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Countries with the Biggest Military Budget

Rich Countries
Countries with the Biggest Military Budget

As Edwin Starr once sang, “War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!” Nobody can win it and one can just wonder why it is even fought. Yet, the fact remains that countries have enemies in this world hell bent on its destruction. So the best way to counter it is to prepare for the enemy’s destruction as well.

However, weapons and armaments cost money. Here now is a list of the top 10 countries with the biggest military budget in the world today.

10. Italy – $34 billion

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Italy accounts for 1.9 percent of the military spending in the world. The amount is equivalent to 1.7 percent of its gross domestic product. The country has 183,000 active military personnel divided into the Esercito Italiano, Aeronautica Militare, and Marina Militare. It also has a fourth branch called the Carabinieri, which serves as the territorial police force. The Carabinieri has 117,943 personnel.

9. Germany – $45.8 billion

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Germany accounts for 2.6 percent of the military spending in the world. The amount is equivalent to 1.4 percent of its gross domestic product. Called the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces is considered as one of the most technogically advanced and best supplied militaries in the world. It has 185,000 active troops, divided into the Heer (Army), Marine (Navy), Luftwaffe (Air Force), Streitkraftebasis (Joint Support Service), and the Zentraler Sanitatsdienst (Central Medical Services). It also has 144,000 reserve personnel.

8. India – $46.1 billion

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India accounts for 2.6 percent of the military spending in the world. Its military spending is equivalent to 2.5 percent of its gross domestic product. Its armed forces are divided into the army, navy and air force. The coast guard, the Assam Rifles and the Special Frontier Force, support these. It also has inter-service institutions such as the Strategic Forces Command. It is the largest importer of arms in the world, securing its arms mostly from Israel, Russia, France and the United States.

7. Saudi Arabia – $56.7 billion

DESERT SHIELD

Saudi Arabia accounts for 3.2 percent of the military spending in the world. Its military spending accounts for 8.9 percent of its gross domestic product. Its armed forces are divided into the Saudi Arabian Army, the Royal Saudi Air Force, the Royal Saudi Navy, the Royal Saudi Air Defense, the Saudi Arabian National Guard, and para-military forces. It has more than 200,000 active personnel. It also has an intelligence service called the Al Mukhabarat Al A’ amah. It also has a Missiles Force and an Emergency Force.

6. France – $58.9 billion

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France accounts for 3.4 percent of the military spending in the world. Its military spending accounts for 2.3 percent of its gross domestic product. Its armed forces are divided into the Armee de Terre, Marine Nationale, Armee de l’Air, and the Gendarmerie Nationale. It currently has nearly 230,000 active personnel. It also has 97,613 reserve personnel for the three main branches, and 98,155 reserve personnel for the gendarmerie.

5. Japan – $59.3 billion

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Japan accounts for 3.4 percent of the military spending in the world. Its military spending accounts for one percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Called the Japan Self-Defense Forces, it was established after the end of the Second World War. Its service branches are divided into the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. It used to focus on confronting the Cold War threat of the Soviet Union, but in 2010, it shifted its emphasis to China because of a dispute over ownership of the Senkaku Islands. It has also recently engaged in international peacekeeping operations.

4. United Kingdom – $60.8 billion

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The United Kingdom accounts for 3.5 percent of the military spending in the world. Its military spending is equivalent to 2.5 percent of its gross domestic product. Its armed forces are officially called Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, though it is sometimes known as the Armed Forces of the Crown. Its three professional uniformed branches are the British Army, the Naval Service, and the Royal Air Force. Though the Commander-in-Chief is officially the British monarch, parliamentary consent is required to maintain the armed forces. The Prime Minister also holds the de facto authority over the use of the military.

3. Russia – $90.7 billion

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Russia accounts for 5.2 percent of the military spending in the world. Its military spending is equivalent to 4.4 percent of its gross domestic product. The armed forces were established in 1992 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Its service branches include the Russian Ground Forces, the Russian Navy, the Russian Air Force, Russian Aerospace Defence Forces, Russian Airborne Troops, and the Strategic Missile Troops. It has more than 1.4 million personnel on active duty, with a further 2.035 million in the reserves. It is also a big exporter of arms to other countries.

2. China – $166 billion

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China accounts for 9.5 percent of the military spending in the world. Its military spending is equivalent to two percent of its gross domestic product. It is officially known as the People’s Liberation Army, or PLA. It has five service branches, namely the PLA Ground Force, the PLA Navy, the PLA Air Force, the Second Artillery Corps that handles the strategic missile corps, and the PLA Reserve Force. It has 2.285 million personnel on active duty, which is equivalent to 0.59 percent of the population. It also has 800,000 reserve personnel.

1. United States – $682 billion

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The United States accounts for an astounding 39 percent of the military spending in the world. This is equivalent to 4.4 percent of its gross domestic product. Its armed forces are divided into five service branches, namely the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and the Coast Guard. The first four are under the Department of Defense, while the Coast Guard is under the Department of Homeland Security; the Coast Guard, however, may be transferred to the Navy in event of war. It has nearly 1.43 million active personnel, and nearly 851,000 reserve personnel.

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