What are the world’s most powerful militaries? Well, some believe that a good way of testing a nation’s power is to look at their military. And although there are many ways a country can hold power and influence without having great military might, having a strong military can bring a lot of benefits. The nations with the most powerful militaries hold all the physical power on earth. Saudi Arabia would be an example of a powerful nation with a relatively weak armed forces. Japan didn’t have a military until recently and has long been considered a powerful nation, but recently reintroduced a Japanese military in response to Chinese expansion. Economic power means nothing if you aren’t able to defend your borders, and some countries use their militaries for much more than simply defending themselves. Here are the 10 most powerful militaries in the world.



The Italian military was founded in 1861 to defend the recently born country of Italy. Their existence was strongly opposed by their neighboring Austrians, and the Italians grew to dream of building a colonial empire of their own. So clearly a strong military was needed. And their military is still strong today, often taking part in operations all over the world. They possess over 700 aircraft and two aircraft carriers, which are very costly to maintain. They have almost 350 thousand active soldiers too. Historically, the Italian military has been considered a complete joke compared to other European militaties, but the modern manifestation is quite different.



Vietnam might not come to mind when people mention the most powerful militaries in the world. But Vietnam has all the reasons in the world to build a strong military. They share a border with China, a country who attempted to invade Vietnam not too long ago. Also let’s not forget the Vietnam war. In order to deter future invasions, Vietnam requires military service of young men, which is why they have a 3 million strong reserve force. Five percent of the nation’s budget is spent on the military. It’s more of a defensive force than anything else, being perfectly suited for the jungles of south-east Asia. You have to remember that the Vietnamese military has already defeated the American and Chinese militaries, both ranked higher on this list.



The Turkish military is the second largest military in NATO, only smaller than America’s. Few countries have a military history as strong as Turkey, traditionally facing threat from both Europe and the Middle-East. But the Turkish military rapidly modernized since joining NATO after the second world war. Ninety nuclear bombs owned by NATO are stored in Turkey, but are only to be used with NATO consent. The Turkish military also possesses 13 submarines, a thousand tanks, and almost 4 thousand tanks. Turkey is an important nation when it comes to military strategy. They share borders with Syria and Iraq, which aren’t considered stable countries, especially while ISIS is around.



The German military is more powerful than you might think. In fact, a lot of people assume Germany doesn’t even have a military because of it’s recent history – but they have a strong and modern armed forces. It’s the second largest European military, and among the best funded with a budget of over 34 billion Euros. The German government has been understandably reluctant to become involved with military engagements, but have recently become involved in more. It seems like we’re moving into a new era where German guilt will no longer hinder the military expansion within the country.



People of the Anglosphere often make jokes at the expense of the French military but we probably shouldn’t. Their armed forces are easily among most powerful militaries in Europe, being noted for their modern equipment and training. It’s smaller than most other militaries on this list, but it’s effectiveness makes up for that. The most notorious branch of the French military is the French foreign legion. This branch was created for people from other nations to join. They serve the foreign legion typically for about ten years, and are then given French citizenship and receive a new identity. It’s actually thought that a lot of Nazis joined the foreign legion after the war as a way of earning a new life for themselves. The legion train in the tough deserts of North-Africa and undergo some of the most intense programs.



The British militart has long been one of the most powerful militaries in the world. It was once the dominant naval force, allowing the Empire to become the largest ever built. Today there is no Empire, but the British military remains one of the most well funded and well trained forces in the world. The navy and air force are probably the best in Europe, and Great Britain is a nuclear capable state. Nuclear missiles are constantly kept on roaming submarines so that the countries nuclear arsenal is always ready for war. Britain needs a strong military to protect her overseas territories like the Falkland islands and Gibraltar, which is why the government insists on meeting NATO spending targets.



People forget how powerful India is, because it’s technically still a developing nation. In some ways it’s a poor country, but in many others it’s an incredibly wealthy country. Their economy is larger than most and it’s one of the fastest-growing. India is the only serious Asian power rival to China, so they need a strong military. China is a dictatorship that seems to always be hungry for more territory. India also needs a strong military to compete with Pakistan as the two nations have already had 4 wars and tensions are still high. To suit their high population, they have over 1.3 million active soldiers and over 6 thousand tanks. With Indian economic and diplomatic power always growing, their military will surely improve further.



Some people would put Russia at the top of a list of the most powerful militaries due to the nations natural capacity for absolute war. But if there’s one thing Russia is good at, it’s maintaining a huge military. Russian military strength was inherited from the Soviet Union and is currently being demonstrated with their attacks against ISIS. It was also demonstrated when they invaded Georgia a few years ago. They have more tanks than anyone else, and only America have more aircraft. The only reason they are not second on this list is that China is more capable in funding their military than Russia is due to Russia’s economic woes.



China has the biggest military in the world, but it’s 2.2 million soldiers are only 0.18 percent of the nation’s population. It’s a really big country, which is one of the reasons why their economy is growing so rapidly. China is engaged in diplomatic conflicts with several other Asian nations over island disputes. The Chinese military budget is only smaller than America’s, at almost 150 billion US dollars. Being a dictatorship, I don’t think China is planning on reducing their military growth any time soon. With it’s huge industrial growth, China is able to commit to absolute war in a way no other country can.



I think the American armed forces should be number one on all lists of the most powerful militaties. The US military budget is by far the biggest in the world, currently standing at 600 billion dollars, which is 39 percent of all money spent on military worldwide. With that kind of money being spent, you’d expect the US military to be the most capable. Much of the budget goes towards maintaining the 800 military bases in foreign nations.

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