The United States is undoubtedly the world’s most powerful country despite all the racial and political tensions within. No country comes even close to its military might. President Donald Trump has paid special attention to the military. However, other countries are also aggressively strengthening their economy and military. Here we take a look at the top 10 most powerful countries in the world.
Top 10 most powerful countries
Data for this list comes from the US News and World Report. The US News and World Report looked at the political, economic, and military power of countries around the world as part of their ‘Best Countries’ study. Let’s get straight to the point. Here are the top 10 most powerful countries in the world:
10- The United Arab Emirates
The UAE has immense oil and gas reserves, which have fueled its economic growth. In terms of GDP, it’s on par with many Western countries today. The UAE is a federation of seven emirates – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah, and Umm al-Quwain. It is one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East. The UAE is a founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Though its military is not that strong, the UAE has been modernizing its armed forces in recent years. Its strong international alliances coupled with a powerful economy make it one of the top 10 most powerful countries in the world.
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9- Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is one of the largest, most powerful, and influential countries in the Middle East. It has vast oil and gas reserves, and it is the home of Mecca. In the last few years, Saudi has tried to liberalize its culture by loosening restrictions on women and entertainment. However, it still has a horrible track record when it comes human rights. Riyadh has strong ties with the US and UK, which allow it to get away with even the most heinous crimes. It also has high military spending.
Israel is surrounded by enemies from almost all sides. Even though its population is less than 10 million, Israel is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. Its strong ties with the United States ensure a good presence on the international stage. Israel is also a major start-up hub. The Israeli Defense Forces are well-equipped and well-trained. It is also home to Mossad, arguably the most efficient spy agency in the world.
Japan has a military treaty with the United States, but it maintains a strong military of its own. It is the world’s third largest economy, and is one of the most technologically advanced countries. In recent years, Japan has increased its defense spending amid growing Chinese assertiveness in its neighborhood. Japan is a member of the United Nations and has strong relations with other global powers, making it one of the top 10 most powerful countries in the world.
France has one of the world’s largest economies, and is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. In recent years, the country has been facing problems such as unemployment, terrorism, and shifting public attitude to immigration. France has a vast nuclear warhead and a well-armed military. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. France has strong relations with the US, UK, and other global powers.
5- United Kingdom
The UK was ranked 4th last year by the US News and World Report, but slipped to 5th place this year amid concerns over its economy after the vote to quit the European Union. The country retains its economic and military clout, and is a permanent member of the UN Security Council. The UK is a member of NATO, and boasts one of the most powerful navies in the world. It has also been at the forefront of innovation and research.
Germany has been one of the world’s top 10 most powerful countries for a long time. This year, it overtook the UK to become the 4th most powerful nation. The country’s political leadership has drawn some criticism due to its policies over immigration. Anyway, Germany is the most populous country in the European Union and one of the largest economies in the world. It is also one of the world’s largest exporters of goods and services. Germany has strong relations with other global powers.
China has seen a meteoric rise in its economic and military power over the last couple of decades. Its military spending is the second highest in the world, only behind the United States. However, the country has been sharply criticized for censorship, restricted media freedom, stealing technologies from other nations, and its human rights policies. China is the world’s largest exporter of goods. It is on track to overtake the US economy in the next few years.
Russia’s military spending is not as high as China’s. Neither is its economy as big as China’s. But it is the largest country in the world with massive oil and gas reserves. On top of that, Russia has a strong, proven, and reliable defense-industrial complex. Russian President Vladimir Putin has launched a $400 billion plan to modernize the country’s military hardware. It also has one of the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear warheads. With Putin at the helm, Russia’s political influence rivals that of the United States on international stage.
1- United States of America
The US tops our list of the top 10 most powerful countries in the world. Though China and Russia have been trying to catch up for years, its military might remains unmatched. And its defense spending is higher than all the other countries on the list combined. The US has faced domestic challenges in the last couple of years, but there is no denying that it remains a global economic and military powerhouse.