In four corners of the world, countries globally strengthen each year the budget dedicated to the army. Most of the time, the strengthening of the military force in a country is done to consolidate their leadership on the international scene. This strategy has been applied in recent years by the richest countries globally, such as France, the United States and China.
“Who wants peace, prepare for war”, this quote by Jules César reflects very clearly what is happening in the world today. When we look more closely at the amounts spent on armed forces, research on new technologies or defence, countries are more than prepared. Here are the 7 countries with the most powerful armies in the world in 2020.
Although France remains an important economic power globally, its military power has declined in recent years. Unfortunately, like most European countries, the French army is experiencing a decline in the number of volunteers wishing to join the army. Indeed, the country has only 270,000 soldiers in its ranks. Despite this, its military budget remains substantial, with $41 billion invested in its armed forces. It also has 1 aircraft carrier, 3 helicopter carriers, 528 tanks and 290 nuclear warheads. In addition, France is a strong ally within NATO and the United Nations.
6. South Korea
South Korea has often found itself in discomfort in recent years, oppressed by two important threats. On the one hand, North Korea, which is on its border and can at any moment unleash an unexpected attack. On the other hand, China is carrying out military manoeuvres near the Korean coast. That is why South Korea decided to strengthen its army, especially at the country’s different borders. The country now has nearly 3 million reservists, 640,000 soldiers and 15,000 tanks and rocket launchers. Its defence budget is $44 billion in 2020, which allow to deployed nearly 14,000 air vehicles. From a naval perspective, the country has 22 submarines and 12 corvettes.
Japan is a historical enemy of China, and it fears the significant military development of Chinese. To try to stand up to them, the rising sun’s country deploys itself through a military budget of 50 billion dollars. The country has 300,000 troops, 1,000 tanks, 1,600 aircraft and 130 warships. Despite the Chinese army’s numerical superiority, Japan remains a serious military power of the Asian continent.
Over the past 10 years, India has reshaped and modernized its troops, including its infantry, which places the country in the top five of the world’s largest military powers. With a military budget of 61 billion euros, India was for a time the largest importer of weapons in the world. The soldiers engaged in the Indian army are 3.5 million, accompanied by 16,000 land vehicles, 3,000 tanks and 1 aircraft carrier. From a maritime point of view, its armed forces are concentrated on 16 submarines and 19 corvettes. Important point: India has nuclear weapons.
China has always been impressive from a military point of view because of the large number of soldiers it has in its ranks. China, since the 1990s, has adapted to western defence policies. This is also to better analyze the opposing military techniques, which made all the Chinese force. China has around 4 million soldiers, the largest troop in the world. The country would have invested $237 billion in defence, which enabled it to develop 1,232 combat aircraft, 777 military ships including 3 aircraft carriers, 2 assault helicopter carriers, 52 frigates, 50 corvettes and 74 submarines. The country also has 300 nuclear warheads that can be launched from 180 different methods.
Russia is a formidable military power that is very close behind the United States despite a military budget equivalent to that of Japan of only 50 billion dollars. But if Russia prioritizes its military forces today, it is to “counterbalance” the Western hegemony that its rival the United States tries to install on the impressionable territories. The country has 3 million soldiers, 600 warships, 900 aircraft, 2 helicopter carriers and 1 aircraft carrier. But perhaps the most impressive remains the 8,500 nuclear warheads that Russia holds.
1. United States of America
Since the Second World War, the United States has been the world’s leading military power, based on its military investments over the past 50 years. But will it last? With the overproduction of military troops in China, the United States could have a major competitor in the coming years. In 2020, the military budget of the world’s leading power was estimated at 750 billion dollars, and as a result, the United States has the largest military arsenal invested on the globe. The country has 2.3 million soldiers and is the world leader in aeronautics with 5,768 helicopters, 2,000 fighter aircraft and 11 aircraft carriers at its disposal. Of course, the United States also has 7,500 nuclear warheads.
But what role would all these countries play if World War III broke out? That’s the question we asked ourselves, and we tried to answer with this podcast.