Who Would Win a War Between the US and Russia?
In a hypothetical world, who would win a war between the U.S. and Russia? Is the US better off? The US has the geographic advantage of bordering the world’s two largest oceans. However, Russia borders US allies, leaving them far more exposed. The US has control over global trade and foreign markets, allowing it to blockade Russia without risking economic ruin. Russia, meanwhile, has the largest army and deadliest weapons.
It seems a logical assumption that the U.S. and Russia would fight each other in a war, but it’s not so simple. In addition to our military might, Russia’s strategic advantage is limited in space. In a war, a large number of missiles are needed to decapitate a single target. As a result, Russia would probably be at a huge tactical disadvantage. And yet, it has 1,600 nuclear warheads, which means that they would need to spread them over the entire NATO block. While they would likely launch 400, the rest of them would likely fail to take out the Minuteman silos. Several hundred of them would also malfunction and be shot down, leaving just 1,000.
A Russian invasion is likely to be repulsed, though it would likely be compromised. A war between us and Russia would be a battle of attrition, and the quickest reconstitution of tactical units could give us the initiative in the next phase of the conflict. The question is whether Russia has the right strategy for that. We know that Russia is a dangerous adversary, and we’re growing more concerned about China.
A war between the United States and Russia would be like World War III. NATO is a collective defence system that requires member states to defend each other when attacked. The USA, however, is the leading military power within NATO, spending PS500 billion each year on defence. We have more than a million active troops and another 800,000 on standby. And our conventional forces are vastly superior to Russia’s.
There is no doubt that Putin has the capability to use nuclear weapons against us, but there is a dual incentive to do so. If we are caught in a war between us and Russia, a nuclear strike would force Ukraine to surrender or be annihilated by Russian nukes. In the end, our troops would suffer mass deaths, rapes, and deportations. And a nuclear attack would trigger a massive nuclear response from NATO. This could even lead to a wider nuclear confrontation.
There are several other factors that would determine which side would win a war between us and Russia. While the US has superior artillery, rockets, and experience in ground combat, Russia has a strong navy and plenty of missiles that could take out our aircraft carriers. In addition to these weapons, Russia also has the advantage in numbers, which is another factor. And because Russian forces are well-resourced, their troops would be well-equipped to defend themselves.
The US and its allies are hoping that Russian leadership does not repeat their actions in Ukraine, but is doing its best to sabotage the U.S. in the process. In addition to the Ukrainian military’s impressive performance against the Russian military, the US is investing massive amounts of weapons in Ukraine, despite the warnings of Russia. Clearly, the US wants to make sure that Russia does not win, and that it is not able to destabilize the world economy.
It is possible that China would win a war between the U.S. and Russia, if both sides used UAVs, UVW, and other weapons to overwhelm the opponent. A war between the two world powers would be a disaster for humanity. The United States would suffer the consequences of a nuclear war and China would be the economic winner. Even if the U.S. does not initiate a war between the two countries, it will still help the latter in the long run. If the US were to use nuclear weapons, the U.S. military would lose out in both theaters.
China has been trying to stay out of this conflict, and Xi Jinping may have supported Putin, but this is not the same as the conflict in Georgia, or Crimea, and it’s not clear how the Chinese government would react in such a scenario. However, if China did become involved, it would certainly be a victor, regardless of whether it backed Putin or not. In any case, it’s better to let things go the way they’re going than to engage in a war.
If China were to start a war against the U.S., it could coordinate a war with the Soviet Union and then use nuclear weapons against it. The US military would lose because they lack allies and are ill-equipped to fight another country. Besides, it would require food, ammunition, hospitals, and accommodation, and it would be impossible for the US to win a war on its own.
One of the key factors in a U.S.-China war is which country has the best technology. In terms of numbers of military satellites in orbit, offensive and defensive cyber tools, unmanned aerial vehicles, and hypersonic cruise missiles, the U.S. leads. But China is closing fast on these technologies. While China has the best nuclear weapons, they are weaker in the other arenas.
As a strategic partner, China wants to maintain a stable relationship with the United States. However, this will complicate matters, as China believes in self-reliance in strategic economic and technological areas. It would be incompatible with its goal of maintaining access to U.S. markets and technology. The internal tension in Beijing will increase, limiting China’s ability to mediate in Ukraine. This isn’t likely to help Russia, but it would make the United States look bad.
While China has a relatively limited arsenal of standoff weapons, the United States could close its air bases in the Spratly Islands in a week. However, China’s military would have to rely on wider factors to be able to defeat China. However, even if U.S. military forces were to defeat the Chinese, China could be a formidable adversary. For these reasons, it is unlikely that Russia would engage in a war with China, even though it is more capable of counter-invading Taiwan.
If the United States and Russia were to fight a conventional war, they would crush one another with their massive military force. However, wars in the 21st century are not toe-to-toe affairs. Rather, one side has an inherent advantage over the other because of geography. Russia has an increasingly sophisticated nuclear “triad” and is rapidly building up a massive fleet of submarines and long-range strike aircraft. While their conventional forces are not nearly as advanced as America’s, they are superior in electronic warfare and air defense.
The Biden administration is not eager to see US military aid used in the Ukraine’s attack on Russia. It is reportedly not supplying targeted information to Russian military leaders. In addition, the US government is debating what constitutes a “strategic defeat” for Russia. But US policy makers argue that if the United States does enter the war, Russia will be weaker than before, and US sanctions and export controls will continue to erode the Russian economy.
The United States’ response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is largely viewed favorably by the public. Some Americans are very worried about the possibility of a war, while others are less concerned. A recent poll of Americans showed that more than half of Republicans and Democrats said that the U.S. should help Ukraine while 47% of Republicans said the U.S. should not help Ukraine. A majority of Americans (including both Democrats and Republicans) blame Russia for the crisis, while a third or so say that the U.S. is providing too little or too much assistance.
While there is no war party in Congress, many members have spoken in favor of military action in 1991, 2001, and 2003. They even passed legislation authorizing the use of force. However, despite their statements, Congress has largely rejected military action against Russia. The only exceptions to the policy of sanctions and reassurance of NATO allies in Eastern Europe is the shipment of military supplies to the Ukraine.
In the Middle East, the Russians are moving closer to extending their long-range anti-access area denial capability. They are reportedly shipping advanced surface-to-air missile systems into Latakia. The Pentagon is concerned about these moves, which run counter to their claims of limiting their military activity to the Syrian rebels. In the long run, it is clear that Russia is interested in becoming a key player in the region.
Meanwhile, the Russians are routinely shelling Ukrainian towns and invading territories. They also are fighting alongside rebels in contested areas. However, despite their alleged aggression, the Obama administration has pledged to supply Ukraine with nonlethal assistance, including training and gear. If Russia and Ukraine do indeed get to war, the United States should be prepared to respond appropriately. The latter side has been provoking Ukraine’s military and has already lost too much.