Most rankings of the military power or geopolitical power of countries look mainly at the power of the air force, navies and armies of countries. They often do not look at the true quality of the equipment or technology. Also, there is an implied assumption that great nations would throw down in a repeat of world war 2 like conflicts.
This would be like looking at individual combatants based upon only boxing skills. Mixed martial would bring in whether the combatants had takedown defense and judo skills. Judo and jiu jitsu capabilities would determine if the fighting was standing or on the ground. Individual combatants could also be in a street fight with knives, guns or other weapons. Street fights could also involve gangs of people vs individuals or other gangs.
Where does direct military conflict ranking assessment matter?
Military assessments matter where military conflict has been happening and where there is a high risk of more conflict.
India versus Pakistan
Ukraine versus Russia or Russian supported Proxies
Saudi Arabia versus Iran
Israel versus Iran
Various other middle eastern country matchups including Turkey
China versus Taiwan
North Korea versus South Korea with US and others supporting
Russia versus Eastern European countries with various levels of European and US support.
China has missiles and planes and sensors to defend against an invasion from the USA. This means that the invasion scenario is not a realistic threat. This is not the case for countries like Iran or other lesser militaries. Iran and other weaker nations know that they could get trashed like Iraq.
Being able to project power or overmatch other specific countries means that countries with this capability can realistically bully countries that are vulnerable to
It is relevant to look at trade war power dynamics now and in the future.
There is the still ongoing trade conflict between China and the USA. There could be new trade disputes between Europe and the USA. It is important relevant economic strength for trade conflicts. The US strength is a domestic consumer market ($14 trillion) that is over double the size of China’s consumer market ($6 trillion). The US also has far less exports to China than China exports. A combined Europe has consumer spending of about $10 trillion.
Categories for Ranking Countries
Here are some categories for placing world countries in power or ability or inability to withstand external forces.
Economy crippled from US sanctions. Iran’s oil exports dropped by over 80% when the US applied sanctions.
Economy and country able to withstand longterm US sanctions. North Korea is in this category.
Has nuclear weapons which limits the aggression of foreign powers.
Able to withstand a trade war. China is able to weather a trade war for over a year but eventually decided to make a deal. Canada and Mexico agreed to terms before a full trade war was launched.