UK is 'second most powerful country in world and could win wars with China and Russia' report claims


UK is 'second most powerful country in world and could win wars with China and Russia' report claims

European Geostrategy described the UK's military power as 'comprehensive, advanced and diverse' and, crucially, capable of launching attacks at range

  • 17:47, 31 DEC 2016
  • UPDATED17:47, 31 DEC 2016
Britain has been named the world's only global power

Researchers claim the UK is the 'second most powerful country' in the world behind the United States - and could even win in war against China and Russia.

It has been named the world's only global power with the US named as the only super power by European Geostrategy.

The study will surprise many, with countries usually considered world giants, like China and Russia, only being given the label 'regional powers'.

They were joined by nations such as France, India and Germany.

European Geostrategy said being a global power meant the UK was: "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."

HMS Queen Elizabeth following her naming ceremony conducted at Rosyth Dockyard 

It said the UK's military was 'comprehensive, advanced and diverse' and a major participant in NATO and other coalition operations.

Meanwhile, Britain continues to hold overseas defence bases at Ascension Island, Belize, Brunei, Canada, Diego Garcia, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Kenya, Bahrain and Cyprus.

Alongside that, the UK still maintains nuclear weapons and its defence budget ranks fifth or sixth in the world.

In briefing paper in 2011, Professor Malcolm Chalmers, director of UK Defence Policy Studies at the Royal United Services Institute said: "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."

The UK has greater capability than China for operating at range, it has been claimed 

Britain is also understood to score highly in the Chinese 'Comprehensive National Power' ranking system.

CNP measures hard and soft - cultural - power as well as economic and military clout.

However the system is flawed as it does not take into account the fact that while China, for example, has a larger military force than the UK, it does not have the 'logistical capability to deploy, support and sustain those forces overseas in large numbers', wrote the UK Defence Journal .

It added that the UK has greater capability than China - which is focusing its defences more locally at present - for operating at range.

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