Budget: $15.7 billion
Active frontline personnel: 92,000
Total aircraft: 420
Canada ended up at the bottom of the list due to the country’s small number of active personnel, its lack of aircraft carriers and attack helicopters, and its small number of tanks and submarines. However, Canada has still taken part in US operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and it is a member of the NATO military alliance.
Canada is also a partner in the US F-35 program, although it may decline the purchase of F-35s depending upon the outcome of elections in October.
Budget: $6.9 billion
Active frontline personnel: 476,000
Total aircraft: 405
The Indonesian military placed above Canada due its high numbers of active personnel and its relatively large number of tanks. The military, however, suffers from a lack of carriers and aircraft, as well as a minute number of submarines.
Budget: $40.2 billion
Active frontline personnel: 179,046
Total aircraft: 663
The German military ended up low on the list due to their lack of power projection platforms. Germany does not have an aircraft carrier and has relatively few submarines which, according to the Credit Suisse methodology, drops its ranking.
But Germany does have a fair number of attack helicopters. Recently, the country has started considering offering military support to eastern European NATO members.
Budget: $9.4 billion
Active frontline personnel: 120,000
Total aircraft: 467
Poland edges out Germany in the list due to its larger number of tanks and a more fleshed out submarine fleet. Poland has also drastically increased its military spending in reaction to Russia’s seizure of Crimea and the ongoing Ukraine crisis.
Budget: $5.39 billion
Active frontline personnel: 306,000
Total aircraft: 573
Thailand’s military is currently in control of the country following a coup in May 2014. The military is a major player in maintaining Thai unity, and Thailand receives strong scores from Credit Suisse for its number of active personnel, its number of tanks, and its possession of an aircraft carrier.
Thailand also scores well as it has an aircraft carrier, although it does not have an aircraft fleet to complement the vessel.
Budget: $26.1 billion
Active frontline personnel: 58,000
Total aircraft: 408
Australia’s military is comparatively small — it receives bottom scores on the report for the number of active personnel and the number of tanks. It also receives near bottom scores for the number of aircraft it has in its fleet.
Credit Suisse boosts Australia’s ranking due to its attack helicopters and submarines though.
Budget: $17 billion
Active frontline personnel: 160,000
Total aircraft: 684
In absolute terms, Israel has a small military. But with mandatory military service a large percentage of the Israeli population is militarily ready. With a past history of being surrounded by aggressive neighbors, Israel also has a large tank, aircraft, and attack helicopter fleet.
Israel also has qualitative military advantages. It has space assets, advanced fighter jets, high-tech armed drones, and nuclear weapons.
Budget: $10.7 billion
Active frontline personnel: 290,000
Total aircraft: 804
Threatened by China, which continues to have plans for how to invade and retake the country, Tawain has focused its military development on defensive plans. As such, the island has the fifth highest number of attack helicopters in the list. It also has a fairly large fleet of aircraft and a number of tanks.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Armored personnel carriers and tanks in the Egyptian military.
Budget: $4.4 billion
Active frontline personnel: 468,500
Total aircraft: 1,107
The Egyptian military is one of the oldest and largest armed forces in the Middle East. It receives substantial financial aid from the US and has the fifth-largest tank fleet in the world. It has over 1,000 M1A1 Abrams tanks, many of which sit in storage and have never been used.
Egypt also has a relatively large aircraft force.
Pakistani soldiers stand guard as people, who fled the military offensive against militants in North Waziristan, receive food supplies from the army in Bannu.
Budget: $7 billion
Active frontline personnel: 617,000
Total aircraft: 914
The Pakistani military is one of the largest forces in the world, in terms of active personnel. Credit Suisse also credits the country with having large tank, aircraft, and attack-helicopter fleets.
In addition, Pakistan is thought to be building nuclear weapons at a fast-enough rate that it could have the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal within the following decade.
Turkish army tanks take up position on the Turkish-Syrian border near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa Province on October 6, 2014.
Budget: $18.2 billion
Active frontline personnel: 410,500
Total aircraft: 1,020
Turkey’s armed forces are one of the largest in the eastern Mediterranean. Although lacking an aircraft carrier, only five countries on Credit Suisse’s list have more submarines than Turkey.
In addition, the country can lay claim to an impressively large tank fleet as well as numerous aircraft and attack helicopters.
Turkey is also a committed member of the F-35 program.
British army Cpl. Birendra Limbu of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles shows his rifle to Afghan children as he secures an area near an Afghan National Police checkpoint outside the town of Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province on July 13, 2011.
Budget: $60.5 billion
Active frontline personnel: 146,980
Total aircraft: 936
Although the UK is planning to reduce the size of its armed forces by 20% between 2010 and 2018, it can count on being able to project its power around the world.
The Royal Navy is planning to put the HMS Queen Elizabeth, an aircraft carrier that has a flight deck measuring 4.5 acres, into service in 2020, carrying 40 F-35B joint-strike fighters across the globe.
An Italian air force Eurofighter Typhoon fighter patrols over the Baltics during a NATO air-policing mission from Zokniai air base near Siauliai on February 10, 2015.
Budget: $34 billion
Active frontline personnel: 320,000
Total aircraft: 760
The Italian military placed high on Credit Suisse’s report because of the country’s possession of two active aircraft carriers. These carriers, in addition to the country’s relatively large submarine and attack-helicopter fleets, drastically boosted Italy’s ranking.
7. South Korea
Cpl. Matthew J. Bragg/US Marine Corps
Members of South Korea’s special forces participate in military training.
Budget: $62.3 billion
Active frontline personnel: 624,465
Total aircraft: 1,412
South Korea has been left with little choice but to have a large and capable military in the face of potential North Korean aggression. With those realities in mind, South Korea has a number of submarines, attack helicopters, and active personnel.
The country also has numerous tanks and the sixth-largest air force in the world.
French soldiers patrol in the Terz valley, about 37 miles south of the town of Tessalit in northern Mali on March 20, 2013.
Budget: $62.3 billion
Active frontline personnel: 202,761
Total aircraft: 1,264
The French military is relatively small, but highly trained, professional, and capable of force projection.
The country has the nearly new aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, and France routinely engages in military deployments throughout Africa to help stabilize governments and fight against extremism.
India’s Rapid Action Force personnel inside their base camp in New Delhi on November 6, 2014.
Budget: $50 billion
Active frontline personnel: 1,325,000
Total aircraft: 1,905
India is one of the largest military powers on the planet. It has the most active manpower of any country aside from China and the US, in addition to the most tanks and aircraft of any country besides the US, China, or Russia.
India also has access to nuclear weapons. It’s expected to become the fourth-highest military spender on earth by 2020.
Japanese tanks and helicopters participate in a military-training exercise.
Budget: $41.6 billion
Active frontline personnel: 247,173
Total aircraft: 1,613
In absolute terms, the Japanese military is relatively small. Nonetheless, the country is extremely well-equipped.
According to Credit Suisse, it has the fourth-largest submarine fleet on the list. Japan also has four aircraft carriers, although these vessels are equipped only with helicopter fleets.
Japan also has the fourth-largest attack-helicopter fleet behind China, Russia, and the US.
A Chinese soldier takes part in a drill during heavy snow in Heihe, Heilongjiang Province.
Budget: $216 billion
Active frontline personnel: 2,333,000
Total aircraft: 2,860
The Chinese military has grown rapidly in terms of size and capability in the past few decades. In terms of raw manpower, it’s the largest military in the world. It also has the second-largest tank fleet behind Russia and the second-largest submarine fleet behind the US.
China has also made rapid strides in its military-modernization program, now developing a range of potentially game-changing military technologies, including ballistic missiles and fifth-generation aircraft.
Russian soldiers on military armored-personnel carriers on a road near the Crimean port city of Sevastopol on March 10, 2014.
Budget: $84.5 billion
Active frontline personnel: 766,055
Total aircraft: 3,429
The Russian armed forces are the unquestioned second-strongest military power in the world. Russia has the world’s largest tank fleet, the second-largest aircraft fleet behind the US, and the third-largest submarine fleet behind the US and China.
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. Russia has also demonstrated its ability to project force abroad with its deployment of soldiers to Syria.
The F-22 and F-35 flying together.
Budget: $601 billion
Active frontline personnel: 1,400,000
Total aircraft: 13,892
Despite sequestration and other spending cuts, the US spends more money — $601 billion — on defense than the next nine countries on Credit Suisse’s index combined.
America’s biggest conventional-military advantage is its fleet of 10 aircraft carriers. In comparison India, which is constructing its third carrier, it has the second-most carriers in the world.
The US 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.