Who Has the Best Military in the World?

Army soldiers in training.
Army soldiers in training.

The military is also known as the armed forces and consist of the Navy, Army, and the Air Force. The three forces are commissioned to use deadly weapons and force if need be for the purpose of supporting and protecting the country's interests together with ensuring the safety of its citizens. The military's primary objective is to defend the state and all of its citizens together with executing war against another country. The military can perform other duties including offering emergency services, protecting critical areas, internal population control, promoting political agendas and more. The soldiers in an army are an essential element of the strength of a country's military. However, the truth is that the strength of a country's military is a combination of several areas. The most powerful army in the world is characterized by the following key factors, the military's budget, the number of fighter jets, the country's nuclear capability, and skilled pilots in use.

Who Has the Best Military in the World?


A nation's military strength is measured by the Military Strength Indicator which was introduced by Credit Suisse. There are certain factors that are taken into consideration when measuring the military strength of a country. The factors include aircraft carriers accounting for 25%, submarines also accounting for 25%, aircraft accounting for 20%, attack helicopters accounting for 15%, tanks accounting for 10% and active personnel in Army accounting for 5%. Despite reduced cuts and a decrement in army size, the United States has managed to dominate as the best military nation in the world. While the United States might be far ahead on the list as the military superpower, China and Russia are the closest adversaries, and together they make the top three powerful militaries in the world.

The Top Three

The United States of America

The United States is the ultimate military superpower with a defence budget of $601 billion. Despite having budget costs and size reduction, the US still spends more money on their military budget than the ten next best militaries that follow. The nation's military advantage is the 19 aircraft carriers which are way more than the 12 operated by the rest of the world put together. The US also has by far the most aircraft compared to any other country with powerful technology, well-trained soldiers, and the largest supply of nuclear weapons in the world.


The People's Republic of China is the second best military in the world with a defense budget of $216 billion. Over the years, the military strength of China has rapidly grown in both size and capability. Regarding soldiers, China is the largest military in the world and the second largest in both submarine and tank fleet behind the US and Russia respectively. China has been developing cutting edge military technology together with modernizing military programs.


The Russian armed forces have the third best military in the world with a defense budget of $85 billion. Russia has not only the largest tank fleet in the world but also the second largest aircraft fleet behind the United States and the third largest submarine fleet behind the United States and China. The military force of Russia has increased since the year 2008 by almost one third and is projected to grow by a 44% in the coming years.

Assessing Military Strength

Determining a county’s military power can be difficult but some of the factors considered include the geographical location, reliance on natural resources, arsenal strength, military budget, and current economic strength. Presently, political or military leadership and nuclear capability are not taken into consideration.

Who Has the Best Military in the World?

RankCountryBudget (USD Billions)
1United States601
5South Korea62
6United Kingdom61

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