The 20 Most Powerful Military Forces in the World

Military might varies wildly across the globe, with dozens of countries having no military whatsoever.

Global Firepower's comprehensive index of military strength measures military power based on 50 individual factors, including weapon numbers and diversity, natural resources, manpower and financial stability.

A perfect score on this index is 0.00.

Here are the 20 most powerful military forces in the world, according to the index...

20. Israel, Score: 0.35

Israel Tank
Israel has mandatory military service for all over 18s Nancy Anderson/Getty Images

Israel citizens are conscripted into mandatory service once they turn 18. Citizens have to serve three years in the military if they are men and two years if they are women.

Israel's full score on this index is 0.3464. The country has a total of 643,000 military personnel, with 170,000 of those being in active service. It has a budget of $16.6 billion.

19. Australia, Score: 0.34

Australia's manpower is smaller than Israel's, it has 80,000 military personnel, 60,000 of which are active. However, it does boast 59 tanks and a budget of $42.7 billion.

18. Spain, Score: 0.33

Spain Military
Spain has a budget of over $12 billion Cunaplus_M.Faba/Getty Images

Spain has a total military personnel of 216,000, more than half (125,000) of which are in active service.

The European country has more tanks than Australia at 327, but a lower budget of $12.08 billion.

17. Saudi Arabia, Score: 0.32

Saudi Arabia has a full score of 0.3231. The total manpower of the Saudi military is 505,000 people, 480,000 of which are in active service.

Saudi Arabia has 1,062 tanks and a military budget of $48.5 billion.

16. Indonesia, Score: 0.27

Indonesia Military
Indonesia has 332 tanks ADEK BERRY / Contributor/Getty Images

Indonesia has a full score of 0.2684, scoring a lot higher than the previous countries on this list.

This is due, in part, to its manpower; Indonesia has 1.08 million people in its military, 400,000 of which are active. The nation has 332 tanks and a budget of $9.2 billion.

15. Germany, Score: 0.25

With a full score of 0.2519, Germany comes in at number 15 on this list. With 215,000 military personnel, and 185,000 of them active, Germany might not have the most boots on the ground.

However, it makes up for it with its budget, which is $57.4 billion. In addition to that, it has 244 tanks at its disposal.

14. Iran, Score: 0.25

Iran Military
Iran has over 3,000 tanks AFP/Getty Images

As Iran has a full score of 0.2511, coming in slightly above Germany. Iran has a mandatory military service of two years.

It has a total of 1,925,000 people in its military, 525,000 of which were active. It has 3,709 tanks, and a budget of $14.1 billion.

13. Egypt, Score: 0.22

Egypt has a full score of 0.2216 and has a lot of manpower with 1,330,000 personnel in its military. A total of 450,000 of these are active.

Egypt has 3,735 tanks and a budget of $10 billion.

12. Italy, Score: 0.21

italy Military
The Italian Military helped out during the COVID-19 crisis MIGUEL MEDINA / Contributor/Getty Images

Italy scores a total of 0.2127 on this index and has 371,000 personnel in its military. Of these, 175,000 are in active service.

Italy has 200 tanks and a budget of $30.47 billion.

11. Turkey, Score: 0.21

As Turkey has a full score of 0.2109 it just beats Italy to number 11 on this list.

It has 895,000 people in its military, with 355,000 active personnel. Turkey has 3,045 tanks and a budget of $17.3 billion.

10. Pakistan, Score: 0.21

Pakistan Military
Soldiers take part in a drill on the eve of Pakistan's Defence Day, which marks the anniversary of the country's second war with India between August and September 1965 with both sides claiming victory after it ended in a stalemate, in Peshawar on September 5, 2019. ABDUL MAJEED / Contributor/Getty Images

With a full score of 0.2073, Pakistan comes in at number 10. It has a total military personnel of 1.7 million people, with 654,000 in active service.

The Pakistani military has 2,680 tanks and a budget of $12.3 billion per year.

9. Brazil, Score: 0.20

Brazil has a full score of 0.2026, making it one of the top 10 military powers in the world.

Brazil has 2 million people in its military, with 334,500 of those in active service. It has a budget of $29.3 billion and has 439 tanks at its disposal.

8. United Kingdom, Score: 0.19

UK Military
The UK has a large military budget ikholwadia/Getty Images

The United Kingdom has a full score of 0.1997 and so comes just above Brazil in terms of military might.

The U.K. has 275,000 people in its military, with 195,000 of those in active service. It has a defense budget of $56 billion and has 109 tanks in its forces.

7. France, Score: 0.17

France comes way above the previous entries to this list with a full score of 0.1681.

France has 450,000 people in its military, with 270,000 in active service.

Its military has 406 tanks at its disposal and a total budget of $47.7 billion dollars.

6. South Korea, Score: 0.16

South Korea
South Korea has 6.7 million people in its military Im Yeongsik/Getty Images

South Korea has a full score of 0.1612 and has an incredible 6.7 million people in their military—that's 12.9% of their population.

Those in active service is much lower at 600,000. South Korea has 2,600 tanks at its disposal and a budget of $48 billion.

5. Japan, Score: 0.16

With a full score of 0.1599, Japan makes it into the top 5.

The nation has 319,000 people in its military, 250,000 of which are in active service.

Japan has 1,004 tanks at its disposal and a budget of $51.7 billion.

4. India, Score: 0.12

India has a full score of 0.1207 on this index—and it is easy to see why.

The Indian military involves 5.1 million people, with 1.4 million in active service. Although, it should be noted that its total military size is only 0.4 percent of its total population.

India has 4,730 tanks and has an incredible defense budget of $73.6 billion.

3. China, Score: 0.09

China Military
China has 3.3 million people in its military Anthony SEJOURNE/Getty Images

China has a full score of 0.0854 on this index and is the first nation to score under 0.1.

China has 3.4 million people in its military with 2.1 million of those being in active service. It's worth noting that that large number is only 0.2 percent of its total population.

Even so, China has 3,205 tanks at its disposal and a defense budget of $178 billion.

2. Russia, Score: 0.08

With a full score of 0.0791, Russia comes in second on the list. It has a total of 3.5 million people in its military, about 1 million of which are in active service.

Russia has access to an incredible 13,000 tanks and a defense budget of $42 billion.

1. United States, Score: 0.07

US Military
The US has the largest military budget in the world Smederevac/Getty Images

America has the most powerful military on the planet, according to the index, with a full score of 0.0718.

The U.S. has 2.2 million people in its military services, with 1.4 million of those in active service.

America has 6,100 tanks at its disposal—far less than Russia—but has, by far, the largest defense budget in the world, an eye-watering $740 billion.