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These Countries Have the Largest Armies in the World

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These Countries Have the Largest Armies in the World

Which countries have the largest armies on Earth? The best defense is often a good offense, and nothing screams offense like a suitably large military. Today’s list looks at the biggest military forces on the planet.

#20: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has one of the largest armies in the Middle East.
  • Active Personnel: 257,000
  • Reserve Personnel: 0
  • Total Armed Forces: 257,000

#19: Colombia

Colombia’s one of the largest armies in South America today.
  • Active Personnel: 293,200
  • Reserve Personnel: 35,000
  • Total Armed Forces: 328,200

#18: Sri Lanka

Surprisingly, Sri Lanka has one of the largest armies in the world.
  • Active Personnel: 346,000
  • Reserve Personnel: 90,000
  • Total Armed Forces: 436,000

#17: Algeria

Algeria might have one of the largest armies in the world, but it isn’t surprising given its history.
  • Active Personnel: 325,000
  • Reserve Personnel: 135,000
  • Total Armed Forces: 460,000

#16: Mexico

Mexico’s massive military also serves as law enforcement in some parts of the country.
  • Active Personnel: 412,000
  • Reserve Personnel: 98,655
  • Total Armed Forces: 510,655

#15: Thailand

Thailand has one of the largest armies in Southeast Asia, but it isn’t nearly as large as its neighbors.
  • Active Personnel: 360,850
  • Reserve Personnel: 200,000
  • Total Armed Forces: 560,850

#14: Brazil

Brazil’s military is sizable but still isn’t as big as some of its neighbors.
  • Active Personnel: 360,000
  • Reserve Personnel: 340,000
  • Total Armed Forces: 700,000

#13: Turkey

Turkey’s military presence is quite large, which is to be expected given its geographic location.
  • Active Personnel: 355,200
  • Reserve Personnel: 378,700
  • Total Armed Forces: 733,900

#12: Indonesia

Southeast Asia is home to some of the largest armies in the world, but Indonesia is nowhere near the largest.
  • Active Personnel: 400,000
  • Reserve Personnel: 400,000
  • Total Armed Forces: 800,000

#11: Egypt

Egypt might have the largest military presence in Northern Africa.
  • Active Personnel: 440,000
  • Reserve Personnel: 480,000
  • Total Armed Forces: 920,000

#10: Iran

Iran’s military is sizable but is fielding some antiquated equipment.
  • Active Personnel: 610,000
  • Reserve Personnel: 350,000
  • Total Armed Forces: 960,000

#9: Pakistan

Pakistan’s massive armies match right alongside its neighbor in India.
  • Active Personnel: 654,000
  • Reserve Personnel: 550,000
  • Total Armed Forces: 1,204,000

#8: North Korea

As you would expect with mandatory military service, North Korea has one of the largest armies in the world.
  • Active Personnel: 1,320,000
  • Reserve Personnel: 560,000
  • Total Armed Forces: 1,880,000

#7: Ukraine

Ukraine’s army is currently one of the most sizable in Europe.
  • Active Personnel: 900,000
  • Reserve Personnel: 1,200,000
  • Total Armed Forces: 2,100,000

#6: United States of America

The United States has the largest military in North America.
  • Active Personnel: 1,326,000
  • Reserve Personnel: 799,500
  • Total Armed Forces: 2,125,500

#5: China

Curiously, China has one of the smallest reserves relative to its active personnel.
  • Active Personnel: 2,035,000
  • Reserve Personnel: 510,000
  • Total Armed Forces: 2,545,000

#4: India

India’s massive military is the third largest in all of Asia.
  • Active Personnel: 1,455,550
  • Reserve Personnel: 1,155,000
  • Total Armed Forces: 2,610,550

#3: Russia

Russia’s military is the largest in all of Europe, as you might expect from the biggest country in the world.
  • Active Personnel: 1,320,000
  • Reserve Personnel: 2,000,000
  • Total Armed Forces: 3,320,000

#2: South Korea

South Korea’s sizable military is a safety check against the neighboring North Korean army.
  • Active Personnel: 600,000
  • Reserve Personnel: 3,100,000
  • Total Armed Forces: 3,700,000

#1: Vietnam

Vietnam has one of the largest armies in Asia but is bigger than any other country on the planet today.
  • Active Personnel: 600,000
  • Reserve Personnel: 5,000,000
  • Total Armed Forces: 5,600,000

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