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There was never a good war, or a bad peace.
―Benjamin Franklin

Every country is in the continuous race of upgrading their own defenses, and all want to be ready to meet any eventuality. Before we go into details, let me make it clear that this article just talks about numbers, and in no way does it reflect any country's actual capability, though that aspect has been taken into account too. Besides all the firepower, even strategy, intelligence inputs, specific situations, etc., play a significant part in determining the success or downfall of a nation during a conflict.

Being one of the world's top military takes a lot of doing, to say the least. Success is always a mix of quantity and quality, and just by numbers, success cannot be achieved. It has to be an overall mix of brawn and brain. Nevertheless, here are the world's top military powers, and the main aspects that determine their brute force.

World's Top Ten Military Powers

1. United States of America

(Rating: 9.51/10)
United States

US Army

Total Land Area: 3,794,101 sq. mi.

Annual Defense Budget: $577 billion

Military Personnel: 1,400,000

Planes & Helicopters: 22,000

Tanks & Armored Vehicles: 27,000

Naval Crafts: 225

Total Nuclear Warheads: 4,800

Active Nuclear Warheads: 2,100
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2. Russia

(Rating: 9.48/10)
Russia

Russian Army

Total Land Area: 6,592,800 sq. mi.

Annual Defense Budget: $60 billion

Military Personnel: 1,200,000

Planes & Helicopters: 5,700

Tanks & Armored Vehicles: 13,500

Naval Crafts: 280

Total Nuclear Warheads: 4,500

Active Nuclear Warheads: 1,600
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3. China

(Rating: 9.27/10)
China

Chinese Army

Total Land Area: 3,747,879 sq. mi.

Annual Defense Budget: $145 billion

Military Personnel: 2,275,000

Planes & Helicopters: 2,800

Tanks & Armored Vehicles: 26,500

Naval Crafts: 725

Total Nuclear Warheads: 250

Active Nuclear Warheads: 180
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4. India

(Rating: 9.13/10)
India

Indian Army

Total Land Area: 1,269,219 sq. mi.

Annual Defense Budget: $38 billion

Military Personnel: 1,325,000

Planes & Helicopters: 2,500

Tanks & Armored Vehicles: 6,000

Naval Crafts: 115

Total Nuclear Warheads: 110

Active Nuclear Warheads: Unknown
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5. United Kingdom

(Rating: 8.96/10)
United Kingdom

UK Army

Total Land Area: 94,060 sq. mi.

Annual Defense Budget: $51 billion

Military Personnel: 225,000

Planes & Helicopters: 1,800

Tanks & Armored Vehicles: 5,500

Naval Crafts: 75

Total Nuclear Warheads: 225

Active Nuclear Warheads: 160
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6. France

(Rating: 8.77/10)
France

French Army

Total Land Area: 260,558 sq. mi.

Annual Defense Budget: $40 billion

Military Personnel: 360,000

Planes & Helicopters: 950

Tanks & Armored Vehicles: 7,200

Naval Crafts: 100

Total Nuclear Warheads: 300

Active Nuclear Warheads: 290
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7. Germany

(Rating: 8.70/10)
Germany

German Army

Total Land Area: 137,847 sq. mi.

Annual Defense Budget: $40 billion

Military Personnel: 149,000

Planes & Helicopters: 1,400

Tanks & Armored Vehicles: 2,200

Naval Crafts: 50

Total Nuclear Warheads: NATO

Active Nuclear Warheads: NATO
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8. South Korea

(Rating: 8.70/10)
South Korea

South Korean Army

Total Land Area: 38,691 sq. mi.

Annual Defense Budget: $33 billion

Military Personnel: 650,000

Planes & Helicopters: 1,000

Tanks & Armored Vehicles: 4,900

Naval Crafts: 160

Total Nuclear Warheads: NA

Active Nuclear Warheads: NA
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9. Italy

(Rating: 8.63/10)
Italy

Italian Army

Total Land Area: 116,346 sq. mi.

Annual Defense Budget: $34 billion

Military Personnel: 290,000

Planes & Helicopters: 1,100

Tanks & Armored Vehicles: 5,400

Naval Crafts: 100

Total Nuclear Warheads: NATO

Active Nuclear Warheads: NATO
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10. Brazil

(Rating: 8.62/10)
Brazil

Brazilian Army

Total Land Area: 3,287,597 sq. mi.

Annual Defense Budget: $35 billion

Military Personnel: 371,000

Planes & Helicopters: 1,075

Tanks & Armored Vehicles: 1,900

Naval Crafts: 65

Total Nuclear Warheads: NA

Active Nuclear Warheads: NA
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The next 10 military powers in the world are Turkey (8.60), Pakistan (8.54), Israel (8.49), Egypt (8.49), Indonesia (8.48), Iran (8.44), Japan (8.42), Taiwan (8.28), Canada (8.27), and Thailand (8.21).

Related Aspects

The numbers give us an overview of the strengths and firepower of the top ten military powers of the world. Rankings take into consideration many aspects such as intelligence, actual combat experience, training, skill, back-up, movement of troops and weapons, etc. Also, numbers will not be absolutely accurate, as they keep changing regularly according to specific needs and situations. An interesting fact is that, out of all the countries in the world, Israel has a reserve army that can be mobilized into actual combat more quickly than anyone else. Just numbers are not enough, and a good example is while comparing USA and China. Though China has an army nearly twice the size of the US, the strike power of the United States is much more than that of China. This is due to many other factors that we have mentioned, like training, skill, modernized equipment, strategy, intelligence inputs, etc. All in all, it can be safely said that these are the 10 top militaries in the world, as of today.

There are also many other things that need to be taken into consideration regarding the top ten. For example, the United States indulges in combat mainly in other countries, and for the purpose of quashing terrorism, rouge armies, and peacekeeping ventures. Some countries are engaged in continuous small skirmishes with their neighbors, and are active in protecting their own borders. Nuclear weapons are also a key factor, something that has never been used since the bombing of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. God forbid, even if a war breaks out, in which multiple countries are involved, it is very unlikely that such weapons will be used, and the war(s) will be fought in the conventional ways itself. Another aspect is the type of weaponry - advanced military weapons, that a state possesses.

Getting into the top 10 military powers bracket is no mean task. Also, staying there is equally tough, as almost all countries are forever engaged in bettering themselves when it comes to their military capabilities. No one wants to be less than their immediate threat, and need to be ever-so-ready to face any unwanted situation. To summarize, a war is not something simple, and is best avoided.