It has almost become a cliche nowadays to remark that the world is getting more dangerous everyday. With the the advent of terrorist organizations that transcend national borders, and the ISIS which holds territory but also has terrorist followers in different places around the globe, the traditional demarcation of military strength with a country is getting blurred. Nevertheless the strongest military forces in the world still belong to individual countries.
Amongst the different branches of the military, the army has the most responsibility in safeguarding peace and protecting a nation’s border and mentain peace. It also has the most number of personnel amongst the branches. A large and strong army is the most prominent symbol of a country’s military might.
Nowadays the strength of an army depends not only on its size, but also on its weapons, the logistics and technology support behind it, training and a number of other factors. In compiling the following list of the 10 strongest armies in 2017, all of these factors are considered.
Japan was prohibited to have an offensive military and to own nuclear weapons after losing WW-II. However it has maintained a defensive military over the years. Recently it started to expand its military, in response to the rise of China and the territory disputes with its huge neighbor. Japan has an army of almost 250,000 active personnel and 600,000 in reserve.
9. South Korea
Still officially at war with its renegade neighbor at the north, South Korea maintains a strong military. Facing a hostile North Korea with a powerful army itself, South Korea’s army is well-equipped and combat-ready, with 640,000 active personnel and 2,900,000 in reserve.
Turkey started to upgrade its military forces after joining NATO. In recent years it has further strengthened its armed forces, having to deal with the Kurdish independent movement and the conflict in Syria. It has an army of 660,00 troops.
Another defeated country in WW-II, Germany now has a strong army, not the least due to the advanced weaponry, but also to its advanced technological know-how and its economic strength. It has 183,000 active personnel and 145,000 reservists. The focus of the government, though, is to demilitarize the country. As a consequence, fewer people have been joining the military.
Similar to Germany, France’s army draws its strength not from sheer number of troops, but from other factors. It maintains a regular force of 220,000 and about 280,000 reservists. Like Germany, France has not taken to grow its military in recent years.
5. The United Kingdom
Another European power that relies on advanced weaponry, training, technology and economic strength for its military. The U.K. also has a history of military conquests. Its regular force only numbers 205,000.
The second most populous country in the world has the fourth strongest army. Although it does not have the most advanced arsenal, the 1,325,000 active troops make it a formidable force. With its growing economy and technology knowledge, India is also upgrading its arsenal.
Like India, having a huge population is an advantage. An army with 2,285,000 active personnel and 2,200,000 reservists, it is a force to reckon with. Traditionally not well-equipped, China has rapidly upgraded its hardware, in conjunction with its rise as a world economic power. Although it has vowed to reduce the number of troops in 2016, the focus on advanced weapon technology which will make the Chinese army even stronger in the future.
Although its huge arsenal is getting dated, Russian still has a huge army and the largest number of tanks in the world. It has been increasing the size of its army and its military spending steadily over the last twenty years. With 766,000 active frontline troops and 2,500,000 on reserve, Russian army remains a formidable one so far.
1. The United States
What can we say? The strongest economy, the most advanced weapons and technology, the most developed logistics and support systems, the largest military budget and a surprising large size makes the United States army the undisputed strongest army in the world. The army has 1,400,000 soldiers and 800,000 reservists.
There you have it. The 10 strongest armies in the world. Hopefully they will not be utilized extensively in 2017, or in the years beyond.