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Strongest Militaries That Control the Planet



War….war never changes. Throughout time man has been in conflict, and that won’t stop any time soon.
Here is a list of some of the world’s most powerful military powers based on active and reserve solider head count, hardware such as jets, boats, and tanks, and military budget.


You wouldn’t think of Australia when it comes to military power but you’re wrong. There are around 58,000 active soldiers; 52 ships, 59 tanks, and 408 aircraft.


Thailand is one of the most populated countries in the world so it isn’t hard for them to build a massive military. Thailand has many islands which is why it has 81 sea vessels.


Mexico has 129 million citizens, and 273,000 are active military members. On top of that number, there are 110,000 reserve members.


Peru has around 100,000 active soldiers and 268,000 in its reserves with a budget lower than many other nations at a mere $820 million a year.


Even though its numbers are smaller than most countries, it has an impressive number of fighter jets and other military vehicles. The nation spends an impressive $12.6 billion.


With China at Taiwan’s front door, the nation needs to maintain its military might. There are a total of 300,000 active duty members with 1.6 million reserves.


Despite Switzerland’s size of 8.4 million people, there are only about 21,000 active military personnel. Being a landlocked county there is no need for any naval vessels.


Norway’s modest population leads it to only have about 26,500 active military members at any given time. There are 46,000 reserve soldiers waiting for the call.


Having a few more active duty members than the last few countries mentioned, Argentina has about 75,000 active military members. This country’s military budget is $5.6 million.


Compared to its size, Malaysia has a very large military. There are 110,000 active members, with 310,000 in its reserves. The country focuses its hardware on combat tanks and rocket-launching vehicles.

Czech Republic

With only 30,000 active soldiers, and 22,000 in its reserves, the Czech Republic does not have as much man power as a lot of other nations.


Myanmar, or Burma has about 406,000 soldiers on active duty. It seems like they would rather focus on air power rather than naval power. They have 128 fighter jets and 10 attack helicopters.


Ukraine has one of the most impressive militaries compared to its population in the world. There are 3,784 combat tanks, which is more than a lot of countries combined.


Sweden has always been known to be a very neutral country, so they only ever have about 21,000 active soldiers at any time. The country has about 160 combat tanks, 138 fighter jets and 5 submarines.


Greece has around 413,000 military personnel and 161,000 active personnel at any given time. Greece is a series of islands and have 11 submarines to protect all its coastal borders.


Spain has a total of about 124,000 active soldiers, with a total of 170,000 all together, not bad numbers for such a small European country.


Canada’s population is about 10% of the United States, but has a much larger land mass. Ranked as one of the most powerful militaries in the world, Canada has around 79,000 active members.


Algeria has around 800,000 active military members, about 10 times the amount of Canada. Algeria’s forces are more focused on ground attacks than air.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has a small force compared to its population at 231,000 active members. Its military might comes from its large number of fighter aircraft.

North Korea

Being one of the world’s most secretive countries, North Korea doesn’t like to let anyone really know the might of their military.


Iran has a huge budget at $81 million, so it should have a very large head count in the military. There are 930,000 soldiers, with 534,000 of them being active duty.


Poland has been actively growing their military. They now have one of the strongest militaries in the world. While there are only 12,000 active soldiers, there are 500,000 on reserve.


Brazil has an impressive 1.6 million reserve soldiers waiting for the call. Brazil’s annual budget is a massive $27 billion dollars.


Vietnam’s reservist numbers are off the charts compared to a lot of other nations at around 5 million soldiers. There are 1,829 combat tanks, 189 jets, 8 submarines and 5 war ships.


Indonesia’s military consists of around 476,00 soldiers, with an additional 400,000 on reserve. There are many islands to patrol so having 191 ships is essential.


As far as the middle east goes, Pakistan has one of the largest armies. An interesting fact is that the military operates outside the government, so that politicians don’t have as much control.

South Korea

Due to the tension between North and South Korea, both countries have been building their military for years. South Korea spends a whopping $41 billion a year on military defense.


Italy shares borders with 4 different countries and has a massive coastline so military might is important to their well being. Their annual budget is $38 billion.


Egypt’s military personnel members are 470,000 active soldiers and 800,000 soldiers on reserve. They have 4,624 tanks, 1,133 planes and 245 naval vessels.


During WW2, Germany actually had more than 3.5 million active soldiers, but the numbers have dwindled since. They only have about 60,000 active troops and 325,000 on reserve.


Turkey’s geographical location puts it in the middle of a lot of conflicts. With a $25 billion dollar budget they are able to have 410,000 active soldiers.


Japan isn’t technically allowed to have its own military force because of the outcome of WW2. It gets by that rule by calling its military a ‘self defense force.’

The United Kingdom

The UK’s military budget is more than almost every nation at $62 billion dollars. With that massive amount of money they are able to have 879 aircraft, 407 tanks and 66 naval vessels.


India is the seventh largest country in the world so it should have the largest military presence. It’s estimated that there are 1.3 million active soldiers.


China reigns supreme as far as active military members at 2.3 million soldiers! There are an additional 1.2 million on reserve. China’s budget is one of the highest in the world at $166 billion dollars annually!


Russia is the largest land mass in the world so military power is a must. They have 15,000 tanks, 350 ships and spend more money on cyber technology that most countries combined.


Everyone is required to serve in the military so their active numbers can reach 8.7 million. For being a small country they still spend $18 billion annually.

United States of America

It’s a well known fact that the USA spends more money on their defense than any other nation. The $682 billion the US spends on its defense even makes China look weak. As far as military personnel, there are about 1.4 million active members and an additional 1.1 million in reserve.