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The Canadian military comes in at #15 on our list only because it has the fewest active personnel, as well as tanks, aircraft and submarines. However, the country does have a military budget of $15.7 billion and has assisted the United States with operations in Iraq and Afghanistan making their forces a powerful ally.
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Indonesia has an active frontline of 476,000 military personal, a budget of $6.9 billion and over 405 active aircraft. Highly skilled and trained, the only downside to the Indonesian forces is their lack of naval capabilities.
Image: The Daily Beast
The German military doesn’t rank too high on our list because of its lack of ability to project their power. The German forces have very few aircraft and tanks, as well as only TWO submarines, which puts them at a disadvantage for naval attacks. Despite all this, their military spending budget is extremely high, just north of $40 million.
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Poland makes our list due to its extensive amount of tanks and slightly larger submarine fleet. Currently, their military spending budget is $9.4 billion, which is a huge decrease from past spending efforts. The country has scaled back their military as a reaction to Russia seizing Crimea.
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Due to a coup in 2014, the entire country of Thailand is controlled by the military, which plays a huge role in keeping unity within the country. There’s a total of 306,000 active personnel in the Thai forces, although they lack a naval fleet, and have no air fleet, despite owning 573 total aircraft.
Compared to the other militaries on our list, the Australian forces are quite small. With only 58,000 active personnel and a small number of tanks, it certainly ranks lower on our list than others. However, due to their active submarines and helicopter assets, the Australian military is considered a strong force to be reckoned with.
Although Israel has a smaller military than most, the fact they require mandatory service means a large percentage of the country’s population is considered to be military-ready. Due to the aggressive nature of the countries surrounding them, Israel has one of the largest tank, aircraft and attack helicopter fleets in the world. Currently, the military spending budget is set at $17 billion.
Due to the constant threat of China one day invading and taking over the country, Taiwan has continued to maintain a large active military personnel. With a strong focus on defense development, it has the fifth highest number of attack helicopters on our list. At this moment there are over 290,000 active personnel serving on the Taiwanese forces.
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One of the oldest and largest armed forces in the Middle East, Egypt continues to receive a substantial amount of aid from the United States. It also has the fifth largest tank fleet in the world with over 4,624 ready for service. There are currently 464,000 men and women serving in the Egyptian military. Pretty amazing, right?
When it comes to active personnel, the Pakistani military is one of the largest forces in the world. There are over 617,000 people actively serving in the military and it also has a substantial amount of naval power thanks to owning eight submarines. Due to the increase in focus on developing nuclear weapons, it is predicted that Pakistan could be the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal within ten years.
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Although the Turkish military lacks aircraft carriers, the country still has one of the largest armed forces in the eastern Mediterranean. It also has a large tank fleet of 3,778 tanks and is committed to the F-35 program.
4. United Kingdom
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The U.K. has plans to decrease the size of their military by 2018; however, that doesn’t mean they aren’t a powerful force to be reckoned with. The Royal Navy is quite expansive and the military currently has active frontline personnel pushing 150,000 people. They are also a credible ally to Europe and the United States.
3. South Korea
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Due to the rising tensions with North Korea and the possibility of war always hanging in the air, South Korea has had no choice but to maintain a large and active military. There are over 624,000 active personnel ready for action, as well as an extensive amount of attack helicopters and submarines at their disposal. With North Korea a constant and looming threat, the military is one of the most trained in the world.
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The Chinese military continues to grow at a rapid rate with its capacity to exert power growing larger by the year. When it comes to manpower, the Chinese military is the largest in the world and has the second largest tank fleet behind Russia. Over the years, China has made great strides in modernizing its military, which now has over 2.3 million active personnel serving in their armed forces.
1. United States
The United States remains number one on our list due to the fact it spends more money on military spending than all of the other countries combined. With a budget of $610 billion and over 1.4 million active personnel, the U.S. has no problem exerting power when necessary. It also has more aircraft than any other country and the latest and greatest in cutting-edge technology, putting the United States at an advantage in every single way.