Men in Arms, Globally

Assessing the size of militaries around the globe.

March 30, 2014

PLA 1st Amphibious Mechanized Infantry Division, July 2011. (Credit: U.S. Dept. of Defense via Wikimedia

1. Only three NATO countries have a military comprising more than 200,000 troops.

2. The country with the largest military is the United States, with 1.52 million troops

3. NATO members’ next two largest militaries are Turkey (511,000) and France (229,000), ranking second and third, respectively.

4. In comparison, the militaries of China and India have 2.29 million and 1.33 million troops, respectively.

5. Russia’s military currently consists of about 845,000 troops.

6. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s troop strength of about 130,000 troops is roughly a sixth of Russia’s.

7. In the United Kingdom, the army — by far the largest component of the military — is planning to shrink to just 82,000 by 2018, the lowest level since the Battle of Waterloo (which occurred in 1815).

Data credit: International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

 

 

Takeaways

Only 3 NATO countries have a military comprising more than 200,000 troops.

The 3 largest NATO militaries are the US, Turkey and France.

The UK currently plans to shrink its army to 1815/Waterloo levels by 2018.

Ukraine's troop strength of about 130,000 troops is roughly a sixth of Russia's.