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Who are main regional powers ? What makes them so?

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  Quote SuN. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Who are main regional powers ? What makes them so?
    Posted: 27-Oct-2007 at 10:42
While the matter of Super power is fairly decided, there would still seem to be a lot of confusion on the regional power front.  My list is as under :

North & central America - USA off course
South America -         Brazil
Europe -                    Germany, Russia
Africa -                       Egypt, South Africa
Middle East -              Israel, Iran
South Asia -               Pakistan
Far East-                    China

That completes the list. Other countries I feel don't really play an important role in regional politics of power.





Edited by SuN. - 29-Oct-2007 at 03:11
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  Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Oct-2007 at 22:16
I was going too reply to this yesterday and then realized... as long winded as i tend to be and considering the range of this topic touches upon no less than a dozen regions with more than just one power to consider, it would be impossible for me too answer w/o launching into a book length form for an answer?
 
Believe me, it is an interesting thought, but out of consideration of not confusing other forumers with my long-winded ramblings. Maybe you can still achieve the answer you desire in one post, by simplifying your question to maybe just one or a few of the more important factors that you listed above? Just a thought...
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  Quote blank_frack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Oct-2007 at 18:08
With respects to Europe, if one includes Germany and Russia they must surely include France and the United Kingdom. France has a larger military in terms of active service personnel than Germany (the United Kingdom not far behind) and economically speaking, both France and the United Kingdom have larger economies than Russia.

Moreover, France and the United Kingdom are two of the leading players in the EU - the UK for instance, has the lowest rate of being outvoted in the Council of Ministers of any EU member state. Then of course, there is the UN Security Council where France and the United Kingdom are both permanent members and Germany is not. This is of course just the modern situation and doesn't touch on the impact these two countries have had historically.


Edited by blank_frack - 30-Oct-2007 at 18:10
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Oct-2007 at 18:17

South America?

No serious large scale military effort is going on in the region. All countries have certain number of conventional forces just in case a loonie got in power in the brother country next door. Some, like the navies of Argentina and Chile are large because of logistic matters as well. It is not easy to keep together countries with such long coast and with bases in the Antarctic.  However, nobody wants to develop nuclear weapons or expend their resources in guns instead of improving the quality of living of the people.

 

 



Edited by pinguin - 30-Oct-2007 at 18:22
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  Quote Ponce de Leon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Oct-2007 at 22:38
You kidding me pinguin? Did you know how many nations pressured Brazil to stop that country from trying to get a nuke on its own? South America is not that innocent man.

Also I can't believe the most important regional power this guy has forgotten. Spain anyone? I mean this country's navy is still called the Armada and it is the 7th strongest navy in the world. That is kickass
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  Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Oct-2007 at 22:48
I can't really comment on the US and N. America without sounding too incredibly biased, which of course i certainly can be, that would be unfair!? Besides doing so would take up a greater chunk of this post, as you will soon see, because even though the US is considered the world's superpower by many the world over, including me!Embarrassed I can't think of the US without mentioning Canada and Mexico and their history, as well as the effects they have had on the growth of the US, which should no longer really be ignored, i think, as a one way street of us imposing our will solely upon them! Perhaps this thought is for another thread, unless one already exists?
 
However, i will try too focus  this as a completely unprofessional opinion/analysis on what i think, are the two factors that play's the biggest part of being a regional power: The economy and military of the nations of a region! I'm sure i will leave out much, seeing that there are just so many unbelievable complex variables to look at, then one post can ever hope to cover. I hope my thought's don't seem too incredibly disjointed in this post, given it's length?!
 
1.) In South America i am surprised you mentioned Brazil! It seems from the few govt. reports that i have had a chance too read, my impression is that Washington has quietly recognized Brazil as the main regional power in that area. The decent size of her economy and the strength of it's military and rather large population means too me that if she had too face an exterior national crisis which is usally represented in the form of a territorial war (Given the history of the region), it would make the country a force too be reckoned with and perhaps... make itself extremely useful diplomatically, in bringing peace back in the region, if so required. Especially when she works with other powers in the region (I'm thinking the A,B,C powers from the past). 
 
2.) Very complex! European land powers such as Germany and Russia should always be at the top of consideration when dealing/discussing about the European region! However, as powerful as they are or could be if unleashed w/o restraint; Without an adequate navy, they will never be able too effectively regionally impress the old navy hands of the region. i.e. the British. I would "never" discount or neglect the British when i think of European regional powers? What good is there of being powerful on land, if it doesn't tranlate to the sea as well, especially in today's globalized economic climate. All the British would have to do in a time of a regional war, is blow the chunnel and snub their noses at any continental power while still relying on her navy and trade/contact with commonwealth nations, as well with the US! In short, she would still have the usal support of the anglosphere nations! The French as well, should never be discounted because of all the well reported and documented policy failures of days gone by. I for one will always respect her fighting forces, over the usally incompetent political leadership she suffers from, more often then not! If you remove the US and too a lesser extent the UN, from the equation, then the four powers  have a high probability of returning to the great game of "balance of power" in the region! Then what could we expect again... except just another blood-bath on the European continent. Many may still place their hopes on the EU from keeping the events from occuring, but i think it is still way too politically disorganised, except too a small extent economically, to do much good! Perhaps in the 22 century, the region will be much more organised politically than they are now?
 
3.) I would have included this as the N. African region myself. In my view, the predominant powers being in order of: Israel, Egypt and then to an certain extent Iran; Even though Iran is sandwiched between the two regions of Africa to it's further west and the southern Asian continent a bit more closer too it's immediate east, thier politics put them squarely in the African/Mediterranean region. Israel being the no-brainer of the bunch. Why i consider Egypt too be above even the Iranians has pretty much to do with, and even though their economy is pretty much equal after all considerations, is that... with the Egyptian military simply being much more modernized and to a much higher standard then the Iranians currently are. The Iranians OTOH... instead of focusing on modernizing their military and scoial infrastructure, has been putting most of their political finacial focus for the past several decades on carrying out their policies primarily too their west. i.e proxy wars. Even though as it appears to me, that it has pretty much come too backfire on them, seeing that they are much more isolated in almost every way, then the world currently recognizes. I do however think they have poured some small amount of money into their military . But i think most of what is said in the Iranian press could be pure bluff regarding their military strength (With the exception though... of them going nuclear, which is serious issue i think... for everybody, including themseleves.) in order to buy some time too find a way out of their near, but not almost, world isolation.
 
Of course, one certainly cannot forget Turkey and Greece either! Then again, seeing how many forumer's come here from both of those countries, that is a major can of worms i prefer not too touch!
 
4.) Asia in it's entirity, i'm afraid i might upset many Pakastani's here (though it's certainly not maliciously intentional on my part!), i fail too see how they might be considered a regional power? They could barely control events to their northwest back in the 90's. Now the events from that time seems too be coming back to haunt them, especially with the loss of control in their own territory of Warzistan, while at the same time events from that section are causing alot of problems for Nato in the Afghanistan's southwest (Don't get me started on the poppy drug problem in that particular area!Angry). Still, it seems to me, as time keeps marching on... more control is being wrested from  the Pakistani govt. and control being handed over to the likes of Al-Qaida? Pakistan's economy, i don't know... but like everything else in my post, i "guess" it reflects the uncertainty of what the nation is currently going through?
 
The main focus should be, i think, on three key player's in the Asian region. Primarily the futures of China, Japan and India. I think i am going to stop here for a while and take a breather and give myself a chance too compose my thoughts a little more before finishing. That is if i haven't already bored everyone too tears with my opinions? If that is the case, then i will just leave at that!
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  Quote SuN. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2007 at 06:27
What you say is largely correct. I would agree with all of it except for a few points :
1. Under the present scenerio why should England & France continue to be on the security council without Germany being there. German economy is the largest in Europe. It's population is the largest, It's the biggest country in Europe (Barring Russia & Denmark) I believe Germany also exercises much more influence than England & France in Mainstream Europe Socially, Economically & poiltically. There are more German speakers then French or English.

2. What you say abouyt Iran is right. It may not have a strong Military. In military terms I feel Turkey would be stronger than Iran. But Turkey seems to be a stable country largely. I placed Iran as a  regional power, because although it is weaker in military terms, it's nuisance & destructive value to the world peace is very high, something you seem to agree with.   Iran supports terrorism, disruptive elements in Iraq, Terrorist elements in Lebonan, Its previous wars with Iraq (although it was defeated so to say)& also it's present interest in Iraq etc.. So it affects the regional equations & politics more than stronger countries.


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  Quote SuN. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2007 at 06:27
As for South Asia also I would differ with you. What I said about Iran is also true for Pakistan. Moreover it is a nuclear state. It has ballistic missiles. Even though most of it's missiles & nukes are from China, it neverthless has them. It has a very large & good tried & tested, experienced Military. In fact I would say pakistan is one of the biggest regional & the de facto most important regional powere in any region as it's influence is far reaching & it affects the world. The 9/11 terror attacks were planned & executed from pakistan, Osama is still there so most of the terror attacks in the world originate  from pakistan. It is also a very unstable state ruled by maniacs & dictators. You never know what such people who don't respect democracy can do. Pakistan had been more or less ruling Afghanistan through it's  religios military arm Taliban till a while back. After a brief lull taliban is on its way back to power.
Because of this & many other reasons Pakistan is truly a great regional power, possible the greatest one from the point of view of contemprory military operations.
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  Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2007 at 07:58
The British and French prescence (I presume you mean a permanent mebership seat?) on the security council goes back to WW II. Because of the origins of WW II stem from the Germany of that time period, still seems to have had the effect of precluding them from it, whether that is currently now due to exterior or interior reasoning, i can't honestly really say from my side of the Atlantic? Besides... who am i too say that won't ever change in the future?
 
Regarding Pakistan. I have no bones to pick with you about Pakistan's military. However, as you noted yourself, she has a major issue with internal political stability, which would hamper any coherent direction of her regional policy desires at this time, in which... the same could be said for any nation/power. The fact she has nukes means only so much that she has no worries of being invaded by any of her regional neighbors anytime soon, that is unless, heaven forbid... she were too break up or engage in a civil war and lose total control of the where abouts of those nukes! (A black market bonanza for terrorists!) However, if she were more stable then we otherwise understand her to be, your point would be more powerfully valid.
 
How much is really understood in Pakistan, then besides the unstable nature of dictatorships she had too suffer through; Then the just as equally powerful an role the taliban has played in increasing/pushing her way past the point of stable equilibrium? i.e. see my point of Warzistan for an example!
 
Also regarding the 9-11 attacks being planned in Pakistan, the implications of what you are implying cannot be considered a trivial understatement in the very least. I would prefer something too back that up, before plenty of conspiracy minded people take up that statement, verbatim? Unless many in Pakistan know something that most of the world doesn't?
 
 
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  Quote SuN. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2007 at 09:06
What you say is true. Every day we hear of some attacks on the Paki army in the news. Yesterday also 7 people were killed as per news. The planning element seems to be from Osama's presence in The Afghan - Pak tribal reason at that time. Some persons who planned some of the terrorist attacks have also been arrested from Pakistan.

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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2007 at 09:17
Hey! What about Oceania? I'd say Australia - though I wouldn't be surprised if someone contested that with Indonesia. To be honest though, there are no other real challengers for the Oceania regional power. 
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  Quote SuN. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2007 at 09:34
What is the size of their respective militaries & economies?
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  Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2007 at 09:50
Originally posted by Knights

Hey! What about Oceania? I'd say Australia - though I wouldn't be surprised if someone contested that with Indonesia. To be honest though, there are no other real challengers for the Oceania regional power. 
 
 
I didn't even get to the Oceania region. Heck, i couldn't even finish my earlier posted opinion, due to it's length and my own private responsbilities.
 
This isn't meant as a sop to our antipodean allies/friends, but i have always held Oz in an extremely high regard in consideration of the surrounding region! As far as i know, the US govt feels the same, seeing that Oz has recently acquired what only the British had... unrestricted access to US intelligence.
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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2007 at 10:58
Don't worry, I wasn't pointing the finger at you Panther Smile Just making a general statement. As for Sun's query - I'll let someone like Leonidas respond to that before I do - he's the expert. 
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  Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Nov-2007 at 02:59
I guess i'll finish what i started with my second post in this thread.
 
The Chinese military is still too far way from being modernized as most would like too think, atleast in my book? A few divisions here and new airplanes there, doesn't really translate into a well balanced mordern force as of yet. It's only been a decade atleast since they have really gotten serious about trying too modernize! In time i haven't much of a doubt they will achieve it. However, in case of an immediate emergency, the number of men under arms would be in her favor. The navy is probably the more interesting of the armed forces, solely for their desire for an eventual blue water navy. Newer submarines that can target most places within the pacific area, some newer surface ships and the quiet recogntion within the leadership of acquiring the prize of most modern navies, the aircraft carrier. Economically, however... not many are really asking, what if the economy were to go bust. For me, it's primarily due to the secretive nature of their governemnt that leaves me and probably many others wondering too much with very reall info to pore over at all! Perhaps that is for another thread?
 
India may not have much of an well documented economic headstart like the Chinese. But her military i believe is quite a bit more experienced, most especially in her navy, but to be more specific... in aircraft carrier operations then their Chinese counterparts. In terms of land forces, i think they are nearly equal, though the Indian army, again i think, is probably more well balanced then their Chinese counterparts. The airforce on the other hand, from most reports i have had the pleasure of reading, is really quite good. Especially after joint excercises between the US - Indians airforces over the past couple of years had left many US pilots uniquely impressed with their Indian counterparts, primarily in their air tactics!
 
The Japanese military though it is small, is still widley feared, i think, by many nations who were effected by them from the WWII era, especially considering the Chinese. Well respected by the US and perhaps not widely loved by her regional neighbors due to the past, i believe that if any major conflict were too break our in the region that would directly effect them, she just might take off the kid gloves that her constitution has so far held in check and become directly involved militarily again in the region. No one in the region of course, really want too see that happen. Economically, she proven too have a resilent economy that has seen ups and downs of the market over the past century. Now, not that i am trying too pick on the Chinese here, but they are after all, relative newcomers too this and have no proven track record of weathering the stroms that are just a way of economic life in our modern times.
 
two other minor players that i think deserve honorable mention: The South Koreans and Singapore.
 
Of course, as mentioned earlier, there is the Australians in the Oceania region. Debatably the best ally the US has ever had in it's history so far! Involved themseleves in every single war  the US has ever had the displeasure of being in since WWII! Their army has been noted as extremely tough, even by the Japanese of the WWII era, highly trained, and technologically competent too a very high degree. Economically i assume, there isn't much difference between them and Japanese except in the size of their GDP's, respectively. Then again, i too would love too hear what Leonidas thinks about this as well?  Hint, hint... nudge, nudge...Wink
 
 
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  Quote SuN. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Nov-2007 at 06:07
An important feature I was trying to emphasize was the difference that the countries make to their regional polity, militarily. In this the Japanese, Singapore, South Korea fall back, While Paskistan emerges as the state that makes maximum differences to the regional military equations 
God is not great.
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  Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Nov-2007 at 21:16
I think i understand what you are saying, but what i am primarily taking into consideration right now is a certain degree of national stability; And like i said, i don't think any less of... or even blame the Pakistani military for Musharraf's inability too effectively deal with Bin Laden's Al Qaida, the taliban and the tribes that support them in the Warzistan district! If anything, it's a testament to their professionalism that they have taken on such a difficult, and perhaps too some degree... an unpopular task! That's also not too say, it is not widely popular on a national scale either, from what i understand?
 
However, what concerns me a quite a bit currently, is that there are some reports i have been reading about the declining effectiveness of the Pakistan military, most particulary in the Warzistan district. Perhaps you could shine some light on the subject?


Edited by Panther - 03-Nov-2007 at 21:17
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Nov-2007 at 22:16
Originally posted by Ponce de Leon

You kidding me pinguin? Did you know how many nations pressured Brazil to stop that country from trying to get a nuke on its own? South America is not that innocent man.

Also I can't believe the most important regional power this guy has forgotten. Spain anyone? I mean this country's navy is still called the Armada and it is the 7th strongest navy in the world. That is kickass
 
Well, we have some guns. Actually, we could have developed our own nukes long ago if we wished. We have more than enough brain power to do so. And you also know that Brazil can make aircrafts, rockets and missiles without that much effort.
 
However, what do we win with a regional arms race? If Brazil get the nuke, Argentina does too, then Chile and Peru. We would expend all our money in toys, instead of development.
 
For some strange reason, in South America we preffer to colaborate. We have excelent relations with all the countries and there is not a shadow of war in the horizon. The only guy that have us worried is Chavez, who is buying submarines and high tech soviet planes, just in case some power tries to intervine in Venezuela.
 
Nothing is perfect, though. But our region, in terms of people that has died in regular wars, is one of the safiest corners of the world.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 03-Nov-2007 at 22:17
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  Quote andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Nov-2007 at 22:37
Egypt dominates the Middle East. Turkey and Iran rival it but in terms of the immediate Middle East, Egypt's army is definitely the best. It's very high tech and modernized boasting one of the best aircraft in the world.
 
It's also looking to expand its nave which is the weakest branch of the Egyptian military.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Nov-2007 at 23:22
I though it was Israel the most powerful military power of the region.
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