We feature the United States in our military comparisons often, and if you saw the last time we looked at the U.S.’s military capabilities, you’ll know that it took two countries to beat it. In Israel, we have a bosom-buddy of the USA, two peas in a pod, and perhaps after the UK and Canada, Israel is the USA’s closest ally.
For that reason, it’s unlikely these countries will ever come to blows. But who knows what might happen. America is arguably the most pro-Israel foreign policy country, with one site saying, “Israel is the USA’s pet because it is the only democracy in the Middle East and shares American views.” You might not disagree, but just for the heck of it, we are going to pit these two nations against one another, in this episode of the Infographics Show, Israel vs United States.
When it comes to the USA, if you saw our last show featuring the military, you’ll know the defense budget is huge. Nothing has changed, but we’ll tell you again, in case you missed the show. Depending on which source you read, the U.S. budget is somewhere between 587 billion and 597 billion dollars. However, the website The Balance, which takes great care to explain budgets and break them down, says the budget is more like $886 billion. It gives something like an itemized bill, which shows that smaller departments related to defense increase the budget.
Israel’s defense budget is much smaller, but who needs a big budget when your closest relative is Uncle Sam? Well, in this show, the countries have fallen out, so that doesn’t matter. Defense News reported in 2017 that the Israeli defense minister was seeking a bigger budget. The 2018 budget is set to be about $20 billion, but that includes U.S. aid. “Israel is to receive $3.8 billion in nonrefundable grant aid for each year of the decade to come, $500 million of which is earmarked for missile defense,” said the website.
While the defense minister was looking for an extra $1.4 billion, there was no news he got it. Furthermore, if we are pitting these two countries together, we should really take away the $3.8 billion the U.S. will be giving Israel in aid. That makes the budget $16.2 billion. To put that into perspective, the USS Gerald R Ford supercarrier that the U.S. is building has already cost around $13 billion in construction costs and it will get another $4.5 billion from this year’s budget.
What about manpower?
The US military has 2,083,100 personnel. 1,281,900 work as active personnel and 801,200 are reserves. It also has three of the best special forces outfits in the world, which are the Navy SEALS, the Green Beret, and Delta Force.
The Israel military has 615,000 military personnel. Only 170,000 are active personnel and 445,000 are reserves. As for special forces, Israel also has one of the best outfits in the world in Shayetet 13. One thing to bear in mind though is conscription in Israel. This means most Israelis, when they reach 18-years old, will become part of the military. It’s usually 2 years 8 months for men and 2 years for women. So, in terms of a trained army, Israel will have many people ready to go, some who’ve experienced warfare and most who know how to fire a gun.
As for land artillery, Global Firepower tells us that the USA is the owner of 5,884 battle tanks, 38,822 armored fighting vehicles, 950 self-propelled artillery, 795 towed artillery and 1,197 rocker projectors. Now this is probably the USA’s weakest link, but likely only because air power and sea power are seen as more important. In Yuval Noah Harari’s recent book, “Homo Deus”, he argues that the days of fighting on the beaches, the streets, and the fields, are almost over.
What you need is great computer technology and machines that can fight from afar. Algorithms are the new weapon, he says, and if you keep up to date with Pentagon news, you’ll know how much time and money its putting into AI and machine learning technology. The U.S. could be said to be advanced in this respect, so we might ask who’ll be manning the tanks in the very near future. Regardless, if it were to come to the crunch, the USA has a fleet of new and old M1 Abrams tanks, said to be up there with the best in the world.
Israel has 2,760 battle tanks, 10,575 armored fighting vehicles, 650 self-propelled artillery, 300 towed artillery and 148 rocker projectors. This is quite impressive for a relatively small army. It also has the Merkava IV main battle tank, which National Interest said in 2017 could be the best in the world.
The air is where the U.S. reigns against all the world. As you might know, just that huge fleet of 2,457 F-35s has cost the U.S. a princely sum of $406.5 billion at last count, according to Bloomberg. Add to that fleets of F-22 Raptors, F-15E Strike Eagles, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and F-16 Fighting Falcons, as well as newly acquired 15 KC-46 Tanker strategic military transport aircrafts at a total of $3.1 billion and also one B-21 stealth Bomber for $2.0 billion. That’s an air force to be reckoned with.
Israel’s air force is much smaller, with only 252 fighter aircraft and 252 attack aircraft. As far as multi-role fighters, Israel has bought 9 F-35’s from the USA and also has over 70 F-16 Fighting Falcons. On top of that, you have F-15 Eagles and F-15 Strike Eagles. But all this is pocket change to the US air force, where Israel bought the planes.
On to the navies. We know that America leads the way in terms of those floating islands called aircraft carriers and supercarriers. We already mentioned the biggest ever built is the USS Gerald R Ford. These are very important pieces of machinery in war, and the USA has tons of them. The country has 2 supercarriers under construction and 10 more planned. In terms of other numbers, the US has 10 frigates, 65 destroyers (some more to come this year), 0 corvettes, 66 submarines, 13 patrol craft and 11 mine warfare vessels.
Israel has no aircraft carriers, like most countries. In fact, Israel hasn’t really put much emphasis on its navy, maybe because its coastline is small. It never intended to rule the waves. In total the navy has no aircraft carriers, no frigates, no destroyers, 3 corvettes, 6 submarines, 32 patrol craft and 0 mine warfare vessels.
Now we turn to the big bad bombs, and as you likely know, in terms of nuclear bombs, the USA and Russia own most of them that exist in the world. Israel, though, is one of those few countries that does have some nuclear weapons, if not far fewer than the USA. “Israel does not confirm nor deny having nuclear weapons,” National Interest wrote in 2017, adding, “Experts generally assess the country as currently having approximately eighty nuclear weapons.” That’s enough to cause a substantial amount of damage. Just watch our show on A-bombs and H-bombs and you’ll know just how much damage.
This fight will surely not happen in any time soon. But if it should, barring some unforeseen Israeli advantage, the USA is a clear winner.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you disagree? Let us know in the comments!
Also, be sure to check out our other video called North Korea vs South Korea 2017! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!