“The army is true nobility of our country….”-Napoleon Bonaparte
True to his wisdom, the man who turned the course of mankind in the world was also of the noble view that army is the determining factor of any country’s strength. The world is running a horrendous arms race. Every country wants to excel in its arms content but it is the army which would determine the fate in any crisis. Let us take an account of the largest armed forces in the world.
1. China (2,250,000)
Called “People’s Liberation Army” or simply The Chinese Army, it perhaps takes some inspiration from its growing population and therefore unsurprisingly it is the largest armed forces in the world. Currently it recruits 0.18 % of its population with a total of 2250000 personnel on its roll. It is made up of 5 branches- a) PLA Ground Force b) PLA Naval Force c) PLA Air force d) PLA Reserve Force e) Second Artillery Corps. It was established on 1st August 1947 during Nanchang Uprising and its logo also represents Chinese Characters “Eight One”. It recruits people from age group of 18 to 49. Though it’s mandatory for civilians to go for military service once in their lifetime but people usually render their service voluntarily. Chinese government spends 2% of its GDP nearly 166 billion$ on managing this mammoth army which is said to be equipped with 4000 Fighter Jets, 8500 Surface tanks and 61 submarines.
2. United States of America (1,447,900)
Bearing the motto “This We’ll Defend”, it’s is considered to be one of the oldest armed forces in the world. Dating back to June 14, 1775 when American Revolutionary War was at its helm US Army came into existence. It was officially created on June 3, 1784.It has got nearly 1105000 personnel (Active Personnel and Reserve Guard Personnel). US Government has invested a lot in the past to make it the most equipped defense force in the world. Currently it has allocated whopping 682 billion$ which is 4.4 % of its GDP and nearly 39% of the world’s defense investment. It possesses 1330 rocket projectors, 8400 tanks and 2000 self propelled guns. It is considered to be the mightiest armed force in the world which has demonstrated its valor in Iraq and Afghanistan.
3. India (1,350,000)
India bagged the title of largest importer of arms in the year 2012. Its annual expenditure is 2.5% of GDP which amounts to 47 Billion $. It was founded on 15th August 1947 just after its Independence from Britishers. Its motto “Service Before Self” describes the dedication aptly. Since its inception army has encountered every threat be it internal or external with heavy hand. It is very well equipped with cruise and ballistic missiles which can test any opposition’s patience to its fullest. Indian Army is one of the most honored defense forces in the world for its courage and intelligence and holds the position of the third largest armed forces in the world.
4. Russia (1,200,000)
It was founded after the disintegration of Soviet Union on 7th May 1992. It is headed by Supreme Commander in Chief who is the President of Russia. It has got 6 branches a) Ground Forces b) Navy c) Air Force d) Missile Troops e) Airborne Troops f) Aerospace Defense Forces. Its annual expenditure stood 90.7 billion $ which is 4.4 % of GDP and 3rd in the world. It recruits civilians from 18-27 with a conscription of 12 months. In 2007, it successfully tested “Father Of All Bombs” Fuel-Air Explosive. It is equipped with 11000 armored vehicles, 2700 self propelled guns and 2200 towed artillery pieces.
5. North Korea (1,106,000)
As per the records Korean People’s Army or commonly known as “People’s Army” had 1106000 personals in 2011 making it the fifth largest armed force. It was established on April 25,1932 and has got five divisions a) Ground Force b) Navy c) Air Force d)Strategic Rocket Forces e) Special Operation Force. As per records it has 9495000 personals (active, reserve and paramilitary) which counts to 40% of its population. Its age group varies from 20 to 45. The Korean Government Spends 10 Billion $ which is 25 % of GDP. It is armored with 1600 rocket projectors, 3500 towed artillery pieces, 5400 tanks and 2580 armored fighting projectors. The government made it mandatory for its citizens to take up military forces for 10 years. This surprising entry finally makes it to the fifth largest armed forces in the world.