USA vs Denmark
Talk about a David vs Goliath contest. The USA, the worlds last global military superpower, against a tiny Scandinavian nation famous for its bacon. And Peter Schmeichel. But that is not to say that the Danes don't have some military heritage - but unfortunately this time round it seems as if David's slingshot is little more than an Iraqi style WMD.
Both the Danes and the USA have at points soundly beaten the English - which is no mean feat, but since then the USA has gone on to bigger, and better things - whilst the Danes concentrated on attacking Sweden. As often as physically possible. Perhaps they were hoping to save us from the horrors of ABBA - but I am not sure that a nation can develop militarily whilst only fighting your next door neighbour over and over again.
The Danes also kind of shot themselves in the foot with this one. Its pretty hard to fight an effective war against a stronger opponent if you invite them to defend massive portions of your country. Or at least Greenland. And then when the danger of German invasion has passed you let them stay. Hang out. And build a massive air force base on your own soil. Even if that soil is all the way over in Greenland. And when the Americans really drop the ball (or the nukes) on your country (well, Greenland) you don't kick them out, just send people to help clean up the mess.
Just a hint - doing this is not a good way to ensure a military victory. Sure Guantanamo didn't help the Americans with their Cuban problems, but isn't that just the exception that proves the rule?
Admittedly the Danes have tried to preempt any further attacks by pumping their cholesterol creating bacon into the US market in huge quantities, but this is quite a long-term project, and has the downside that basing an economy on a meat based breakfast favourite is certain to create a reliable, but quite small economy. Not all that great for funding military spend on Aircraft Carriers, or jet fighters, or even a decent Land Rover really.
Not really much of a contest here - the Danes finally fold after a very brave run through to the semi-finals. It will be a shame to see them hopping back into their Longboats and paddling madly for the frozen North, but they have been worthy competitors and didn't stand much of chance coming up against the might of the Americans.
South Korea vs North Korea
This is it. The big one. The military clash between two countries who are actually at war with each other. It is an even bigger grudge match than the beach volleyball match between Georgia and Russia during the last Olympics. But who will come out victorious in this epic clash of cultures? The South with its super advanced tech companies, its rich cities and educated, pampered population? Or the North, with its discipline, focus on the military above all else, and its isolationist policies?
And how do you factor in the support that South Korea could expect to receive from outside countries? Or the support the North Koreans could get from...well probably from Iran.
Just in terms of pure manpower the North Koreans would probably walk it, but then they would probably be forced to walk or at least jump on a bike, while the South Koreans could hop in their Daewoos and pootle around the battlefields with ease.
But with the Americans tied up in the war in Afghanistan, and the likelihood of the Chinese or the Russians vetoing any direct action by the UN - despite the fact that they are not massive fans of the current regime in N Korea, would the South Koreans be abandoned? Perhaps the thousands of North Koreans who seek refuge in the South are sleeper agents....a so called Seventh column, just ready to pounce and wreak havoc in the South. Or maybe the North Koreans will invade on the day of the release of the new Starcraft game - when a huge chunk of the South Korean population will be pulling sickies and sitting in front of their computer screens.
It is all a moderately terrifying thought really - especially as North Korean subs have already started the party...
Assuming the Americans are too busy in Afghanistan, and still recovering from their invasion of Denmark, I have to see the South Koreans being overrun by the North. Unpredictable, uncertain, with the possible support of rogue elements of the Chinese military, the North could end the bitter conflict that has raged for decades. Or could render the capitals of the south uninhabitable for 70 years or more... After all, Kim Jong Il won't want to expose his people to the evils of World of Warcraft or mobile phones.
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