Top 10 Military Super Powers In The World

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10. Japan

Japan increased its defense spending for the first time in 11 years in response to growing disputes with China. It has also started its first military expansion in over 40 years by placing a new military base on its outer islands. Japan spends $49.1 billion on defense, the sixth most in the world.

Japan's military is fairly well-equipped. It currently has 247,000 active personnel with an additional 57,900 in reserve. Japan also has 1,595 aircraft, the world's fifth largest air force, and 131 ships. Japan's military is limited by a peace clause in the constitution that makes it illegal for the country to have an offensive army. It is also part of Top 10 Military Super Powers In The World.

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9. South Korea

South Korea has been increasing its defense spending due to both the increasing armament of Japan and China, and the constant threat from North Korea. South Korea spends $34 billion on defense.

South Korea has a relatively large military force for its small size. It has 640,000 active personnel with an additional 2,900,000 personnel in the reserves. South Korea also has 2,346 tanks and 1,393 aircraft. The South Korean military is generally well-trained and routinely takes part in military exercise with the United States. South Korea's air force is also the sixth largest in the world.

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8. Turkey

Turkish military spending is expected to rise 9.4% in 2014 over the 2013 budget. The ongoing conflict in Syria and possible clashes with the Kurdish separatist organization, the PKK, were key reasons for the spending increase. Turkey's defense budget stands at $18.2 billion.

The NATO member has contributed soldiers to various initiatives around the world. The Turkish military took part in operations in Afghanistan, as well as in peacekeeping operations in the Balkans. Turkey also maintains a large military force in Northern Cyprus.

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7. Germany

German military strength falls short of its economic strength on the world stage. Recently, Germany has started considering offering military support to eastern European NATO members. It has also considered a more active international role militarily. Germany spends $45 billion on its military annually, making it the eighth largest spender in the world.

Following the aftermath of World War II, the German population generally became anti-war. Although no laws limit the size of the German military, there is a general lack of interest in serving in the military. Germany only has 183,000 active frontline personnel with an additional 145,000 members in the reserves, and Germany eliminated mandatory service in 2011.

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6. France

French soldiers stand on a street during a patrol ahead of Sunday's presidential election in Timbuktu, July 25, 2013.
France effectively froze its military spending in 2013 while cutting 10% of its defense jobs in an effort to save money for purchasing high-tech equipment. The country spends $43 billion a year on defense, which is 1.9% of its GDP, below the spending target set by NATO for member countries.

Despite a leveling off of its military budget, France is still highly capable of projecting force around the globe, with significant deployments in the Central African Republic, Chad, Mali, Senegal and elsewhere around the world. so France is also part of Top 10 Military Super Powers In The World.

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5. The United Kingdom

British Army Corporal Birendra Limbu of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles, shows his rifle to Afghan children as he secures an area near an Afghan National Police (ANP) checkpoint outside the town of Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, July 13, 2011.
The U.K. is planning on reducing the size of its armed forces by 20% between 2010 and 2018, with smaller cuts to the Royal Navy and RAF. The defense budget stands at $54 billion.

Despite scaling back, the U.K. counts on being able to project its power around the world. The Royal Navy is planning on putting the HMS Queen Elizabeth , an aircraft carrier that has a flight deck measuring at 4.5 acres, into service in 2020. The Queen Elizabeth is planned to carry 40 F-35B joint strike fighters around the world. Thanks to superior training and equipment, Britain could still hold an advantage over emerging powers like China, according to a leading think tank.

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4. India

India's defense spending is expected to rise as it pursues a modernization drive. Currently, it is estimated that India only spends $46 billion on its budget, and it is slated to become the fourth highest spender by 2020. It is already the world's largest importer of military goods.

India has ballistic missiles with a range capable of hitting all of Pakistan or most of China. Indian military strategy has been dominated by its long-simmering conflict with Pakistan, although there have also been minor wars between China and India in the past.

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3. China

China has embarked upon a relentless policy of massive military spending, with a 12.2% increase in spending over the past year. China's defense budget stands at $126 billion but could unofficially be higher, prompting concern across Asia as China attempts to project its power to settle border disputes with Japan and the Philippines.

The size of the Chinese army is staggering, with 2,285,000 active frontline personnel with an additional 2,300,000 in the reserves. China also has a history of successfully stealing sensitive military technology, such as recently acquiring sensitive information about the new F-35.

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2. Russia

Two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia's military is growing again. The Kremlin's military spending has increased by almost a third since 2008 and is expected to grow 44% more in the next three years. Today, the Russian defense budget stands at $76.6 billion.
Russia currently has 766,000 active frontline personnel with a reserve force of 2,485,000 personnel. These troops are backed up by 15,500 tanks, the largest tank force in the world. Russian soldiers generally receive relatively mediocre training, however, and their equipment, like that tank force, is aging.

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1. The United States

The U.S. defense budget is $612 billion. Despite sequestration and other spending cuts, the United States spends more money on defense than the next ten highest spending countries combined.

America's biggest conventional military advantage is its fleet of 19 aircraft carriers , compared to 12 carriers operated by the rest of the world combined. These massive carriers allow the U.S. to set up forward operating bases anywhere and project power throughout the world.

The super power also has by far the most aircraft of any country, cutting-edge technology like the Navy's new rail gun , a large and well-trained human force - and that's not even counting the world's largest nuclear arsenal.