These 20 Countries Have the Strongest Militaries

Territorial defense is arguably the most important duty of any government. And that's why countries invest tons of money and other resources to beef up the strength and capacity of their armed forces. We have compiled an updated list of the strongest military countries in the world and what makes them tick.

Our formula for generating this list includes:

  • Defense budget
  • Tanks, aircraft, and submarines
  • Active and reserve personnel
  • Number of nuclear warheads
  • Technology advancement
  • And more

20. Australia

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Australia has the fewest active and reserve personnel in its Armed forces, and the number currently stands at 59,000 active and 28,000 reserves. However, they have a decent stockpile of battle-ready apparatus, including tanks, aircraft, and an impressive six Collins-class submarines.

Australia's defense budget went up 7% for 2022 to $48 billion.

Related: 14 Terrible Financial Ideas: Never Do These, According to Money Experts

19. Spain

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Spain has a decent Armed Forces of about 150,000 people combined who haven't seen much combat recently. The Spanish military benefits from the country's NATO and European Union memberships, with access to intelligence and modern defense technologies. Spain currently spends about $14 billion on defense.

18. Saudi Arabia

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

This Middle Eastern country has steadily fallen in its defense budget since 2018. It was $74 billion in 2018, $61 billion in 2019, and $46 billion in 2022. They also have a relatively small force with 257,000 active military personnel.

Saudi Arabia's budget and manpower may be dwindling, but they have sophisticated fighter planes, tanks, interceptors, attack helicopters, and more.

Related: Millennials Don't Listen to Boomers, Until Now, Why?

17. Indonesia

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Indonesia boasts the strongest military in Southeast Asia. Perhaps the country's biggest advantage is its massive manpower which comprises about a million people with 400,000 on active service. Indonesia raised its defense budget to $9.3 billion in 2022 from an initial $7.4 billion.

16. Germany

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Germany was once high up in the military pecking order, but a lot has changed. They do not have the most boots on the ground, and their defense systems aren't as vast and modernized as other top-tier militaries. But all of this may be changing soon.

In line with NATO's benchmark for member states to spend at least 2% of GDP on defense, Germany has recently (May 2022) approved $107 billion. This is a significant jump from the previous $54 billion.

Ready to make your first budget?

Enter your email and get the free template


15. Israel

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Next up is Iran's arch-enemy, Israel. The Israeli armed forces are relatively small compared to Iran's, but their strength lies in other areas. Their military is battle-ready with over four thousand tanks, aircraft, and helicopter fleet, and they also have to their advantage over a hundred nuclear warheads.

Like Iran, Israel mandates citizen conscription into the military; men serve for three years, and women serve two years. Their defense budget stands at $24 billion.

14. Iran

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

According to Iran's constitution, all men between 18-49 must serve in the military for 18 months to two years. It is therefore unsurprising that Iran has one of the largest military manpower, with 610,000 active personnel. Iran has all kinds of offensive and defensive weapons, and there are signs the Islamic State still has nuclear weapons on its radar.

Iran's defense budget is a sizable $24 billion.

13. Egypt

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

With over four thousand battle tanks in its possession, Egypt has the sixth-largest fleet in the world. The Egyptian military is one of the oldest, strongest, and most prominent in the middle east. Egypt is also head and shoulders above other African countries in terms of military strength.

How I make $11,000 per year renting out my spare rooms?

Get access to my FREE guide now.


Egypt has 900,000 people in service, with about half that number on active duty. And the defense budget is $4 billion.

12. Italy

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The Italian armed forces are the third strongest in Europe, behind the United Kingdom and France. The Italians don't have as many tanks as the higher-ranked countries, but their two active aircraft carriers and air force arsenal give them a boost.

Italy has 340,000 active personnel and a defense budget of $30 billion.

11. Turkey

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Turkey has an impressive military strength with tons of tanks, aircraft, and attack helicopters. However, unlike the top-tier countries on this list, Turkey doesn't have an aircraft carrier. Their military budget is $18 billion, with 355,000 officers on active duty.

All males between 20-41 are mandated to serve in the Turkish military.

10. Pakistan

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Pakistan and India have a history of warfare, and both countries continue to strengthen their militaries. Pakistan injects $12 billion into its armed forces annually and has 660,000 people in active service. These numbers pale compared to India, but it's enough to earn them a place on the strongest military list.

9. Brazil

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The South American country nicks a top spot and is one of the strongest military countries in the world. They have a defense budget of $21 billion, the highest in South America. Brazil also has a significant workforce with 334,000 people in active service and about 1.8 million in reserves.

8. United Kingdom

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The UK used to have the strongest military in the world, having colonized several nations, including the U.S, and repeatedly emerging victorious from conflicts. The British have since lost that spot, but they're still a mighty force, especially in Europe. And as a member of NATO, like France and the U.S, the United Kingdom has external military support.

The United Kingdom spends $56 billion on defense, has about 275,000 people in active service, and many nuclear and other destructive weaponry.

7. South Korea

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

South Korea has a large number of people in its armed forces, about 5 million. However, the number of officers on active duty is relatively small, at 550,000. They have massive modern defense systems, and their air force is the sixth-largest in the world.

South Korea spends about $46 billion on military expenses.

6. France

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

France arguably has the strongest military in Europe and has a reputation for deploying forces to stabilize African governments. Their frontline personnel is small (270,000) but are well trained and have state-of-the-art equipment at their disposal.

The French government spends approximately $56 billion on defense.

5. Japan

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

There are 319,000 people (250,000 on active service) in Japan's armed forces, the smallest of the top five military powers. The current defense budget stands at $47.2 billion; though it seems small, it's a $6.8 billion increase. Japan aims to match China's deep military coffers and is making moves.

Thanks to its military budget and close alliance with the U.S. Japan has access to modern weapons and technology.

4. India

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

India is the second-most populous country and has one of the strongest militaries. Due to its massive human resource, the military has about 5 million officers; 1.4 million are on active duty.

India's military strength goes beyond its incredible active manpower; they also have nuclear warheads and many tanks, aircraft, and other offensive apparatus. India is the third-highest military spender with a whopping $76.6 billion budget.

3. China

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Over the last few decades, China's economy has seen astronomical growth, and so has its military capacity. The most populous Asian country has almost 4 million people in its military, and about 3.4 million are on active duty.

China has the second-largest military funding, $230 billion, behind the United States. They also have the second-largest tank fleet behind Russia.

2. Russia

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Russia's military has been a force to be reckoned with since the Soviet era. The transcontinental country is the largest by landmass worldwide and second behind the U.S. in military strength.

Russia spends $61.7 billion every year to boost its military strength. They have just over a million people on active duty and a remarkable 2 million reserve. Russia also has a hefty amount of nuclear warheads and a tank fleet.

1. United States

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The United States of America boasts the world's strongest and most funded military. With a massive budget of $740 billion, the world power maintains its lead at the top of the pack.

America has the highest number of active frontline personnel (1.4 million), with a sizable reserve squad (390,000). They also have a massive number of nuclear weapons at their disposal.

Top 10 Biggest Tourist Traps To Avoid at All Costs

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock.

When it comes to traveling, every city has its charms and its traps. However, some cities are more known for their tourist traps than others. In a popular thread on a social media platform, travelers were asked which cities they believed to be the biggest tourist traps. Here are the top 10 cities that made the list.

The 10 Most Beautiful Places in the United States You Must See

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock.

The United States is home to some of the world's most stunning natural landscapes, from towering mountain ranges to breathtaking coastlines. When asked where the most beautiful place in the United States is, users on an AskReddit thread had no shortage of stunning locations to share. Here are ten of the most popular responses:

Top 10 Travel Trailer Brands of 2023

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock.

When it comes to travel trailers, there are a lot of different brands on the market. This article will discuss 10 of the best travel trailer brands on the market today. We will describe the features of each brand and give our top pick for the best product. So whether you need space for two people or the whole family, we have you covered.

States People Are Leaving (And Where They're Going)

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock.

It's no secret that people are moving around the United States a lot lately. Ever since the rapid increase in housing prices and the rapid decrease of employment since the pandemic, people have been searching for more affordable places to go.  So where are all these people going? Let's take a look at some of the states that are losing the most people and where they are ending up.

Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S.

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock.

Crime is at an all-time high in the United States, and people are fleeing the most dangerous cities in favor of safer places. Here are the top 10 most dangerous cities in the United States today.

This article was produced and syndicated by Max My Money.

[mashshare]

How I make $11,000 per year renting out my spare rooms?

Get access to my FREE guide now.