One might be surprised at the list of the top ten largest armies in the world – 2013. Reason being is that over half of them are Muslim or have large Muslim members. This is interesting in itself but there are other things that aren’t so surprising as one will see while going over this list. It may be debatable as to why these countries have such large military personnel and the answers most commonly are that it’s the only occupation available or forced conscription. In some countries military service is mandatory and the countries themselves proportion vast amounts of their GDP to keep their military active.
Some countries like North Korea forgo the care of their public’s well being just to have a large military presence. Some countries like the United States have voluntary armies that pay well with great benefits to the point they have to turn some people away. All in all the size of the army doesn’t by any means qualify their effectiveness in combat, only that there are large numbers of personnel that can be called to at the ready for anything from war to rescue or just maintaining civil obedience.
Egypt needs a large military force as it’s been in constant disputes for decades. Their military performs a number of functions, not just warfare. They provide for rescue and civil unrest, police matters such as catching criminals and other anti-crime endeavors and even help out during harvest times. Egypt has a long tradition going back thousands of years regarding its military history and today’s Egyptian army is up against new problems such as political unrest and terrorism.
Turkey like Egypt has thousands of years of military history and with a present day military population of just over 400,000 it is still something to be reckoned with in regard to combat troops. It doesn’t have the super high tech arsenals of other countries but it has enough thanks to the United States and its allies who view Turkey as an ally in the wars against terrorism. This allegiance with the U.S., has caused conflicts with other Muslim countries who feel Turkey should side with them not the U.S..
Iran is at number eight with a military presence of just over 700,000. Having had a devastating war with Iraq in the 1980s, Iran held its own and some say their perseverance is what kept them going. The Iranian military has some high tech equipment that their oil money can buy from China and Russia but they’re still no match for the United States. However, should war break out in that region Iran would still be able to make a good show of itself.
Iraq’s army is now made up of unfortunately many of the same personnel that served under the late dictator Saddam Hussein. They had moderately high tech weapons when the United States invaded during the last decade but their infrastructure was catastrophic and their military fell easily. At present their military numbers just over 750,000 members who now have materiel issued by the U.S.. Make no mistake, Iraq’s new army is well supplied and manned.
With about 500,000 plus to 570,000 active members, Pakistan has a well manned army. Often in conflict with their neighbors they’ve engaged in cooperative actions as well with the international community. They’re rugged soldiers who can go through more than most in multiple terrains.
5- North Korea
North Korea’s military is gigantic with over 9.5 million members but don’t let that number fool you, just about everyone is automatically considered military there and in reality only about a little over 1 million personnel are truly active. That size overwhelms their country’s GDP to the point that the general population of the country continues to suffer from poverty. North Korea’s government sees a large army as a sign of power and pride but there is no real threat to the North Koreans save that they imagine and try to provoke.
Still a power to be reckoned with, Russia at one time had the largest army in the world. After the fall of the Soviet Union the army lost members but still has enough to be reckoned with. Reorganization took place and resources toward more high tech weapons and mindsets allowed for Russia to not lose too much steam but it did fall behind the United States technologically. Economics have also come into play as Russia has to handle the effects of the global economy and are creating a leaner military. Like other countries the military is a major employer and its presence means an inflow into the local markets.
With over 1.1 million standing military personnel, India is the third largest military in the world. India’s overall population has swelled by orders of magnitude over the years and with their fighting with Pakistan they’ve had to come up with new weapons and new skills to keep the wolves off the door. India has some of the brightest minds in engineering and with the latest technologies at their disposal they may well rise to superpower status in the not too distant future.
2- United States
The most technologically powerful country in the world, the United States of America is the only true superpower on the planet at the moment. It’s use of advanced technologies is second to none and no one knows for sure how advanced its military is. It has come to the point that the U.S. Military may be able to wage war without ground troops however their active personnel is at around 1.1 million just about even or slightly larger than India’s. The U.S. Military performs functions of combat, rescue, civil control, and more. It is however forbidden to engage with the citizens of the U.S., unlike other countries.
It isn’t a surprise that China has the largest standing army. Weighing in at around 2.3 million members, just about everyone in China can be considered potential military as the country operates like that. Their technology is nowhere near that of the U.S.’ but their ability to have personnel mobilized on the ground is impressive. Their military also does rescue, engineering, policing, and more.
Overall, the sizes of the military personnel in these countries is impressive however doesn’t mean power by any means as with weapons so destructive existing it would be easy to dwindle these numbers down quickly. A large military presence is all that some countries focus their incomes on. Like North Korea does with its resources. Should global trouble escalate one could see these numbers double in size for each country but the effectiveness of an army is based on its leaders to marshal resources to keep those armies functioning. I hope you have liked reading our list about top 10 largest armies 2013, please share your thoughts in the comment section below.