The world’s strongest militaries
Despite budget cuts and a reduction in size, the US has maintained its position as the world’s strongest military, according to a report on globalization from Credit Suisse.
While the US is still far and away the world’s top military superpower, Russia and China are its closest rivals. Canada, however, is the weakest of the twenty countries on the list.
Credit Suisse acknowledged the difficulties of determining comparative military strength in its report. To provide a benchmark, the report assigns weighted values for six variables before tabulating a final score.
The factors under consideration for military strength and their total weights are: number of active personnel (5% of total score), tanks (10%), attack helicopters (15%), aircraft (20%), aircraft carriers (25%), and submarines (25%).
The ranking defines military might in purely quantitative terms and does not account for the actual quality of the arms and training that the militaries may have. As such, the placement of some countries on the list may come as a surprise.
Budget: $18.2 billion
Active frontline personnel: 410,500
Total aircraft: 1,020
Turkey’s armed forces are one of the largest in the eastern Mediterranean. Although lacking an aircraft carrier, only five countries on Credit Suisse’s list have more submarines than Turkey.
In addition, the country can lay claim to an impressively large tank fleet as well as numerous aircraft and attack helicopters.
Turkey is also a committed member of the F-35 program.
9) United Kingdom
Budget: $60.5 billion
Active frontline personnel: 146,980
Total aircraft: 936
Although the UK is planning to reduce the size of its armed forces by 20% between 2010 and 2018, it can count on being able to project its power around the world.
The Royal Navy is planning to put the HMS Queen Elizabeth, an aircraft carrier that has a flight deck measuring at 4.5 acres, into service in 2020, carrying 40 F-35B joint strike fighters across the globe.