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Most Hazardous: 5 Top World’s Powerful Armies

Most Hazardous: 5 Top World’s Powerful Armies

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.

In the latest report titled “The End of Globalization or a more Multipolar World?” published by the Switzerland-based multinational financial services company Credit Suisse, the researchers put together a list of the twenty most powerful armies in the world. Credit Suisse acknowledged the difficulties of determining comparative military strength in the report, so before tabulating the final score, it was decided to base it on six variables: the number of active personnel, aircraft, aircraft carriers, tanks, submarines, and attack helicopters The ranking does not account for the quality of the training or the availability of advanced military technologies. Credit Suisse experts mention that currently, armed forces are not the only mark of the state’s military power. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Yearbook 2015, Russia and the United States possess 90 percent of the world’s nuclear stockpile.

At the same time, according to the CIA World Factbook, there are several countries—23, to be exact—that do not have regular military forces at all. These countries are mostly small island nations that traditionally were not a subject to invasion. For many of them, not having an army is a source of national pride. There are also some countries in the list that once had military and then gave it up.

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.


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