The greatest armies of our time

The US and Russia have the largest nuclear and conventional arsenals in the world. But they are not alone: ​​countries like China and India already have fearsome armies.

Jun 20, 2023 - 18:11
The greatest armies of our time
Image by Dariusz Sankowski / Pixabay

The most important armies in the world are typically considered to be those of the major military powers, which possess significant military capabilities, advanced technologies, and substantial defense budgets. Military rankings can vary depending on the criteria used to assess military strength (e.g., manpower, technology, budget, equipment, nuclear capabilities, etc.).

In our time, some of the most important armies in the world are:

  • United States Armed Forces: The United States has the world's largest defense budget and one of the most technologically advanced militaries. It has a significant number of troops, advanced weaponry, and a robust nuclear arsenal.
  • Russian Armed Forces: Russia has a well-equipped military with a focus on nuclear capabilities, modernized tanks, aircraft, and ballistic missiles.
  • Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA): China has been rapidly modernizing its military and has a large standing army, advanced missiles, and a growing naval fleet.
  • Indian Armed Forces: India possesses one of the largest standing armies in the world, and it has made significant advancements in its defense capabilities, including nuclear weapons and sophisticated missile systems.
  • Israeli Defense Forces (IDF): Israel has a highly trained and technologically advanced military with a focus on intelligence and air capabilities.
  • United Kingdom Armed Forces: The UK maintains a professional and well-equipped military, with a focus on air and naval forces.
  • French Armed Forces: France has a modern and versatile military with a strong air force and navy.
  • South Korean Armed Forces: South Korea has a formidable military, particularly due to its proximity to North Korea. It prioritizes advanced technology and a strong defense posture.
  • Turkish Armed Forces: Turkey has a large and well-trained military, with significant investments in modernizing its equipment.
  • Japanese Self-Defense Forces: Japan has a technologically advanced military with a strong maritime focus.

Regarding defense budgets, the United States typically spends the most on its military by a significant margin, followed by China and other major powers. The actual defense spending can change over time due to budgetary considerations, geopolitical developments, and other factors.

Military strength is just one aspect of a nation's overall power and influence on the global stage. Economic, technological, diplomatic, and soft power factors also play critical roles in shaping a country's standing in the world. And military strength doesn't always translate directly to success in conflicts, as the nature of modern warfare often involves asymmetrical threats and unconventional tactics.

Vincent Taylor EA Global Coordinator