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Although technological warfare is increasingly becoming a reality (especially as space warfare has already begun), armed conflicts involving infantry and vehicles remain—sadly—a constant in various parts of the world. These units are responsible for battles, and although technological superiority is an issue to be taken into account, military strength in the number of units should also be taken into account.

In this chart prepared by Visual Capitalist, we can see the forces of the 10 countries with the highest number of military personnel. There are surprising data and other data that allow us to see what a war like the one Russia and Ukraine are fighting means.

army table

Neither China nor the USA. When we think of the army, we can think of a country that has invested 916 billion at the top of the list. This country is the United States, but interestingly they do not have the largest military, although their military investments are significant and grossly the largest in the world. That “honour” goes to Vietnam, which has 5.5 to 5.8 million troops. While India ranks second with 5.1 million soldiers, South Korea will rank third with 3.6 to 3.8 million soldiers.

It is clear that China is a military power that has invested a lot in recent years, and in the chart we see it with 3.2 million soldiers. Ukraine would come next with 2.2 million, while the USA would close this group with 2.1 million and North Korea with 2 million. Now the numbers are… complicated.

Add force. The chart shows total active personnel, which includes both fixed and reserve forces and paramilitary groups. This is where the data becomes confusing and will depend on the source referenced. For example, the chart is prepared taking into account Globalfirepower forecasts, but when we look at other sources, the International Institute for Strategic Studies comes across.

Both generally agree in their predictions, but if we take cases such as the two Koreas, the accounts do not agree. They rank third and eighth on the globalfirepower list, but if we take into account IISS data, they are the first and second power with 7.5 million units for North Korea and 6.6 million units for South Korea. Reason? 5.7 million are considered paramilitary for North Korea and 3 million for South Korea. Otherwise the two databases will conflict. More or less.

wartime. Even so, in most cases this is a simple guess because it is really difficult to know from the outside how much power a country has. There are more transparent cases than others regarding reserve and paramilitary forces, but it should also be taken into account whether these countries are in a state of open conflict.

An example of this difficulty in measuring data is Ukraine. Not counting reserves, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed in December that 600,000 soldiers were fighting on the front. A few weeks later, he said there were 880,000 active troops in January. This figure is similar to Globalfirepower’s 900,000 assets. By comparison, there were approximately 170,000 soldiers in 2016.

Another issue is military expenditures. On the other hand, we have a budget regardless of the number of our soldiers. There is no debate here, and the USA is by far the leader in the military spending chart.

thousands of millions

world percentage

United States of America












Saudi Arabia



United Kingdom















South Korea














Contributing to 19% in ‘Other’

2023 is a year in which military spending exceeds $2.4 trillion (ours). Last year this figure was 2.2 billion. 37 percent of worldwide military expenditures were made by the USA, 12 percent by China and 4.5 percent by Russia. And as we said before, caste increases in times of war.

Russia increased its military spending by 24% in 2023, accounting for 5.9% of GDP. Ukraine increased this figure by 51%, reaching 37% of GDP.

New Cold War? At the beginning of last year, analysts were commenting that military spending was at a level not seen since the end of the Cold War and that there was a huge increase in the military budgets of Eastern European countries. Some have doubled their spending since 2014, but in other countries we are seeing increased military spending. In Asia, alongside China, there is Japan, which has significantly increased its military budget and is now seen by some analysts as the country responsible for maritime security in a region where China has its sights set on Taiwan. other regions.

Considering the number of conflicts currently active and the technological Cold War as such, it’s clear that the picture in 2025 may not be much different from recent years.

in Xataka | One hundred million dead plan: This is what Japan aimed to resist in World War II

Source: Xatak Android



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