The World’s 10 Strongest Militaries

Military supremacy has long been goal in human civilization.  Being one of the strongest militaries gives your nation respect and dominance around the world, not to mention a greater say in the way other nations are expected to behave around the world.  Having a strong military also gives your nation a strong economic advantage as well because strong militaries are able to exert more control on trade routes, world trade mecca, perception of safety, etc.  Militaries do provide a very key and basic service for the nation, which is security, but as nations compete to build up military forces, it can also strain economic efficiency.  While the Roman Empire, Greeks, Turks, and scores of other ancient military powers once graced this ranking with dominance, the modern era provides a whole new look at war and the way militaries operate.  Here are the current 10 strongest militaries in the world.

The World's 10 Strongest Militaries

USA, Russia, China, India, and the UK mark the top 5 strongest militaries in the world

At the top of the list at number 1, the United States continues to hold the crown as the strongest military in the world, a title we have held since 1945 and undisputedly since 1991.  As it is well mentioned in our society, the US spends more on our military then all the other nine nations combined.  Obviously, the availability of capital and a willingness to use credit, gives the US a very strong advantage with annual spending of $577 billion.  The US boasts of 1.4 million active duty soldiers, 13,900 military aircraft and 8,850 tanks ready to go.  Not to mention, the US has one of the strongest Navys in the world, with 20 aircraft carriers.  France is 2nd in aircraft carriers with 4.

Next on the list at number 2 is Russia, our old rivals and adversaries.  Russia spends roughly $60 billion annually on its military, has roughly 766,000 active duty soldiers, 3,500 military aircraft units and 15,398 tanks.  As you can see, Russia’s biggest asset is the fact that it holds the largest portfolio of tanks in the world.  Not to mention, Russia recently unveiled its newest battle tank, the T-14 Armata.  Aside from the second largest Navy behind US, Russia is also the largest oil producer of the top 10 list and in fact, supplies oil to some of the other countries on the list, providing them with even greater advantage.

China’s military is number 3 on the list.  China’s advantage is the largest active duty troop count in the world with 2.33 million and also the second largest annual spending budget for military spending of $145 billion.  China’s dominance also stems from having the third largest Navy in the world, and the second largest tank build up in the world with 9,150.  China has the third largest military aircraft fleet of 2,860.

Number 3 on the list is India.  India has the 3rd largest active duty troop count at 1.325 million, but only an annual budget of $38 billion.  While India ranks in the bottom half of the list with its Navy, India has the 4th largest aircraft build up and the 4th largest tank inventory in the world.  However, India’s major setback is that it imports large amounts of oil, making it difficult to exert influence on the region.

At number 5, the United Kingdom comes in with an active troop count of only 147,000, the smallest on the list of top 10, but a massive Navy has always been the UK’s biggest asset.  The UK spends $52 billion annually on defense spending and lists 936 military aircraft units available and 407 tanks in its portfolio.

Strongest Militaries
IMAGE: Businessinsider.com

Bottom 5: France, South Korea, Germany, Japan, and Turkey

At number 6, France steps into the ring with an active troop force of 203,000.  France spends roughly $40 billion annually on its military, which has 6th largest Navy, 7th largest aircraft buildup of 1,264, but only 423 tanks in its inventory.  France, however, is a top exporter of military hardware around the world, which adds to its supremacy.

At number 7, South Korea interestingly takes the torch.  South Korea has 5th largest active troop count at 624,000, but spends only $33 billion on its military annually.  South Korea has a smaller Navy at number 9 in the list, but does have a very sizable aircraft inventory of 1,412 and tank inventory of 2,381.

Germany is next at number 8.  Germany has the 9th largest active troop count at 179,000 and spends $40 billion annually on its military.  Germany does have a sizable Navy, but minimal aircraft assets of 663 and tank assets of 408.

Japan comes in at number 9 in the world with 247,000 active duty troop count.  Japan spends $42 billion annually on its military and has the 4th largest Navy in the world.  Aside from the emphasis on strong Naval capabilities, Japan has 1,613 aircraft units and 678 tanks ready to go.

Last on the number 10 list comes Turkey.  Turkey boasts a standing troop count of 411,000, but spends the least amount of its military at $18 billion annually.  Turkey has the 10th largest Navy and has 1,020 aircraft units.  However, Turkey has 5th largest tank portfolio in the world.

In order from 1 to 10: US, Russia, China, India, UK, France, South Korea, Germany, Japan and Turkey.  These nations help provide security and set an example to other nations around the world.  However, inter-rivalries among the list complicates issues and creates uncertainty around the world, as we are seeing in Ukraine.