Please note that this article discusses everything from a military point of view.
The United States of America was formed on 4th of July 1776. In over 300 years, the USA is in such a position that the whole world looks to it as a source of inspiration. Everyone wishes that they were American. American pressure has been a big factor in international politics. America has EARNED the position it is in today. The USA has not just conjured their superpower status; they made themselves to be what they are today.
So what makes this country so powerful and so influential?
There are a variety of factors which has contributed to the USA being a superpower. They include
The United States of America is very diverse when it comes to geography. There are deserts, grasslands, mountains, plains, ice and every terrain possible. This gives America a clear advantage as they are able to adapt to things very easily. Their armed forces can be trained to handle any form of terrain as their country itself provides for a perfect training ground for its personnel.
B) Land Area
The United States of America is the Third largest country in the world in terms of land area. This gives the USA a clear advantage as they have enough land to sustain themselves comfortably and create a comfortable and powerful situation for themselves. There is no shortage of land to build Airbases, Army garrisons, naval yards etc. Also, there is enough land to sustain military research and development.
C) Strategic location
The United States of America is situated in North America between Canada and Mexico. On either side it is surrounded by 2 mighty oceans being the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The very location of the USA gives the country a strategic advantage.
It is very well understood that a strong military can thrive only with the presence of a strong economy which can sustain it. The USA has a huge advantage here. The very strength of the economy ensures military superiority for the nation. The USA is a developed country and it has enough money to support and sustain a very strong military. The USA has strong industrial capabilities and that supports the economy as well as produce weapons for the military. The money obtained goes for maintaining the various forces they have. The United States has one of the biggest military budgets in the world.
The USA possesses plenty of natural resources. They import very little from other countries. That gives them plenty of advantage over other countries. They make sure that the natural resources are not exported, but processed first. That gives them an edge.
The high industrial capabilities serve 2 purposes. One is to support and strengthen the economy by producing goods. The second is to produce the goods necessary for the military. Either way, it serves the military well. This shows that the industries are a very essential component for the smooth functioning of the military.
3. Political stability
In the USA, the President is the supreme commander of all armed forces. This means that the powers are centralized and not divided in a haphazard way. This means that there is no wastage of time. This ensures political stability at times of war. This stability is required especially in times of quick decision making.
USA heavily relies on technology in its military. The military is constantly evolving. It incorporates technology into each facet of the military. New technology aids the military in various operations. Technology has changed the whole face of the military and of war. The military has been upgraded from time to time with new technology. The technology gives them an upper hand anywhere. Technology is being used in each and every single aspect of the military, be it from the battlefield to the logistics. This ensures that the military is being able to give its 100% in performance.
5. International influence
USA is absolutely nothing without its allies. If it weren’t for the support of the United Kingdom, Israel, Australia, Canada etc then the USA would be nothing. However influential and powerful the USA may look like, they still need the support of its allies and the NATO. The USA looks for strong allies who can back them up when they are needed. They try and strengthen their allies by providing them with weapons, training their forces, strengthening bilateral trade, providing them with aid etc. That way, the allies are also powerful enough to support the United States.
The United States maintain plenty of bases all over the world. The United States maintain bases in the UK, Qatar, Turkey, Italy, Japan and other countries. This ensures their reach in the international arena. Their naval fleets cruise around most of the seas and oceans. US aircraft carriers have been called “19 acres of mobile American soil”. This in itself shows their ability to reach out. The USA has over 730 bases abroad.
Power Projection capabilities
The USA has immense power projection capabilities. Nuclear weapons, Aircraft Carriers, International Bases, and massive naval Fleets projects them as a big power in the world. These capabilities make the USA’s image strong and powerful. That also gives potential adversaries a sense of fear.
The United States uses its influence in the international sphere to intimidate potential adversaries. Their usual tactic is to scare the enemy by showing off their military strengths. They also employ various methods like sanctions, severing of trade relations etc. The United States maintains a very aggressive stance in the international forum. That provides the United States with an edge. They make sure that whatever happens, American interests are in no way violated.
International image of the American military
Hollywood movies are very popular all around the world. Though unknown to many, this is a means of power projection. They try to popularize the American military through movies and books and other media. To most people all around the world, America reigns supreme when it comes to the military. Most movies portray the American military as unbeatable, undefeatable and strong. Be it the Gulf War in 1991 where they won or the Vietnam War which they lost, they show you those battles where they won gloriously. These movies are not false, but they do hide a lot of things. They show how the USA always wins and how strong it is. That indeed is a deterrent for potential adversaries.
The intelligence of the United States is handled by the Central Intelligence Agency or the CIA. Their headquarters is situated in Langley, Virginia. The CIA is considered one of the best intelligence agencies around the world. The CIA handles all external intelligence. The CIA has agents all around the world and they also take the help of technology in order to gather intelligence. The CIA has tie-ups to various other intelligence agencies which enable them to gather more credible intelligence. They have tie-ups to agencies like the Mossad (Israel), ISI (Pakistan), MI6 (UK) and other agencies all around the world. Timely intelligence keeps the USA a step ahead of its adversaries and contributes to the superpower status of the USA.
7. Experience waging wars
The USA has fought many wars. They have fought both small and large wars. They fought World War 2, The Vietnam War, The Korean War, Invasion of Panama and Grenada, The Gulf War, the war in Afghanistan and the Invasion of Iraq. This gives the American military sufficient combat experience. With each war, America has learnt and has improvised on its methods and has ensured a better strategy every time.
8. Nuclear shield
The United States possesses one of the largest nuclear arsenals in the world where the warheads are in thousands. Nuclear weapons are one of the biggest assets of the US and one of its best deterrents. Nobody wants to be in the way of a country which can practically rain nuclear warheads on them.
9. Numerical Strength
The United States has the 2nd largest active military in the world. This clearly means that they have enough personnel to man their bases and fight wars. Combine this with superior training and weapons and you get an unbeatable force.
All these factors make the USA the world’s only military superpower.