The armed forces have always been the showcase, of the strength of a nation. Even a nation, no larger than many cities, can threaten the world with its army, as witnessed by the current stance of North Korea. So no matter whether it’s a thriving economy or a highly cultural state, when it comes down to the numbers, the armed forces are the true measure of a nation’s strength. Though the power of an armed force can’t just be measured by its manpower, it does serve as a good starting point. Apart for the strength of the army in numbers, we will also consider: the military advancements and modernization, operational tactics, and most importantly the military budget, for our list of the most powerful armies in the world. So let’s take a look at the top ten rankings.
The modern state of Israel was formed in the year of 1942 as a result of UN intervention and the end of the British mandate of Palestine. A day after the formation of the state, it was attacked by Arabs and the state of Palestine, which declared its fate to be a militaristic country. From the day of formation, Israel has well focused on its military strength and always been at the forefront of military research. Thanks to its allies and timely military advancements, it has maintained a reputation as one of the most powerful armies in the world. With over 125,000 military personnel, it is one of the largest armies in the Middle East.
Post Second World War, Japan was under severe restriction from expanding and revitalizing its armed forces. But with continuous co-operation, and miraculous economic growth, they soon emerged as one of the wealthiest nations in the world, directly resulting in the resurgence of the army. With help from its Western allies, and through its strategically brilliant production principles – the armed force of Japan soon became one of the advanced militaries in the world. The technological innovations and large military funding funneled into the development greatly developed the nation’s strength, and now it’s one of the important members in the UN Security Council, striving to become a permanent member.
France has been involved in a number of conflicts through history and has always been a strong force in terms of military. After a humiliating defeat by the Germans in the Second World War, they did very well to rebuild their army and defenses. Today the French army is one of the largest and highly advanced armies in the world. As one of the victors of the Second World War, France got its hand in founding the United Nations Security Council, and is a permanent member with Veto power provided to it. The French armed forces are amongst the largest contributors to United Nations Peace keeping missions, and are involved in various military training activities with other countries.
7. Republic of South Korea
Surrounded on its borders by communist nations – South Korea has fought hard to remain a democracy. And it wouldn’t have been possible without the might of its army. With constant threats from its northern neighbors and communist influences all over its states, South Korea is one of the few countries, that is forced to maintain a powerful army. The country boasts with over 520,000 active personnel in its ranks and some of the advanced arsenal, thanks to its western allies. Also it is one of the top spenders in terms of military budget and spends a fortune every year to maintain and develop its armed forces.
6. Turkish Armed Forces
Turkey is the only Islamic nation in our list of top ten armed forces. Formed after the downfall of the Ottoman Empire post the First World War, the modern day army of Turkey took shape after the resurgence of the government, post Second World War. Playing a major role in the Korean War and the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus in 1974, Turkey has had ample war experiences, making it one of the veterans in terms of armed forces. Also Turkey fields a vast army, complete with advanced land, air and naval specialists. It is the second largest contributor to UN Peace Corps, with over 402,000 active personnel in its standing army.
5. British Army – United Kingdom
United Kingdom has military history as old as time itself. From the day of the Celtic and Viking invasions to the modern day conflicts in the Middle East, United Kingdom has been involved in military activities since the dawn of the nation. After its successful campaign in the Second World War, Britain secured its spot as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, wielding Veto Power. It’s one of the nuclear states, with a complete nuclear arsenal and ability to launch from a number of platforms. It has a highly sophisticate army and outnumber any other army in terms of military experience. It is also one of the largest manufacturers of military arsenal and one of the largest exporters as well.
4. Indian Army
Though India has never been on a war outside its home soil, and has faced numerous criticisms in terms of its military strategy, during the wars with Pakistan and China – India outnumbers any other armed force down the list with sheer numbers. With over 1,129,000 active personnel and equivalent reserve personnel – India has the third largest army in the world in terms of numbers. Indi also has an active nuclear arsenal, making it the only country to possess to nuclear weapons outside, the Non-proliferation treaty countries. India is the largest contributor to UN Peace Keeping missions, fielding more troops than the troops of all other countries put together. Also India is one of the largest spenders in military budget, and one of the biggest importers of arms. Also India is the third strongest economy in terms of purchasing power parity, and GDP – making it a powerful nation on all terms.
3. People’s Republic of China
Fielding the largest army in the entire planet, with over 1,700,000 active personnel – the People’s Republic of China makes it to the third position of the world’s powerful armed forces. The Chinese have known to field large armies since medieval times. And the fact that they are the largest population in the world can’t be denied as well. Although there has been criticisms that, China lacks the military tactics to standup against original superpowers; China makes up for its lack in experience with technology. With top notch stealth fighters and advanced ballistics, China has found its way to the top as the most advance militarized state. And being the second largest spender in terms of Military budget, they sure are a force, not to be meddled with.
2. Russian Federation
Russians have always been one of the most feared civilizations of the world. Right from the imperial ages, they have been known for their military prowess. But not until the Second World War, did they emerge as a super power. With a massive army, supported terribly by reliable machinery, they rattled the cages of every single nation on the planet. But with the fall of the Soviet Union, their army size reduced and lost their once former glory. But today, thanks to their advanced technology and communist allies, they remain a true super power, in terms of military strength.
1. United States Army
Probably, the only country that needs no introduction of its military strength, in our top ten list of – the most powerful armed forces. The United States has been the epitome of military prowess and has retained the number one spot in military strength since the beginning of time. Fielding the second largest army in the world with over 1,385,000 active personnel and armaments that can blow the world over a 1000 times, no country stands a chance against the might of this nation’s armed forces.