as the middle East, the UK would spank Indian forces. Even more so in 2 years time when we actually get aircraft for our carriers. Public transport? Yeah I’ve seen the Indian trains with the 3rd class seats – IE the roof….

          • lot of butthurt brits ,here,how is the free trade agreement negotiations with india going?? begged enough??

          • omg seriously you beleive that brain washing? Im surprised you even have an internet connection to get onto this site where you come from

          • UK’s infrastructure lags behind India ? Stop smoking those dried cow poo cigarettes, they are rotting your brain. Yes we use public transport as it is convenient, but when we uses buses and trans we travel inside them rather than hanging off the sides or sitting on the roof like monkeys.

          • UK’s infrastructure lags behind India ? Stop smoking those dried cow poo cigarettes, they are rotting your brain. Yes we use public transport as it is convenient, but when we uses buses and trains we travel inside them rather than hanging off the sides or sitting on the roof like monkeys.

          • Dependent on public transport. Huh? The exact opposite is the problem in the UK; reliance on cars. If you are going to denigrate the UK, at least insult them for their actual problems. They invest too little in public transport, have it all squandered and owned by foreign and private holders—from French multinationals to Canadian private pensions—and they have an over reliance on road transport which has led to an increase in air pollution. But then India by comparison is a hell hole.

          • OK, it’s always nice to hear from our Indian friends but there is no need to throw a complete wobbly every time someone comes up with a report that disturbs your fragile sense of self-worth. I have been to India – it is definitely on the rise and will no doubt take it’s rightful place at the top table soon. The UK has pretty good infrastructure considering the paucity of investment since WW2 and it still outstrips India, for one in that regard. Your comment about public transport was puzzling too – it is not a weakness to have a well developed public transport system (take India’s railways for example) and I dare say car ownership per capita in the UK far outstrips car ownership in India.

          • Indian government said last year..with a real smile..that it will have toilets in every school within 5 years. Go check for yourself. As to what the British can and can’t do the reference of the information supplied is available fr you to research and READ! Can you read by the way? The UK along with Australia experimented with Australia with inter continental ballistic missiles in the 1950’ Woomerah..Woomerah is STILL in use……the ONLY working scram jet engine in the WORLD is operating there…dont rat on about India..but why dont YOU release YOUR version and put references, these dudes did that…………..why dont YOU???? OHH one last thing..war fare capability is or SHOULD not be a thing of national pride, national pride should be about the ability to project might FOR right – not the other way around. Your slip is showing. Get a real life.

          • 2nd in command of NATO. amphibious fleet who can fight any where on the planet. If China or Russia owned the falklands they wouldn’t be able to take it back simple haven’t got amphibious fleet. They would of turned up on a cruise ship. Best trained troops on the planet period. every special forces copies the s.a.s. Financial hub of the world. We actually have more military bases spreaded over the world than USA. Ranked no2 in the world for soft power was no 1. I’ll create a scenario for you to prove it. South Africa got invaded they need help. China can’t turn up because they haven’t got long distance navy or the logistics to transport troops that far. maybe 6 months later they might arrive. Same as Russia havent got the bases or logistics to get there or resupply. Only leaves USA or Uk for a response within a couple of weeks To perform a naval blockade are airforce would be able to help within days. Marines would be on show within weeks. So when people say Uk are weak and Russia is a super power stop watching Russia today. If China said they would invade us we would laugh and at the Russians. If we said we will attack you the world knows and seen us do it threw out history time and time again. It’s a serious threat no wants trident popping up off their coast. We defend a small island are forces have a different dynamic than Russia who has many borders and land to defend. Hence lots of troops and tanks we don’t need that force. We have loads of ballistic missiles and an expeditionary force to slap any one in the face when needed don’t need 11 aircraft carriers.

          • Really? Lol this is a hilarious comment! Reliant on public transport? Are you mental? You use public transport because it’s one of the most efficient ways to travel you turnip! Ever tried to drive to your destination in London? You are such a mis informed ignorant person this comment is wrong on every point!

          • Well, you should know. You’re from a third world country. Many families have several cars and we’re still high ranking despite allowing people like you into the country to lower it specially with your poor command of English

      • Newsflash! Our money is run out! We have a massive deficit and debt! We don’t have enough people to man the ships, our forces are seriously depleted and if you believe this article you are seriously deluded!

          • Like we have never paid for any of the military or died in our thousands defending this country along side you..?Get real have some grace and don’t flatter yourselves.. !!

          • Oh ye think so? What planet do you live on mr English from eng a land? If scotland wasn’t in this unequal union i’m afraid to say,( my not so faraway friend that) Eng a land would have no Empire at all. It would just be little Eng a land dude. Do some real historical research( not the english version) and you will soon discover that it’s scotland that has the influence around the world and it’s usually the scots who get thrown in the front line to save you little englander friends lilly liver chicken s*** bu*h***s. We practically own Australia, Canada,America,and the rest of the rest of the Empire that we used to Run/Rule. If it came to the crunch (in this modern day) between Engaland and Great Scot Land,then i’m afraid to say Eng a land would lose the battle on all fronts, Or back if you prefare. Americans,Canadians,Australians,New Zealanders,and all the rest of the Western Empire, including some others outside of it would be on the scots side if it came to a battle and they would all be signing up in their droves to kick yer silly Arrogant Ar**s back into the stone ages. We also made and created the best inventions to boot chummy so the next time you open yer stupid big mouth and try to make yourself feel better and more superior think about this question… Why do you put the scots down when we are your one and only real loyal friends when the Enemy is at the door. I can also guarantee the Irish and Welsh would be on our side also. It’s this kind of Arrogance that makes the English hated around the world. Bit of advice… Grow a brain.

        • Some Scots always have to put the UK down. Where would an independent Scotland rank I wonder? Newsflash – the US (ranked 1) is 14 Trillion in debt…….

          • Newsflash Ragnar: plenty of english put the uk down too. The scots who put the Uk. Down as you put it? We don’t . We just don’t like idiots like yourself who are obviously anti scottish.. Or just plain Envious that such a small Country with an even smaller population is better at everything than the English and that’s a fact boyo. If Scotland had the same size of population as the English and the Roles were reversed you might just begin to see our point when we are always treated like idiots when we only want to be treated as equals in a very unequal union. Remember chum that Scotland is a country not a region north of Engaland. It’s all about perspective R ag a nar. EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION, Rag and bone man, i mean Raganar the viking. Haha. Anyway bud who do you think created or contributed most to little Eng a land’s little Empire?..That’s right Raganar, we did. How you say? Will i give you a clue Raganar? Ok then.. Television, Telephone, the modern banking system, most of Eng a lands bridges posh buildings roads and canals not to mention railwaylines were invented,designed and built by scots, The worlds greatest philanthropist:( and i don’t mean pist) (Although we could probably drink all of you under the table) The Worlds first Labour Government, Refrigerated meat,The east india company, The American Navy, the dollar, the first paper currency, the first hole in the wall dispenser, the fax machine, video,The first man on the moon, most of the American president’s and governers, the design of the union jack, the first king of great britain, The first Detective Agency, Dracula,king arthur, Robing hood, sherlock holmes,Andy murry, most of Canada’s prime ministers, The Macintosh raincoat, tyres,Micky Mouse, McDonalds, Dinald duck, The first Euripean to cross America, The first Humane penal colony, insulin,Penicilin, The father of Australia, The first man to play basketball, and yes if you do some research football too, golf, scottish claymore, The plough, Russias first department store, The fresno scraper, The first European ti set foit on American soil, America’s first architect, push bikes, The Worlds oldest biotechnology company, grand theft auto, forte group, modern lighthouse,deaf and dumb language,first telegraph pole, The point in the decimal and so on and on.. Do you want me to go on dude? I’m just started. Much much more than the few examples of legendary genius i have shown here. So you see Raganar the scots are not dummies and we are not rascist or homophobic,… Unlike yourself. I havn’t even mentioned names yet but lets just say pound for pound the scots would be very successful on their own. The priblem is the english mentality..i see.. i want.. i take. This is the problem we have. We are also the more generous of the whole union. As i said in my last reply … Grow a brain and maybe just maybe lighten up with the anti scottish remarks. Bampot.

    • Head-of-State does not mean Commander-and-Chief. Get Ride of un-elected Heads-of-State & make your Prime Minister the Head-of-State. There is no point in a Head of State not in direct control of either military or govt…. Waste of Money .. its 2018 get ride of people being in power because who their parents are i.e. Monarchy… it is SUPER STUPID & waste of your $$

    • Shortly as the £355million a week for the NHS being part of the agreement or referendum by the Brexit lot, the massive reduction in those in employ, the crash of the pound from €1.40 down to about €1.10 the figures given will soon pale into history. The UK like other past empires is sinking. The new ship called the ss britain will be launched when enough wood and nails can be found to hold it together. Oh ss, stands for slowly sinking!

    • I take it you haven’t actually read the article then? The study is linked to and their data is available to anyone who reads it, there are also two different organisations with broadly similar results mentioned.

      • If you think any part of this article is realtime .your in La La land . The military of the UK is being ripped apart by cutbacks and personnel are leaving in droves for various reasons such as pensions being played around with.

    • I take it you haven’t actually read the article then? The study is linked to and their data is available to anyone who reads it, there are also two different organisations with broadly similar results mentioned.

    • I take it you haven’t actually read the article then? The study is linked to and their data is available to anyone who reads it, there are also two different organisations with broadly similar results mentioned.

      • The UK Defence Journal is very defensive 🙂
        Stop being delusional. The UK is in decline. Two mothballed aircraft carriers don’t make you a global power, sorry 🙂
        The French have surpassed you by a mile.

    • MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction: If we fire on a nuclear state, they are certain to fire back we all die from the detonation, fallout or radiation sickness. Fantastically powerful whilst you’re spewing blood from both ends, have the worst headache imaginable, a fever you could cook eggs on, a balance compass based on my Ex’s Moral compass and blood coming out of every orifice. Really powerful.

    • Hi Glenn,

      The study is linked to and their data is available to anyone who reads it, there are also two different organisations with broadly similar results mentioned. Remember, these people know far more about the subject than you or I do.


  1. Second most powerful based on alot more than military capabilities, keep in mind this not saying second most powerful military as we all know while we would fit in the top 10 2 would be pushing it.

    The uk does have a massive global reach far beyond its military, culture language law and more plus close ties with a wide selection on countries all over the planet.

    • Hi Luke,

      The study is linked to and their data is available to anyone who reads it, there are also two different organisations with broadly similar results mentioned. Remember, these people know far more about the subject than you or I do.


    • Why not ? there is only 1 country probably in the history of humanity that launched an amphibious opposed invasion of an illegally seized island over 8000….. miles from home and won. that is called reach and the fact we took 10000 guys down there supported them fought off Argentinian airstrikes at the same time shows a very capable military.

      • But could we do it again, tomorrow? Thirty five long years of defence cut after defence cut have decimated our military capabilities. No operational aircraft carriers and no aircraft to fly from them, our one LPH on its last legs, no long range bombing capability, faulty destroyers, too few frigates and subs, no long range maritime surveillance capability, air force, army and navy all overstretched across the globe because we insist on trying to be the global power we’re not. In 1982 we had (just about) enough military muscle to pull it off. Now? I rather doubt it.

    • It’s nonsense. The British don’t have any strategic independence, unlike the French.
      They are just extensions of the Americans.

      • Why are the French so envious of the British? Remember London 2012? You couldn’t hear a thing for all the French whinging.

      • Actually your comment is complete nonsense. America has never won a war without British assistance, Vietnam for example.

        Korea was won because of the outstanding performance of British troops. Vietnam was lost because the British weren’t there.

        • Korea wasn’t won. At best, you could call it a draw. Had it been won we wouldn’t now be on the brink of a third world war.

  2. I don’t understand why people are finding this hard to believe and I suspect that most of them have not done 2 things. They have not read this article and they have not thought about it.

    • I think that people are still seeing Britain as that country which had such a rickety economy before the last 25 years. They don’t stay informed over here (America) about anything regarding the UK and many other countries as well. Plus there is this “we had to win the war for you” testosterone driven patriotism over here that borders in some people on fanaticism. Americans think that we won the Revolution on American “balls and glory” and also are taught to think that we won the War of 1812. The aid of France, the failure of the US Army to accomplish much of anything until the victory at New Orleans (after the war was over) are all downplayed. The hint that the above argument could very well be true if one notices the way Americans immediately get defensive the minute someone says that the British soldier is better trained and gives better performance than the Americans (check out youtube). They get very nasty. Why? Something must make them feel ill at ease. For me, I want a powerful Britain. In a world where nations all have their own agenda, the overlapping of our history and culture make us perfect allies, along with Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other Commonwealth nations.

    • probably just watched those crappy top 10s on youtube which the uk is at 8th spot just because north korea has 1 extra soviat era 1960s tank

  3. I’m Struggling to see how they reached that conclusion. we will be one of the more advanced military’s in a few years yes but the 2nd most powerful?

    that being said a very interesting read

  4. Most powerful…second most powerful, doesn’t matter. Our leaders wouldn’t “push the big red button”…in fact some of our supposed deputy leaders want to remove it all together.
    The winner will be the one who dares in war these days.
    Our armed forces are amazing but they are constricted. Bit like the police…employed to do a job…go and do it…then get investigated

  5. This article is misleading. The study classifies the UK as a Global Power based on the ability to project power efficiently and effectively, not as the 2nd most powerful country in the world. In terms of raw power the UK is further down the list, though still formidable.

    • Hi,

      The article fully explains the reasoning and also links to not only the original source but two other sources and organisations who broadly agree with the findings of the first. “In terms of raw power the UK is further down the list” does not match with the findings or raw data provided by EGS.


  6. Reading the report it bases a lot its findings based on the ability to deploy units quickly, how modern the units are, it fails to take into account numbers this were the uk is failing, with current operations we can deploy between 8 to 12 GR-4’s any more than that we struggle in keeping crews deployed and start to run out of airframes as the airframes are needed for training or being serviced. The problem the uk has is consent reduction in numbers of the last 20 years has left the armed forces a shadow of its former self. In the Libyan compaign we had to order more bombs as we were running out.

  7. The stupidity of many of the comments on here is scary. Read the post (if you can read). Global power isn’t about military numbers, the UK dominates in soft power and influence,combined with military and cyber strength. READ THE POST.

    • Germany doesn’t really have anything more than economic and political clout. Its military is powerful, but it’s not capable of global projection, because they don’t have an international presence in the same way that Britain and the US do.

  8. It’s a sold enough commentary, but perhaps lacking in more detailed explanation of things like: allied nations (ports and bases); the role the commonwealth undoubtedly plays in the UK’s ‘power’; the established (and protected) trade routes which countries like China lack; the diplomatic weight and history of the UK; and perhaps finally the role that the BBC plays as far as it’s international news services are concerned.

    I wouldn’t expect the average person to be reading something like this anyway, but if you forgive me for saying so, the article isn’t even a strong commentary. It’s a collection of quotes barely explained or put in serious context. Where’s the comparison with a country like China? As a writer I’d have expected something more. You’ve got the initial concept of a story, but nothing that make this worth reading more than the links you seem to want to highlight. Perhaps your editor might have looked at the article and considered how reactionary some comments might have been and asked for more of a discussion or explanation of why the UK is stronger. Personally, I’d have elaborated and given an example of China’s tech compared to the UKs. Perhaps you could have highlighted the role that the RN played in protecting supply lines? How neither Russia nor China have a network like the BBC or Sky News that can spread the UK point of view. What role does the English language play in all of this?

    You’ve got a great core idea as I said, but you’re in dire need of some editorial control here to take it from an idea to an actual story or commentary.

      • However, in your other comments you try to sound as if you conducted the study yourself and other organizations agree with you. Then you go on to say “read the article”. Well, I certainly did. I am in the military so should be able to grasp some kind of reasoning behind this however I don’t. Of course, I expect you to respond with some kind of rude reply regarding my level of intelligence despite that You will still not have anything substantial backing up your article. You do not back up anything except stating what countries are in what category for the most part. I do not agree that the UK is a second world’s leading power with only “one spot available being a global power”. And this article does not help at all to make me believe that otherwise. Your comments appear to be very defensive and unprofessional not to mention robotic. Copying and pasting the same defensive comment over and over without highlighting any other facts or logic behind anything. Poor job.., however great job at misleading other people that wouldn’t know how to understand this otherwise . I’m assuming that’s who this article was intended for. For people, that don’t need evidence supporting what they read and believe everything they read and civilians that would not understand. Obviously, this article is also written by a Brit.

        • Why should anyone care if you agree. Who are you? Check the studies yourself instead of just saying “I dont like it so its not true”. Your fourth last sentence shows you to be a conceited little git as well.

    • Not to be too flip, but from what you are saying then you’re aiming to be a buzzfeed like site? A couple of paragraphs explaining the thing you want to highlight but nothing original? I’m not trying to judge, but when I first became aware of you guys, it looked like it might actually be journal like writing. If I’ve misunderstood where you are trying to pitch your site, fair enough. If you want to be a semi-respected news outlet though I’d suggest a bit more work could go into the articles is all.

      As a side note, the amount of criticism from people should make it clear that the article is quite a bit to blame here. You keep saying to people that ‘the article should make it clear’. If you are having to repeat that to a number of people I’d suggest it’s the article at fault here. It may all make sense to you, it clearly lacks enough to be understood by the commenters who’ve read your piece. That’s not a reader problem, it’s a writer problem. I’m not trying to insult, merely suggest an area of improvement.

      • The artical is clear. It is not an in depth analysis but rather the presentation of the findings of an in depth analysis. It is what it is. The comments reflect nothing other than lots of idiots are here posting. None of the negative comments offer any alternative view or fact or even arguments, they are all simply anti british mud slinging.

    • irony.bollywood itself a copy of western films. still using the Shakespearean tropes in 21st century. your country ranks high in the world in poverty and people with no toilets.

  9. George Allison, stop whinging about people’s comments, you’re the one leaving yourself open to it by leaving a vague headline. Going to block me from this page too? You don’t really have much to be stuck up for.

    • To all the morons that disagree with the article: big words don’t hinder us from understanding what the article is actually telling us which is absolutely NOTHING. Does this article think it can use big words so that means we are suppose to agree when it backs up nothing. This is a poorly written article, biased and obviously written by Brits. Basically, the only the article has said is there is only one spot available for Global Power and that is for the UK. It also stated there is a Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marines just like the US however does not mentioning of the size of these forces, nukes, civilians, international trade, etc I’m not saying it needed to cover every minor detail but when an article is going to make a rash statement such as this stated as a fact and not be able to back it up (only with the exception of big words) then it shouldn’t be so defensive when people disagree. This article tells me nothing other than it was obviously written by a Brit that is really defensive and unprofessional in their comments.

  10. No way today. In real terms we could not mount another Falklands operation. We have no aircraft carriers ( operational with planes ) thankfully this study is not just military orientated. We do punch above our weight tho. Where is Israel? A powerful military and they keep inventing things to make life better whether it be electronic/agriculture/medicine etc. RE Russia being over rated, like China they only need to get the first strike in.

    • We don’t need to that’s why there are thousands of troops there at all times 4 euro fighter jets and 1 type 45 destroyer the arginine forces are verry weak and probably couldn’t take it now if they tried there equipment is basically the same as what they used in 1982

  11. Russia’s current military strength is overrated by many who take their information from what they see on TV, bombing of Assad’s enemies and bullying Ukraine does not make them a global power. These studies report the situation as it is now, I’ve no doubt that with Putin’s massive increase in military spending that future studies will find very different results. Interesting report.

    • As I thought, you have not read the studies.

      Pro tip: Opinions on a subject are more valuable when you’ve actually read the text presented or have some expertise in the area discussed.

      It’s OK Jason, we won’t tell anyone you made a fool of yourself.

    • You’ve not though, have you? Can you tell me specifically which paragraph in which section you disagree most with and also what qualifications you hold that enable you to explore the topic in-depth?

    • i’ve also worn the uniform for 20yrs which is a little more VALUABLE than reading studies and number crunching.

    • Ah personal abuse now, how predictable. You see Jason, the article links to three different studies performed in different countries by different organisations.

      Do you really expect people to take the word of a foul mouthed internet troll like yourself over well regarded analytical organisations? Really?

      • Really? This is what I mean! The only person ignorant and foul mouthed is the editor ! He doesn’t agree and yes holding a uniform for 2p years does hold up to the fact that the “studies” done DO NOT MEAN they are true, Have you ever taken a class called statistics? Do you know how many biased “studies” are out there? Instead of being rude and defensive in YOUR comments why don’t you EXPLAIN TO US WHY THE UK is the 2nd and the only global power? Or have you actually read the article and links?? The article should explain it anyhow instead of advising everyone to read “your” links and then everyone has to read the links that that “study” was from as well. Using big words does NOT make you intelligent at all nor does being rude. It only makes you sound more ridiculous, immature, and unintelligent especially when you are downing people because they disagree with the poorly written article and your poorly written comments. I think the fact that nearly every commentor despite yourself disagrees gives a clue of the validity of this article. Telling us to read your links is not enough either. And then you yourself have only been able to down each person that disagrees without having anything to back it up with??? Seriously. Unprofessional. Instead of getting worked up because no one agrees and then responding in ignorance why don’t you refer to your LINKS AND TELL US WHY it is such a global power?? Or have you even read them? So, unprofessional and your articles will not go far like this.just because you can use big words and respond by downgrading others intelligence does not make your article TRUTHFUL OR CORRECT. Poorly written article and even worse with commenting and supporting the article. The, I assume, editor just makes it look even worse.

        • Read the linked articals yourself. It is not up to the author to spoon fed you. God you are lazy and up yourself. Read the dam links then decide if you agree or not and if you dont then why moan at the person presenting the information? Surley it would make more sense to bitch and whine at the the bodies who produced the work not the guy who brought it to your attention. Ungratefull twat.

    • how can it be personal. i dont know who you are!! if its on facebook its true off coarse- history proves that whatever people believe isn’t necessarily the truth

  12. As UKDJ the article! It’s an independent study, and not some vain glorious attempt to big up Britain. I find a lot of these trolling, negative comments seem to be from people from other countries, with colonial chips on their shoulders who refuse to believe what they have read. UK military, however much it has been cut, is still one of the most high calibre and professional in the World; this study doesn’t even mention SAS, SBS, SRR and the Parachute Regiment and Gurkhas. People seem to assume that China and Russia are military powers, though quantity doesn’t always equate to quality, and their armed forces are not battle-hardened; unlike British and American forces. The UK’s outreach is maintained by language, NATO, UNSC and EU membership; it’s language (think US, Australia and Canada – stable dynamic nations), and its music and scientific prowess. Everybody is entitled to freedom of speech; it is one of the qualities of life that the UK is based on, and others follow, but people who have posted stupid comments on here, maybe need to get away from their games console and wank socks…and READ THE ARTICLE.

    • American English and culture dominate the world, not English English (excuse the term) and British culture. The UK cannot do anything in NATO or the UN without the approval of the US and nobody takes the EU seriously. So, whatever soft power the UK has is subordinate to the US. My point is that the UK does not really have significant independent power.

      • The uk has a right to veto in the Un and is second in command in nato the us can’t stop us from doing stuff in nato if we want

        • The UK won’t use its veto in the UN because it doesn’t have the power. It’s a power that the UK is too frightened to exercise.
          If you actually think that the UK can do anything in NATO without US approval, you are delusional. As far as Deputy Commander in NATO, so what? he can’t do anything without the Commander (US) approval.

      • No, that’s English you are attempting to write. English comes from this place called England.

        The largest empire of all time was created by the British, and the whole of world history is still in a post British empire phase. Asia would still be in the medieval period if it wasn’t for contact with Britain.

        You don’t have a point, your just upset that your country has never had an empire nor military success and never will.

        • There is something called American English and it dominates the world., Even you own academics recognize this. I remember something called the Treaty of Paris, do you. In case you don’t, the UK surrendered to the United States.

          • The most widely spoken language globally & recognised trade language is English! This came about because of the British empire. We are responsible for you Americans and all your mistakes and July 4th was a big mistake 😉

  13. Its not that surprising. The UK has an advanced military even if it is small by international standards. Technology creates a distortion of value and the UK does have access to high tech weaponry. Small but packs a punch. What I suspect the UK lacks is the ability to maintain a high war tempo over a prolonged period. With the current reductions in personnel I fear our military is starting to lose its “depth”. At the moment with no carriers at sea our ability to project power is limited, but that will change soon.

    I do find our soft power ranking a surprise ( not saying its wrong, just surprising) I would have thought china has more soft power, as it has no real historical baggage. China also invest heavily in countries and is increasingly a welcome partner in large scale infrastructure programs.

    Interesting report.

  14. I love the comment ……”Nye explained that with soft power, “the best propaganda is not propaganda”, further explaining that during the Information Age, “credibility is the scarcest resource”. Something Putin should learn maybe!

  15. It’s al very well being highly placed on indices of soft and hard power, but the question remains when are we as a country going to start using these “powers” to provide a positive and fruitful outcome?
    I wouldn’t regard the debacles of Iraq and Afghanistan as good examples of where we’ve put our global powers to good effect, and as for Ukraine, we were about as much use as a chocolate fireguard in influencing the outcome of that invasion, weren’t we just? As for Syria, it seems we’re pretty ineffective there too, IMHO.
    Global power? We couldn’t organise a p*ss up in a brewery. No wonder Russia and China don’t take any notice of us and the US only tolerate us when we side with them and put our boots on the ground in their disastrous foreign policy cock-ups!
    We need to take a very long hard look at ourselves and truly reflect on how others see us, not what spurious, non-sensical studies tell us.
    And please don’t patronisingly tell me to read the article, because I have.
    PS I do have a degree which includes geo-politics as one of the subjects, as well as 12 years service in HM Forces too, to help form my thoughts and opinions.

    • Your background is irelevant. I respect that you have served our country but that does not make your opinion any more valid than others who have not served. Most RAF pilots know exactly hee haw about naval matters or tank tactics. I cant stand this attitude of I served so know better. I dont need to kill someone to know its wrong.

  16. Definitely the most influential country in history. They gave birth to America, Australia and countless colonies across the globe. It’s safe to say if anyone tries to mess with Great Britain, a swarm of angry cousins would battle to death for them.

    • British was not the only ones that “gave birth” to America. And no we, Americans, do not feel that British has any influence on us at all. We may have similar cultures but definitely don’t feel your influence. Im not being rude but just tired of British acting like they are the sole country on this planet. And no there are no angry cousins that would battle to death for you. It would depend on the circumstances and who it was. Every country means business and the well-being for their own country. Countries don’t revolve around the British. Don’t get me wrong. I love the UK history and enjoy reading about it and have nothing against the country at all. In fact, have visited quite a few times (along with other European countries). However, I just don’t understand why the British have this high ego and try to brag all the time that they birth America etc, etc etc. And they care better than America. Just saying. And of course I know it’s not all British or at least would hope because Americans definitely don’t readily downgrade the British at all.

      • You lost Vietnam, the only war you’ve ever fought alone. You’ve never had an empire and never will. Your history will forever be overshadowed by British history.

        That’s why your so sore, and you know it.

        • The global lingua franca stature of English is due more to America than to Britain and a lot of Britain’s soft power rests on the foundation of the English language. Sans the position of the English language, Britain would be less of a global player than France, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, India and perhaps even Saudi Arabia. Britain rides America’s coat-tails in the modern world. British soft-power is certainly a reality but please admit that it’s underpinned by American hard & soft power.

      • Wipe the rabid foam from your chin and start again. For an american to accuse the UK of having an ego is laughable. Winning a game of rounders against your neighbours then declaring yourself world champion, that is ego. You forget yourself. Britain did indeed birth america. British colonists went to that land and after a few generations rebelled against the crown because they did not want to pay taxes. Your country is young and so like a teenager you have to be the best at everything. Dont worry you will grow up eventually.

        • I do not know how they teach WW II in your country but in America. We get this distinct impression we saved your civilization from extinction. For extordinarly little seeming reward or gratitude. To men who had to cross an ocean to fight and die in cities and town whose names they did not know and often would not have cared to have known. All because of the cowardice Chamberlain and Daladier.
          Remember our war was in the Pacific. But because we had effectively given the U.K. so much war material through lend-lease we could not fortify the Philippines. Consigning thousands of American soldiers and Philippine soldiers and civilians to die in torturous captivity or occupation.
          But no we had to hear for “Democracy”. So it was Europe first America last. It has been that way ever since America sacrificing her interest for European “allies”.

          • Well, the way you’ve been taught it is WRONG. By 1942, when the USA FINALLY joined the war effort, Germany was already bogged down in Russia and their offensive capabilities on the western front had been crippled by the RAF and RN. We were active across the world BEFORE AMERICA. We were fighting in Africa, Italy, the Pacific and Atlantic, and we were winning. So when you say that you saved us from extinction, that’s just arrogance speaking. At best, you made a valuable contribution.

  17. To be fair as a global power this does make sense. Our forces might not be the largest but we have key bases throughout the world and the ability to deploy large numbers quicker than almost all countries in the world. Could we beat Russia head to head? Not a chance,but we’d certainly have the advantage in any defensive situation or any foreign based conflict.

  18. The point is that whilst our power projection capabilites are greatly reduced we still have greater force protection than Russia and China. We alsk have the historical links which still help a high amount. The thing we also have to remember is when the shit hits the fan our guys really come up trumps

  19. Being able to send 10,000 or so troops 10,000 miles and defeat an opponent is not something most countries can do. Only four at present: US, UK, Russia, France. The latter two are a bit iffy, but could probably pull it off. Few believed you could do what you did in the Falklands, and I notice Argentina has left you alone for over 30 years.

  20. “a highly specialised amphibious light infantry force” which has now been earmarked for scrapping so thats another one less to count

  21. I am amazed by the number of stupid people on here who clearly either did not read or understand the article before posting it. Sure it surprised me, but after reading it, it all makes sound sense. Thank you for the article.

  22. I don’t know why u guys are talking about nuclear stuff, in the 1900’s they all agreed not to use them because it got to manic to the people’s minds. The reason why they still have them now is because what if the U.S. Gets rid of nuke and Russia lies about getting rid

  23. To correct some language, there is no “red button” to be pushed by the US or UK, at least, probably France, Russia, and China also. Launching a nuclear-armed missile is a multi-step process that can be stopped by a Second Lieutenant in the USAF. In an SSBN it takes at least two officers to launch AFTER receiving a launch order that has gone through at least two levels.

  24. Silly Bluster. In fact this article is a great example why it is desperately important to look beneath the propaganda numbers to really understand geopolitics. All the numbers add up, but any sane person can immediately grasp that in a prolonged conflict with all other nations neutral China could wipe britain off the map without even fully mobilising. So obviously you have to question the numbers. And what do you know, all the sources are heavily biased, either US/UK sources with interests in their nations appearing strong, or Chinese sources with interests in their nation appearing weak.

    When concidering the UK as a world power it is also important to take into concideration that Britain has not undertaken a diplomatic or military action that was not in the interests of the US since 1956, so it is very questionable whether the UK should be concidered an independant power at all, or whether UK capability should be included in US capability.

    • America has never won a war without British aid. Vietnam; you couldn’t even win a war against a third world country by yourself. America asked for British help, namely the British special forces which are the best in the world, and we said no.

      • We did NOT ask British special forces. All we asked for was for NATO countries to up their forces in Europe so we didn’t have to have keep 250k+ men in Germany and Italy. But Britain and Europe decided to not only refuse that but to condemn us. Some European countries even put us under an arms embargo.
        What we should have done there was sent those 250k men to Vietnam anyway. Then told Leonid Brezhnev to enjoy himself.

  25. Firstly I would like to point out that the only Military campaigns globally are intervention style war on terrorism campaigns with the aim of incapacitating select terrorist groups and dictatorial regimes.

    A more worthy indicator of power today is foreign policy and diplomatic influence as opposed to military fire power. First off Russia I wouldn’t even place tenth on this list or any other, it has no influence globally, a rusting military, outdated ships and is sanctioned to the teeth with a struggling economy such to the extent that it doesn’t retaliate to the shooting down of one of its jets by turkey the reason for this being that the alliances forged by western powers NATO means that smaller nations don’t need to worry about super numbers but can aim for a more qualitive edge, more professionally trained troops and because of diplomatic relations cooperative campaigns can be organised bringing together the strength of individual nations.

    The U.K. Remains a considerable power because of its diplomatic reach, the fifth largest economy in the world, a nuclear state, a member of the security council on the UN, it’s extremely lucrative ties with the commonwealth, bases all over the world, a partner of the five powers, leading member of NATO, GCHQ, MI6 And MI5, embassies in nearly every country on earth and diplomatic representitives to match, sophisticated technology the worlds leading pharmaceutical expert and the strongest ally of the United States, the reach of the U.K. Over one of the largest broadcasting news networks the British broadcasting company and the worlds second largest financial hub in London with company and business investments all over the world.

    In the modern world war between powerful nations is not a common sight because of alliances forged through NATO, the G7 and G20 the EU and the UN all of which i should mention the UK is a leading partner.

    Finally the UK has global reach, a efficient Air Force and Navy, most conflicts are now air campaigns now and smaller armies are refocusing defends budgets to reflect this.

    A nuclear war will never happen it is pointless and no one wins trough the concept of MAD the only time a nuclear weapon will be detonated will be by a terrorist organisation. Russia is weak and can barely sustain itself it chooses to pick on smaller nations like Ukraine to show a strong image to its people and the world but the truth is Russia is no threat to the world not with the US and the UN and NATO all those militaries combined the generals and technology would smash Russia into a corner and it would fall in days.

    Diplomacy and foreign policy is what makes Britain powerful backed by a sophisticated surface fleet and readily able and deployable Air Force the UK is still one of only a few countries that can deploy globally and rapidly at that. The Russians cannot scramble a strike force of jets anywhere in the world but the UK can. Backed by a strong and staunch ally in the US and NATO the UK is still an imposing force on the geopolitical stage and one to be reckoned with. It’s not just about numbers it’s also about strategy and who you know.

  26. Bit of a joke this. Not even a mention of Indonesia, a muslim country with one of the biggest armies in the world. AS far as i am concerned its all crap. How can GB be considered so powerful when they have had to send nuclear submarines to sea “without” nuclear rockets , because they cannot afford them. Bloody hilarious !

  27. Proud to be British, proud of our forces, proud of our impact on the World (past,present and future)
    … But, in the terms used by a good friend and Veteran, is this all just a lot of ‘willy-waving’??
    (my Dad is bigger than your Dad)
    The world is not a playground or theatre. If nukes were used, then there would only be 1 guarantee..
    Mutually Assured Destruction. MAD. (oh, and death for all)
    Smart…. Not.

  28. One day, I would like to the that table with the words ‘European Union’ at #1. All EU nations United. One can only dream though.

  29. a bit simplistic.I wouldn`t underestimate the Russians.It`s not just about their nukes but also their fighters,bombers,subs and missiles and they have recently shown us what they”can do”in Syria,for example.Their missiles are one of the most serious threads..

  30. The Us State of California has an economy almost on par with the UK… The article is a joke because the Common Wealth of Nations is now a club. Hence, Australia, Canada, and the other members of the Common Wealth of Nations can leave at any time. The British Empire has been dead for a very long time… And the UK isn’t a global Power with its puny token force military… The UK a blue water navy??? I beg to differ. The Royal Navy only has 28 offensive ships, lol. Whereas, the USA has over 250+++. Russia and China could destroy the Royal Navy in a day. The UK is now a bankrupted island island full of Muslims with bad food and horrible weather… The sun set a long time ago, my British Limeys.

    • The Australian forces are about 25% of the uks the common wealth counts as soft power and the RN ships are armed with the latest equipment they are cutting edge China would have a hard job destroying them the new type 45 can lock on to 100 targets all at the same time at a range of 70 miles that’s China and Russia air craft carrier jets all gone from one ship we don’t use old scrap ships like Australia that’s why you buy our old crap were done with

  31. Sorry I am not following the flow of all that has gone on before me but i am pissed off with with what is happening to MY Country and feel like a rant and will answer anyone in kind .
    I have served in several units of the British armed forces I believe that all the positives here are true –The UK armed forces are great– let us be proud of our Queen and Country and if needed , back up our place in the World with deadly force if have to . We do not need to be afraid of threats from any Country . We now have too many weak unpatriotic people in Great Britain bowing to Islam –join us with your hearts , minds ,bodies and be prepared to fight for the UK or leave this Country and do not use insulting ,disgusting Islamic “WAR CRY” of the Islamic terrorist adverts on our Buses in Arabic-you know what you are doing rubbing salt in the wounds .We have had enough of your crap–use respect and you will earn respect . Bring back National Service and you will see thousands leave the UK as they will not fight or defend their own Country why would they defend or protect ours .I will never mind paying more Taxes to strengthen our armed Forces . I expect a lot of critical comments to come back to me but I am a true Englishman-it breaks my heart to see what is happening to Great Britain -so bring it on ,I am waiting for you to disagree with me or not.

  32. How does this reconcile with the recent comments by RN or RAF commanders that say the UK has two patrol boats to protect +7k miles of coast or that the RAF could not stand up to an attack by Russian forces. I am not saying the UK is not a powerful state but when one hears about these comments in the news, then this article is posted, one must question its findings.

  33. Articles such as this are academic in that they focus on the amount of hard and soft power that countries can project, and compare them with each other. ‘My soft power is bigger than your soft power’. It’s a very different matter to what actually happens out there, which for the UK in recent years has been driven either by political expediency/ego or the subsequent population kick-back (e.g. Blair, post Blair). The RN carrier fiasco is a case in point. Built to save jobs and power project, they have left the RN critically short of the numbers of vessels required to adapt to a changing world (although being very vulnerable with so few surface ships to protect them – compare them to a US carrier group). So now we have too few coastal vessels to stem the new growth industry of cross-channel people-smuggling. The population gets alarmed, some off the shelf purchases shall be made with accompanying fanfare, and the politicians assure the population. The lack of a coherent defence policy (read across to education, et al), at the whim of changing political requirements, is a far bigger factor than ‘The military top 40’ (global, soft power, etc) charts.

  34. […] As we reported, researchers at European Geostrategy broke global powers down into four categories: Super Power, Global Power, Regional Power and Local Power. The United States took the top slot as the world’s super power, while Britain took the only Global Power slot, bringing her in second behind America. Regional powers include France, China, India and Germany, while local powers were those such as Italy, Brazil, and Turkey. […]

  35. The possibility of Chinese ascendancy is something even the US is concerned about. It’s all well and good talking about a ‘straight fight’ between nations, but China is slowly building a ‘rug’ underneath the western world, and the mere threat of pulling it out will realise this strengthening position.

    Look at all the Chinese global investment & product it exports to the west; China is insidiously increasing the west’s dependence on its exports in most sectors. That’s a whole lot of power, regardless of how it intends to use it.

    I think it was Rage Against the Machine that said… ‘Wake Up’

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  37. Here we go experts everywhere. Knocking the UK. We have the means to deploy our forces globally that’s what puts us in second. Not to mention the quality of service men and women. Our training is head and shoulders above most other nations. In fact a lot of other nations including America will send their officers etc on our training courses. Perisher being one of the favoured ones by the yanks. They try and get as many of their future boat CO on the course.

    • Well, for a country not in the top 20 in population, it is indeed a statement. N. Korea has close to a thousand “ships”, but facing them would be like hunting ducks for modern warships. You should be well represented as you turn to more global trading, ships that will make a statement where they are deployed.

  38. For people not really reading the article, it isn’t saying we are the 2nd most powerful nation on the planet. If we tried to retake Hong Kong by force, or refight the Crimea, things more than likely would turn out very badly for us.

    What its saying that if for some reason we were in a fight with China or Russia somewhere distant from both of us, say South Africa, we would have the advantage as they lack the logistics and capabilities to project power and support operations easily over that sort of distance, while we posses it.

  39. If you hate your country you aren’t going to read this and attempt to understand its points, it’s a leftard failing, if you admit the country has any merit, you then are giving credence to its current leaders whom you hate, so by default you’re left to only slag off your own country. It can be quite humorous to watch however.

  40. I think to simplify for the silly people who do not understand. This is stating because of many variables, not just our military we are ranked on.
    Example is due to very close ties with allies, former colonies, our industry/tech.

    Perfect example being you can have a huge military, but if you don’t have the resources to move said large numbers efficiently, allies to allow you through their lands/waters or the ability to call on your powerful allies then you are nothing.

    Yes I believe we should have a bigger military, spending around 3/3’5% of GDP being ideal for any scenario. But because of our 3 main parties we are lucky to have 2% of GDP spent.

  41. It’s all about global reach and best trained troops and yes superior equipment, in modern war fare numbers are not so important. People also forget that we have some very well placed strategic bases around the world. We own a huge chuck of the Indian Ocean, most of the Southern Atlantic is ours and where we don’t own bases we have very close allies whose Queen is our Queen. We are also the top soft power country in the world.

  42. This on the back of an article in the times declaring that the Russian military is currently superior to the UK’s armed forces? I’m confused; are the leaked MOD documents wrong or are these researchers?

  43. Great Britain democracy freedom world leaders science innovation technologies Media power influence I’d move Trident submarine Base far better in Falkland Islands fund invest infrastructure global village trade routes Out EU Migrant Emigrate Parity priority!

  44. Most intelligent article on relative armed services that I have seen in many years. The problem that we have with the prevalent juvenile level of analysis is that it focuses on “quantity” i.e. number of troops, tanks, etc. Now this metric was relevant for WWII (arguably), but is no longer relevant. The same goes for total defence spending. If 90% of your budget is taken up with paying 500,000 troops who are poorly equipped and trained, then 90% of your defence budget is effectively wasted. This is the perspective from which countries with large standing armies i.e. Russia, India, Turkey, China et al should be viewed.

    Real power involves the quality and effectiveness of deployable assets. Under this type of analysis, obviously the US is on its own, however, the UK and France are the only other nations with “modern” deployable assets at scale, despite the bluster and vapourware from Russia and China.

  45. Clearly the lesson of history, indeed any history has not been read.

    1918-20 transfer of UK overseas assets en masse to USA to pay off First Wofld War debt

    1920-39 interwar economic decline and balance of payments/sterling weakness, regional decline and eventually mass unemployment

    1945 USA bails out the depressed and debt ridden UK with “Lend Lease”

    1950s and Keynesian economics offers some relief by stimulating consumption. However NOTHING is done to renew or upgrade the UK’s infrastructure.

    1960s and 1970s shows the UK lurching from one recession to another with low productivity, falling investment in production and a widening trade gap. Whole manufacturing sectors begin to contract and fail.

    1970s the IMF effectively rescues the UK from permanent depression.

    1980s and 1990s the UK is able with North Sea Oil and a subsidiary membership of the EU to experiment with an unproven and desperate economic policy of monetarism and privatisation of state assets. The aim is to shift the balance of the GDP from public to private and is accompanied by across the board cuts to public spending. The misleading mantra, Private is Good/Public is Bad continues to dominate Conservative right wing policies despite its palpable failure.

    2000s the UK Establishment, without any better economic policies and encountering increasing resistance to further monetarism, seeks to blame the UK’s economic problems on membership of the EU. This culminates in 2016 with the EU Referendum and narrow vote in favour of Brexit.

    Throughout this period the UK has its world influence reduced to that of a minor power who retains a seat at the UN for its historical possession of nuclear weapons (effectively leased from the USA) as a proxy nuclear power. Outside the EU the UK’s influence will further diminish to less than Turkey or Japan.

    The UK’s influence with what would be its chief ally in the post Brexit world, the USA, is unlikely to be ahead of strategic satellites of the USA such as Israel or super bloc collections of states such as the EU.

    It is well to remind anybody reading this pompous article that the only time the UK or its affairs is written about in any of the New York newspapers is shen there is major “Royal News” a royal birth, or official royal visit etc. Otherwise the UK and its affairs are of no interest in probably the most important city on the globe.

    • Britain fought all of WW2, whereas the Americans entered halfway. If it wasn’t for the British you and your family would be slaves.

  46. Hmmm, well although we have two new carriers on their way and we have bases around the world, I would say our power projection is limited to a few fighter squadrons, a few ships and about 10,000 men or a division. We have eroded our Military for far too long.

    However, in the soft power leagues yes I can agree with that, would Trump have won if Britain had not been brave first and voted to leave the corrupt EU? Doubtful. It showed big change can be achieved.

    Whether Trump is a good idea is a wait and see area but like many people in this world I am tired of Geo-Liberals telling all the world we must not do this, and we must do that or we are all small minded bigots.

    These liberals have allowed Putin and other dictators to run riot, because they fear intervention because of Empire history or alike.

    Well the simple fact is you can only judge a nation on its generation history, this means what has the nation done in the past 25 years, because that population is generally still alive and influencing the decisions.

    Harping back and blaming Brits today for Empire of Yesterday is about as relevant as the Black and White drawings of Mickey Mouse!

    The simple fact is the more you try and force people to do something, either by force, by guilt or by blame the more likely they are to do the opposite.

    PS Public Transport is not a bad thing, that some idiot posted earlier… perhaps it is time we stopped giving that nation money in overseas aid, and they stop taking it… after all, that just makes you a charity case does it not… Stop taking charity, we take you seriously, simple!!!

    As for British power, well I would put us 2nd,, simply because we reach further than any other nation, influence in more areas and can project military power even if limited now. Which is more than France (White Flag already Packed) and Germany who don’t leave home due to war guilt. Russia doesn’t have the cash hence it’s time Limited foray into Syria. The ceasefire there is more about Russia running out of cash to sustain it.

    China is very limited projection wise, but growing and a concern. India, chuckle… local power paranoid about Pakistan.

    Italy ha ha ha… sorry couldn’t take them seriously.

    Canada and Australia rank above them and behind USA, UK, Russia etc….

    • The idea that Brexit in anyway influenced the US election of Trump is ludicrous. That’s delusional and an idea pushed by “pundits” who have never been west of the Potomac or Hudson and have absolutely no idea what I going on the rest of the US.

  47. What makes the UK a superpower?

    The UK is not a superpower but it could and is by many, considered a world power. The end of the Second World War and the economic cost of that war and our debt because of the war (we spent everything we had to fight the war – approx $3trillion dollars…

  48. I agree that UK is a global power because of its influence in the world because it did have a big empire and was able to retain its influence in the world. Now not though militarily but through the language, cultural, diplomacy and economical ties with past colonial countries. UK is very good at the soft power projection. Besides Uk still maintain logistical military bases in Gibraltar, Cyprus, Bahrain, Brunei, Forklands, Bahamas and in many islands in the indian ocean and pacific area. Moreover Australia and New Zealand are still going to be on UK side if they were to be a war against us not to mention Canada. These countries will allow facilities and may even fight with the British forces against any enemy. Dont forget we share the same Queen and hence may have to fight to save the queen and country. Hence from this perspective yes UK still have the logistical reach and soft power to claim itself as a Global power. It will take a while for China or India to have this status as they have to build goodwill with all the nations with trade and aid so that these countries will allow their military logistical access. China is already investing a lot in Africa to built strong relationship with financial aid and infrastucture development so that it will have access to the Indian Ocean for its Navy. China is also showing its muscle to dominate the South China Sea. Early days and don’t think they are there yet. As for India it should be satisfied as a Reginal power and make sure the Indian Ocean is secure for its trade and influence in the region.

  49. Lots of gunboat diplomacy here – does naval power apart from deployment have any real value? When the chips are down control of the sea and air can prolong a war but not win it against a determined enemy. The very countries that boast the most effective technologies are strangely ineffective and weak when confronted with popular resistance, as Vietnam, Korea and indeed the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where the West was incapable of imposing a stable settlement in these regions has frankly led to chaos and more international tension and instability than before! Shiney new systems, aircraft and ships promise a lot and deliver little: they are merely expensive fashion accessories for militaristic states. An aircraft carrier is the ultimate designer wristband for a country that wishes to sit at the UN Security Council and punch above its weight in the world such as the UK.

    • Vietnam was lost because America didn’t have British assistance, the other wars you mentioned were won because they did.

      We don’t have the military capability we once had, as we fought the Nazi war machine mainly by ourselves, so that you could sit there and be Anglophobic as opposed to dead.

      Britain has been punching above its weight for a long time, the creation of the largest empire and most amount of military victories in history for example. Even now past our military prime, when we go to war we win. No other country boasts our record.

      Empires rise and fall, but at its peak the sun never set on the British empire. Your country has never had that and never will. That’s the real reason for Anglophobia.


    This is just PR to fuel arms sales and the defence sector. The fact remains the UK maintains its seat at the Security Council due to its leasing of Trident from the USA and largely historic factors. There is always a strong whiff of nostalgia about discussions of Britain’s global power – like mothballs.

    Unfortunately, for the overall health and welfare of what is a small internally conflicted country, it is also like mothballs difficult to get rid of!

  51. Phil you moronic asshole 2 million vc died and Vietnam compared to only 50,000 Americans and the us lost no major battles. We only “lost” because our country found it to be a stupid and pointless war. And we seemed to kick the shit out of the Japanese in battle just fine without your help. Look what they did to you in the battle of Singapore lol. The japs straight up kicked your ass despite being highly outnumbered. Whereas we routinely dominate the japs in battle . Do you honestly believe your much smaller military is more effective than the united states? Keep dreaming kid. If it wasn’t for America and Russia you’d be speaking German right now. I guess our victories in the middle wast were all thanks to the limited contributions of the Brits huh? Btw the us doesn’t ask the British military for strategic advice except if they posses intel we don’t or for a joint operation. Perhaps in your deluded fantasy land they do lol. Your as ignorant as they come. You Brits have a great military but because of it’s small size it can’t dream of comparing to ours. Your stupidity, ignorance, and extreme nationalism is a disgrace to your otherwise fine nation.

  52. Methinks Britain should use its superior armed forces to start running India again as our politicians and administrators have completely failed us in the last 60 years. We are a country rife with overpopulation, corruption and poor planning, the Quality of Life of India’s citizens has declined majorly. The country isn’t even united in the true sense: the same differences of caste, religion and language have solidified advantaging certain groups and leaving everyone else gasping for basic comforts.

    The Indians who can afford to, are moving to the West anyway. The rest of us are struggling for basic necessities due to gross government incompetence and the stupidity of our financial planners. 24×7 electricity and water is not guaranteed in at least 6 out of 8 biggest cities of India.

    • Stan, that’s a very sad indictment of India. It certainly has its (serious) problems, but its still a democracy and it has many positive points…

      I thought this was a very good article, can’t believe the incredible volume of trolling it caused!

      Some people really do have a problem with our Great Britain … Get over it …

  53. They forgot Saudi Arabia. Only a handful of countries in the world wouldn’t bend over backwards for their resources.

  54. Crikey. Sorry for you UKDJ. Such a good site being over run by morons who have no interest in defence and therefore should be elsewhere spending their dole money or bleating over their “rights” that others have fought to defend….

  55. Unfortunately size of footprint caused by the colonial legacy – does NOT equal power or influence. The British are laughed at and despised in the Far East and especially by the Chinese due to the C19 history of bad relations and anti-communist activities of the UK. Most Indians have mixed feelings about the UK. The British left a mess in Africa and still supports movements and groups that work to undermine African nationalism. Thd British are despised in South America and the record over Chile and Pinochet is disgraceful. Britain could never be at peace in the EU or a happy club member while acting as an advance guard for US espionage and interests and while coveting its colonial past in Gibralter. Within the home frontiers the UK is mortally divided over the position of Northern Ireland and the divide and rule policies it applies across its own regions where there is vast inequality. No Siree, as a country marching boldly backwards into its past “glory” (dusappearing up its own ass) the UK is exceptional. As a great power…it ain’t. Not any more by a vast margin.

  56. There are too many offensive and nationalistic replies on this website and too much trolling going on. Distinct lack of respect to our fellow humans.
    i agree that EU nations too easily forget that we bankrupt our nation (the UK) in fighting WW2 to its conclusion= the freedom of Europe from German tyranny.
    The uk is a global power but needs to resolve some key military capability gaps
    1) hms ocean needs replacing asap with a purpose built LPH
    2) We need an anti ship missile fit for the RN surface warships before 2030
    3) RFA diligence needs replacing
    4) sufficent destroyers and frigates, say 26-30 vessels as a minimum
    5) more than 7 SSNs , a further batch of 3-4 astutes are urgently needed
    6) sufficient F35Bs in active service, ideally 8-10 squadrons (12 fighters per squadron)
    7) confirmation of mk41 vl system and missile fit for type 26 and ideally type 31 frigates
    8) design new MBT to remove the spectre of Russian Aramata superiority, a challenger 3 armed with advanced composite armour, passive and active defences and a 40-50mw rail gun should do the job.
    If we do all those things in addition to current force levels and planned equipment upgrades then we really will be 2nd only to USA and a true global power.
    going to need an uplift of about 35-40,000 armed forces personnel though. 15,000 to Royal Navy, 10,000 to army, 10,000 to RAF.

  57. I don’t think that a lot of bombs make a country better than other. I’d reather beaches, tropical forests, nice and happy people, clean air etc. A beautiful sunshine over a tropical sea is more valuable than trillions of bombs.

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  60. WRONG! The ONLY world superpower is ISRAEL. They control the whole world. The rest, including the USA and NATO, are simply puppets.

  61. AHAHAHAHAHAHAH! such a weak country, and people. This people always interfere with living another. They always start to wave their hands when they get drunk. They are always drunk. They eat like pigs. This is a disgrace, not a country. I was in almost every country in Europe (including London.) and Asia. The British people always interfered. Neither education nor good manners nor upbringing. It seems that their country is on the garbage heap.
    Americans are better than the British.

  62. The reason the United Kingdom of Great Britain & its 53 member states are so powerful! Is because we have all the relevant corners of planet earth to launch an immediate attack should we need so!

    Geographically we supass everyone!!


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