These Are The Strongest Militaries In The World
With talks of impending wars, international conflicts between nations, and even widespread conspiracy theories, some people have already turned their attention to determining which country would emerge victorious in the wake of an all-out global rampage. Although there is probably no definitive way to truly measure the power a country possesses (especially given that most aren’t exactly public about their weaponry), one crucial aspect deemed to be nearly decisive during a war is each side’s military. Still, the questions beg themselves: does the country with the strongest military have the most soldiers or the latest in technological weaponry?
Finding the answer on our own is a Herculean task. Thankfully, with the help of experts like The Credit Suisse Report, Nation Master, and Global Fire Power, we can come as close to a definite conclusion about the strongest militaries in the world as possible. Saddle up, cause we’re about to take you on a journey where you’ll learn about the different countries in the world believed to have the strongest military. Some won’t come as a surprise whereas others may blow your helmet off, especially when you find out about the tiny island which has in excess of 1.6 million soldiers up its sleeve. We’ll start off with the least strongest ones and make our way to the most powerful army that we know.
In comparison to countries mentioned previously, the size of Ukraine’s army is decent when the country’s population is taken into account. Ukraine’s army has about 1.2 million soldiers enrolled against a population of 44.2 million. That said, of the 1.2 million soldiers, only 182,000 are active soldiers. The Ukrainian government seems to want the bulk of their soldiers to rest and only call them in when it’s absolutely necessary. That said, the country invests heavily in its air-defense. They have close to 200 fighter jets. The army also has transport crafts, attack helicopters, as well as trainer vehicles. Although the country’s coverage of the air is pretty good, their terrestrial coverage is their strongest point. With a whopping 3,784 combat tanks, not to mention their armored vehicles and artillery, anyone looking to start a war with Ukraine better be prepared. Having mentioned that, the country has virtually no naval support. The government is reported to spend about $2.07 billion on its army.
On the international scale, Sweden is known to be rather neutral when it comes to international issues: it seems that the Swedish avoid conflict at all costs. Therefore, it will come as no surprise that Sweden, despite having around 10 million people, hasn’t invested much in its military. They only have roughly 44,000 enrolled in the army, of which only a little more than 20,000 are active soldiers. The country’s ground coverage is nothing to shout about. They have about 160 vehicles made for combat, but they don’t have any artillery. In terms of their subterranean coverage, they have about five submarines, but that’s it. Their strongest point is their coverage of the air. The Swedish army has a combination of 138 attack helicopters and fighter jets as well as a few air transport vehicles. The government of Sweden invests approximately $6.7 billion in its army.
We’re kicking things off with the western South American country of Peru. A beautiful, scenic country, when most people think of Peru, most times what comes to their mind is the country’s famous Incan citadel “Machu Picchu.” However, make no mistake: Peru is not to be messed with, especially when you take a look at the country’s army. Boasting an estimated 100,000 active enrollees as well as 268,000 personnel in reserve, Peru’s army is quite impressive, especially when you take into account that the country’s population is only 30 million. Reports indicate that Peru’s budget allocation for the military is in excess of $820 million yearly. Peru has an active air force comprising both attack aircraft and helicopters, combat fight jets and air support. On the ground, The Peruvian Army has armored fighting vehicles, artillery, around 300 tanks made for combat, and rocket launchers.
With a population of 17 million, The Netherlands doesn’t have as large an army as Peru. However, the country’s nearly 43000 active enrollees and some 11,000 reservists do leave a good impression. Due to the fact that its military force isn’t that big, The Netherland’s budget for the military isn’t that large in comparison to other countries. The state invests $12.6 billion into upholding the wellbeing of the soldiers as well as the estimated 30 attack helicopters, fighter jets, support transport, and attack aircraft. The country also has close to 150 battle tanks and uses mainly self-propelled artillery and armored fighting vehicles to cover the ground. In terms of air carriers, The Netherlands doesn’t have one. However, for naval support, they have submarines, crafts to patrol, frigates, and warships.
There have always been talks of China wanting to establish its presence in its neighboring East-Asian country of Taiwan. Therefore, it won’t be the least shocking to know that Taiwan has beefed up its military power to defend itself against any impending attacks. In total, China has around 300,000 active personnel. The country’s reservists are even more impressive, with well in excess of a million soldiers ready to spring into action. Taiwan has allocated an annual budget of some $19.2 billion towards its military. It is reported that Taiwan has over 100 naval ships, close to 1000 air vehicles, and more than 2000 tanks. The Taiwanese government is known to have enrollees in its army go through extensive training before becoming a part of the army.
Switzerland has a population of a little over 8 million people with even smaller army numbers. In the Swiss army, 120,000 soldiers are registered as reservists whereas 21,000 are active soldiers. The Swiss government has an annual expenditure of roughly $4 billion on army-related expenses. They do not have any naval force but has attack aircraft and fighter jets. In terms of terrestrial coverage, the army has a little more than 200 combat tanks as well as some vehicles armored for fighting. Despite its relatively small numbers, the Swiss army shouldn’t be underestimated.
Norwegian’s army is also pretty small. It has just about 27,000 soldiers registered as active in comparison to its 46,000 reservists. Bearing in mind that the country’s population is around 5 million, the small enrollment in the army is no surprise. The country has about 60 fighter jets, quite a bit for such a small army. They also have attack aircraft and a few transport systems. In terms of land coverage, the country boasts an impressive 136 combat tanks, a variety of artillery, and armored fighting vehicles. Pictured above, we see some of the Norwegian army’s first female recruiters. Norway is known to promote gender equality, and they don’t want their army to be left out of the mix!
Argentina is the largest Spanish-speaking country in South America and has a population of roughly 44 million. Surprisingly, despite its population, its military isn’t that large. Argentina only has some 75,000 active soldiers and 52,720 reservists. In comparison to previous countries mentioned, Argentina has more active soldiers than those in the reserves! The Argentinian government invests approximately $5.6 billion yearly into the army. Argentina is just shy of 90 fighter jets and also has other types of attack aircraft. They also have five attack helicopters. The country’s ground coverage is more extensive. They have an estimated 430 tanks suited for combat, rocket projectors, and different forms of artillery. Unlike some countries, Argentina has a naval force consisting of patrol craft, submarines, destroyers, and corvettes.
Mexico is a country located in the south of Northern America with a population of some 120 million. Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. Sadly, Mexico’s army is a far cry in numbers from the country’s population. Mexico only has 273,000 enrolled as active personnel, and even less in reserves with only 11,000 soldiers. Although the Mexican Army doesn’t have an aircraft carrier, they do deal with frigates, warships, mine warfare vessels, and patrol craft. In terms of flight vessels, Mexico has roughly 60 as well as some other attack fighters in their arsenal. They don’t have that many attack helicopters, although their ground coverage is pretty good. With approximately 567 combat tanks and some vehicles armored for combat, Mexico is no push-over. The country invests around $10 billion in its army.
Just like Mexico, Malaysia has a pretty large population with a fairly small army. With nearly 31 million people, Malaysia’s army consists of only 110,000 active soldiers and 310,000 reservists. Reports indicate that the country invests some $4.69 billion annually into the upkeep of its army. Malaysia is not known to focus heavily on its air coverage. They only have roughly 44 fighter jets, a few attack helicopters with barely any air support. The government tends to focus more on covering the ground. The country has around 64 combat tanks, towed artillery, armored fighting vehicles, and rocket projectors. The Malaysian army also features mine warfare ships, frigates, submarines, corvettes, and patrol crafts, meaning that their sea coverage is pretty good.
Yet another country with a fairly large population yet a small military intake, Czech Republic is a landlocked country located in Europe. The country has a population of about 10 million people, yet the military’s total number of soldiers is just shy of 30,000. What’s even more surprising is that of those 30,000, more than 20,000 of them are active personnel. Due to the small size of the army, the Czech Republic invests a little over $1 billion. Although the Czech Republic’s army doesn’t have a navy force, they do have decent air coverage with attack helicopters, air support vehicles, and fighter jets. It’s estimated that the army has over 30 fighter jets as well as over 20 attack helicopters. There are also reports that the army boasts 123 combat tanks, a variety of artillery, and armored fighting vehicles.
Myanmar is a Southeastern-Asian country which is also called Burma. Myanmar has a population well in excess of 50 million yet its military is pretty small, boasting just north of 406,000 active personnel and a little over 100,000 inactive soldiers. It seems like nobody wants to join the army these days. The country’s army is pretty good at covering the ground. They have armored fighting vehicles, tanks for combat, and multiple artilleries. Their coverage of the air is less impressive but good nonetheless. With an estimated 10 attack helicopters, support transports, attack aircraft, and a whopping 128 fighter jets, it’s not like the country is defenseless. The country also has rocket projectors, something that not even the top militaries in the world have. The government of Myanmar spends approximately $7.07 billion yearly on the upkeep of the army.
Now, this is a country which has a substantial military size given its population. The army of Greece, more commonly known as the Hellenic Army, has about 415,000 soldiers, 161,500 of them being active. When you take into account that Greece has a population of less than 11 million, you realize that Greece has a pretty big army! The Hellenic Army’s control over the ground is incredible. They have close to 1300 combat tanks, an impressive set of armored vehicles, rocket projectors, and artillery. The country’s army also boasts a little more than 300 aircraft designed for combat, not to mention the near 30 attack helicopters and transport systems they have in their possession. The country’s naval coverage isn’t their strongest area despite the fact that the country sits relatively close to the open sea. That said, they do have 11 submarines. The Hellenic Army receives approximately $10.39 billion yearly from the Greek government.
Being the largest Southern-European country, close to 49 million people reside in Spain. That said, the Spanish don’t seem to have invested much in their army as of late. Despite the large population, a shocking figure of 170,000 represents the total number of Spain’s soldiers with only 124,000 of them being active. The bulk of Spain’s military force is invested in its terrestrial coverage. The Spanish army has a little more than 550 combat tanks as well as armored fighting vehicles and artillery. The Spanish army has allocated for some coverage of the air. They have around 150 attack and fighter jets, transport carriers, and a few helicopters. The country also has a few submarines, mine warfare vessels, and frigates. The Spanish government is believed to invest roughly $25.5 billion into its military forces.
Interestingly enough, Canada is actually much larger than the United States of America as it pertains to land mass. That said, the country is severely underpopulated. Therefore, Canada’s army is fairly minute: 111,000 soldiers enrolled against a population of 36 million. Of those soldiers, 79,000 are active, leaving approximately 32,000 are reservists. How does Canada’s small army rank among the most powerful in the world? Canada has around 200 combat tanks, nearly 430 air crafts, and four submarines. There are probably some more weapons up Canada’s arsenal, but Canada prefers to adopt a docile postulation in the face of war. Canada is believed to invest approximately $21 billion in its army yearly.
Algeria is another country which has a fairly large intake into its army. With a population of just north of 40 million, Algeria’s army features roughly 800,000 soldiers, of which a little more than half form the army’s active military. The rest are registered as reserve soldiers. Algeria pumps about $4.99 billion annually into the upkeep of its army. The bulk of the investment goes into coverage of the ground. The Algerian Army has over 1100 combat tanks, armored vehicles, ground-to-air and ground-to-ground support. What’s more, The Algerian Army has in excess of 130 attack helicopters and combat fighter planes. The army also has a few submarines and warships.
Saudi Arabia is a located in Western Asia and has a population of an estimated 28 million people. Saudi Arabia’s army isn’t exactly the largest army in the world. They only have about 256,000 militants in total, the bulk of whom constitute active soldiers. While the army’s numbers might not be impressive, the country’s arsenal is nothing short of powerful. In terms of its air coverage, the army has a little less than 300 combat fighter aircraft. Interestingly enough, they got the majority of these aircraft from the United States of America. The country has a lot of fighter jets and attack helicopters. They also have some types of artilleries in their arsenal. Annually, the Saudi Arabian government invests nearly $40 billion into its army.
North Korea is no pushover when it comes to its army. Although the exact amount of money the government invests in its army remains undisclosed, it is rumored that more than 20% of the government’s Gross Domestic Product funds the army. The army is extremely large: they have over 6 million enrolled in the army, with nearly a million active soldiers. This is a remarkable feat, bearing in mind that North Korea has a population of about 25 million people. The country has about 3500 combat tanks, over 600 fighter jets, rocket projectors, 70 submarines: you name it, they got it. The country is even rumored to have nuclear weapons, although that, of course, remains unconfirmed.
Boasting one of the most powerful militaries in the known world, Australia is not to be toyed with. That said, the number of militants is relatively small, especially in comparison to Australia’s population of 24.6 million. Australia only has a little less than 60,000 active soldiers as well as around 44,000 soldiers in reserve. In terms of weaponry and resources, the army has close to 60 combat tanks, a little more than 50 warships, over 400 aircraft, helicopters, and submarines. Although the Australian army may seem weak in terms of numbers, they make up for it with great ground and underwater control. The Australian government spends about $27 billion on the army yearly.
Iran, which was at one point in time called Persia, is located in Western Asia and has a population of around 83 million people. Iran’s military comprises nearly 1 million soldiers, half of whom are active enrollees with the remainder being reservists. With all the political tension between the United States and some Asian territories, Iran has decided to play it safe and beef up on its army. Iran has about 3000 combat tanks, artillery, and armored vehicles for combat. In terms of the country’s aerial coverage, Iran has over 400 fighter planes, as well as some attack helicopters. The army also has mine warfare vessels, submarines, and warships. Without a doubt, Iran’s army has grown in strength and numbers over the years. Apparently, Iran invests around $10 billion in its army’s upkeep.
Thailand is a Southeast Asian country known for its gastronomy and beautiful tourist attractions. But make no mistake: apart from the great food, Thailand has a mighty army. The Royal Thai Army has in excess of 1750 generals and 400,000 active soldiers. In terms of the army’s aerial coverage, Thailand has around 550 aircraft vehicles. For naval coverage, the army boasts some 81 vessels. Its terrestrial presence is not anything to be messed with, having well in excess of 700 combat tanks. The Thai government has allocated just north of $5 billion to the well-being of its army. That said, the army does try to avoid conflict and has in recent years tried to be a voice of peace between nations.
Fun fact: During World War II, of all the countries that Germany decided to invade first, they choose Poland. Well, the Polish were not too fond of that, so they strived hard to ensure that they have a strong military in case anyone decides to try invading their country again. With well over 100,000 active personnel in its army and 550,000 waiting to be called to duty, the Polish army is one of the strongest in the world. They also have a little over 1000 combat tanks, some naval vessels, and a few aircraft. The army is comprised of four different sections: Special Forces, Air Force, Land Forces, and the Navy. The Polish government has invested as much as $12 billion in the development and maintenance of its army.
With a population of over 200 million people, Brazil is the largest country in both South and Latin America. Due to its size, one would expect the army to comprise at least 20 million, right? Not even close: Brazil’s active military personnel comes to around 225,000 people. The reservists are a little more in numbers, estimated at roughly 1.6 million. That said, more than $25 billion is spent by the Brazilian government for its army. The army has in its possession some 581 combat tanks, rocket projectors, and armored fighting vehicles. For its aerial coverage, Brazil has more than 200 fighter aircraft supported by transport vessels and attack helicopters. They also have a few warships and submarines. Brazil’s army is only expected to grow as time goes by.
After tense political tension between Vietnam and the United States of America, it comes as no surprise that the Vietnamese opted to strengthen their military forces. Vietnam’s population is 95 million with 5.5 million active personnel. The Vietnamese Army has close to 2000 combat tanks, as well as a large number of armored vehicles to help control the ground. In terms of its control over the air, the army has nearly 200 fighter jets as well as a few attack helicopters. Vietnam also has a decently developed naval presence. They have warships, submarines, and war vessels. The Vietnamese government puts in about $6.2 million annually into its government. In time, the Vietnamese army will grow and strengthen to compete with the best in the world.
Anyone who follows international news has heard something about the Israeli Army. Due to perceived threats from neighboring and even distant countries, the Israeli government has had to take measures into its own hands, meaning, strengthening the army. The Israeli Army has about 160,000 active soldiers in its military. Might not seem like a lot, but those guys pack a serious punch. After all, they do command in excess of 4000 combat tanks, 691 aircraft, and over 60 naval ships. At present, the Israeli Army is one of the strongest in the world. The government is believed to allocate $16 billion yearly to its army.
Located in the waters between the Indian and Pacific oceans respectively, the sovereign island-nation of Indonesia is the largest island in the world. The country’s population is over 250 million people. The military comprises more than 476,000 active personnel and some 400,000 in the background waiting to pounce when called upon. The army features nearly 500 tanks, over 400 aircraft, and 171 naval ships. They only have two submarines, which is ironic given that the country is surrounded entirely by water. Indonesia has allocated some $8.01 million to its army. The Indonesian government strives to protect its water and prevent unwanted people from crossing its borders.
Pakistan has one of the strongest armies in the world. This country in South Asia has a population in excess of 212 million people. The army is made up of 620,000 active personnel as well as over 500,000 reservists. In terms of firepower, the Pakistan Army boasts close to 3000 combat tanks, close to 1000 aircraft, and nearly 75 seacrafts. Interestingly, the Pakistan Army operates differently from all other armies in the world. The army is an autonomous entity which is not directly influenced by the government, its leaders, or the citizens of Pakistan. Also, out of all Islamic countries, the Pakistan Army is the only one which has a female general in a high rank. The government invests $7.8 million into its army yearly.
South Korea has always found itself in a politically precarious position. With tension between North Korea and the involvement of the United States of America in the country’s affairs, South Korea realized that it was time to establish its army to help take care of potentially violent encounters. Today, they are among the world’s strongest armies. The South Korean army has well over 2000 combat tanks and more than 100 ships at its disposal. The army has a number of undisclosed weapons which they may make use of should the need arise. In terms of enrollees, South Korea’s army is made up of 625,000 soldiers registered as active. What’s more, they have in excess of 2 million reservists. Today, the bulk of South Korean’s military power goes into protecting the border between themselves and North Korea. As a result, the South Korean government invests roughly $41.1 million yearly into its army.
Italy is one of the most popular and well-known countries in the world. Perhaps most recognized for its food, the strength of the Italian army tends to be an afterthought for many. With over 320,000 full-time soldiers and 42,000 more for back-up, the Italian army is no walk in the park. What’s more, the army has over 500 combat tanks, close to 800 air vehicles, and almost 200 ships in its possession. On another note, within Italy is another nation called The Vatican city. This nation has its own army. Italy’s government spends roughly $38 billion annually on army-related expenses.
Egypt is one of the most renown countries in the world. Unsurprisingly, so is its army. The Egyptian army has been in existence since the dawn of time. Therefore, there’s no question that this army ranks among the strongest in the known world. Interestingly, Egypt spends only $5 billion on its army. However, that seems to be more than adequate to keep its 470,000 active soldiers and 800,000 reservists happy. What’s more, Egypt has almost 5000 combat tanks at its disposal along with well-over 1000 aircraft and 245 naval transport devices. Thanks to financial assistance from the United States of America, Egypt has managed to withstand wars upon end and keep its country intact.
Although the German army is not what it used to be, it is still regarded as one of the strongest in the world. The army houses around 325,000 active soldiers, 60,000 troops, and weapons that will make anyone scared. With 408 tanks, over 600 air vehicles, and five submarines, Germany is a force to be reckoned with. That said, they have been actively trying to reduce the size of its army. Before, German laws used to force men who were over 18 to serve time in the army. Now, they gather soldiers based solely on those who volunteer their services. Yearly, the German government spends around $49 billion on taking care of expenses related to its army.
Turkey is a nation bordering eastern Europe and western Asia which has a population of roughly 79 million persons. No stranger to war, the Turkish army is among the most powerful in the world. Recently, the country has been actively involved in wars between Iraq and the Syrian Opposition. In terms of the numbers which make up the army, Turkey has about 400,000 active personnel and a little below 200,000 reservists. The Turkish Army has almost four thousand combat tanks, over 1000 aircraft, and more than 100 naval vessels. Due to Turkey’s history being almost intertwined with war, The Turkish Army is always ready for another battle. The government spends around $25 billion yearly to ensure that the Turkish army is always performing at its optimum level.
If there is one nation whose history is riddled with war, it’s Japan. The culture of war is something which is engrained in the very psyche of most Japanese. It comes as no shock to find out that the Japanese Army ranks among the highest in the world. Their army is known as the Self-Defense Force. They acquired this name due to the belief that Japan is capable of fighting against any nation in the world today irrespective of what weapons the other country may have. Japan has almost 700 combat tanks, over 1000 aircraft, and 131 naval vessels. In terms of active and reserve personnel, the Japanese army has 250,000 and 57,900 respectively. The Japanese government pumps over $50 billion into its army yearly.
The British Army is a force to be reckoned with. The army has existed for a myriad of centuries in order to protect the British kingdom from harm. Queen Elizabeth symbolically serves as the Commander in Chief of The United Kingdom, and she is advised by a Secretary of State for Defense. This means that the Queen serves a dual role as she is also the Queen of the United Kingdom. In terms of the army’s asset, the British Army possesses 879 aircraft, 66 naval bases, and 407 combat tanks. At present, the army has well over 100,000 active soldiers and a further 182,000 reservists. The United Kingdom has a budget allocation of $62.7 billion yearly for the army.
From since wars have been waged, France has been involved. For some reason, whenever there has been an international conflict within the last century, France has always found a way to involve itself. Having lost some of its steam after World War II, the French Army has been restored to being one of the strongest in the world. Of France’s nearly 67 million citizens, 205,000 are registered as active personnel in the army with a further 195,770 being considered reservists. France has its fair share of weapons, owning nearly 500 combat tanks, over 100 ships and boasting more than 1000 air vessels. Yearly, the French government spends about $62.5 billion on its army.
Being the seventh-largest country in the world is a big title. To whom much is given, much is expected. Therefore, everyone can expect India’s army to be a pretty powerful one. And boy, they don’t disappoint: India has a little more than 1 million active personnel in its army and over 2 million reservists. These figures might seem like a lot, but when you bear in mind that India has a population of over 1 billion, you begin to second-guess yourself. The Indian government’s budget for its army is at $42.84 billion. That money goes into taking care of its soldiers as well as maintaining the army’s nearly 6500 combat tanks, 200 sea vessels, and 2000 aircraft.
China is, yet again, another country whose history seems to be almost synonymous with war. Over the years, with so much practice, the Chinese have established themselves as having one of the leading armies in the known world. The country has over 2 million active soldiers and a further 1.2 million who will spring into action at a moment’s notice. China has the largest military in the world. The army has close to 10,000 combat tanks, almost 3000 aircraft, and nearly 700 naval vessels. China’s army is rumored to possess nuclear weapons, although that does remain unconfirmed. China’s government blows a whopping $166 billion yearly on its army.
If a nation is considering picking a war with Russia, they’d better think twice. Russia’s army is universally considered the second-strongest army in the world. The Russian Army has about 766,055 active soldiers with an additional estimated 2 million in reserve. The Russian Army has over 13,000 combat tanks, almost 4000 aircraft, and as many as 352 naval vessels. Even more shocking are the claims that Russia has as many as 7300 nuclear weapons in its possession, more than the United States are believed to have had. Nuclear weapons are among the most lethal weapons known to man. Hopefully, a war doesn’t break out between the United States of America and Russia. But if it does, and they pull out the nuclear weapons, the world is doomed. Russia invests almost $100 billion in its army.
The United States of America
The United States of America is currently considered to have the strongest army in the world. It may come as a no-brainer to some people. But the question remains: how exactly did the US-army become so powerful? Well, mainly because the United States invests heavily into its army. When you’re sporting a budget of $581 billion annually for your army, your army is bound to be the strongest. China has the second highest investment in its army, and its budget is only $155.6 billion. The US-Army consists of about 1.4 million active soldiers and a further 1.1 million soldiers in reserve. In terms of its arsenal, the army has a little less than 10,000 combat tanks, over 10,000 aircraft, and about 500 sea vessels. No doubt, the United States’s army can pack a serious punch. After all, they are rumored to hold close to 7,000 nuclear weapons.
Guam And The US-Military
Ever heard of Guam? Guam is an island located in the Pacific Ocean which became an overseas US-territory at the end of the 19th century. Due to its strategic location, the United States installed a navy base on that island. The idea is that any possible missile attacks from an east-Asian country can be intercepted from Guam. Kim Jong-un, the incumbent Supreme Leader of North Korea, has not been too pleased about the presence of the United States so close to his shores and has expressed his distaste on several occasions. You can imagine that he was up-in-arms after the United States playfully launched some B-1 bombers over South Korea. Although Kim Jong-un and others may be displeased with the United States being so closely situated to them, they know that any sort of foul play can result in the strongest army in the nation launching a full-out attack on their nations.