The modern world is becoming more unstable—in an increasingly anarchical system like the modern international relations, military power becomes the most valuable form of currency. A state can have all the art, culture, and philosophy in the world, but it does not matter much without a powerful military to defend its own borders. In the past several years, countries (including nuclear powers) and non-stated actors openly ignored the international law without provoking any substantial reaction from the international community. With UN being powerless by design and the only remaining superpower, the U.S., embroiled in its internal problems and extremely unlikely to enforce international law with anything more than strong-worded speeches, many around the world once again see military power as the best solution to their problems.
But how do we assess military might? By the number of active troops, military spending, or the amount of equipment? In fact, the task of giving an overall assessment of country’s military power is much more difficult than you might think. It is not easy to determine the most powerful army in the world: researchers should consider all aspects that affect military straight, including geographical, political, diplomatic, and financial features of every country.
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The idea of nuclear deterrence had deteriorated significantly when it turned out that Cold War-style “salami” tactics work even better than imagined by strategists of the past. In effect, any nuclear power is now free to attack and annex territory from any non-nuclear power, unless said country has conventional forces to defend itself. That is why top-lists like this one by Credit Suisse make sense. So, here are five nations with the most powerful armies on Earth.