Top 30 Most Powerful Militaries

Name the countries with the the most powerful military forces on the planet.
According to the website Global Firepower
Demographic and economic data is a factor, non-conventional weaponry (nukes) is not
Quiz by kalbahamut
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Last updated: December 16, 2020
First submittedJanuary 23, 2013
Times taken128,348
Average score80.0%
Rating4.72
3:00
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Rank
PwrIndx
Answer
1
0.0606
United States
2
0.0681
Russia
3
0.0691
China
4
0.0953
India
5
0.1501
Japan
6
0.1509
South Korea
7
0.1702
France
8
0.1717
United Kingdom
9
0.1872
Egypt
10
0.1988
Brazil
Rank
PwrIndx
Answer
11
0.2098
Turkey
12
0.2111
Italy
13
0.2186
Germany
14
0.2191
Iran
15
0.2364
Pakistan
16
0.2544
Indonesia
17
0.3034
Saudi Arabia
18
0.3111
Israel
19
0.3225
Australia
20
0.3388
Spain
Rank
PwrIndx
Answer
21
0.3397
Poland
22
0.3559
Vietnam
23
0.3571
Thailand
24
0.3712
Canada
25
0.3718
North Korea
26
0.4008
Taiwan
27
0.4457
Ukraine
28
0.4659
Algeria
29
0.4985
South Africa
30
0.5259
Switzerland
+28
Level 83
Jan 22, 2013
I always forget Poland, and then I see George W. Bush in my head, defending his "coalition of the willing,": "don't forget Poland!" haha
+12
Level 83
Feb 9, 2014
Hey everyone. Pleasure to be featured as always. Hope you guys enjoy the quiz and if you do, here are a few other similarly-themed quizzes I created you may also enjoy:

Countries by Air Force Strength

Countries by Active Military Reserve Strength

Countries by Military Expenditures (as a % of GDP)

Longest Lasting Empires

Countries by Debt to GDP Ratio

Enjoy and if you do, subscribe to get updates on new quizzes by clicking the link next to my name above.

Cheers, all, and mind the Predator drones.

+2
Level 14
Feb 12, 2014
I want to be straight with you: Did you get inspiration for these quizzes off Global Firepower.com? I go there a lot, and lots of this information is from there. :)
+16
Level 83
Feb 12, 2014
What gave it away? Was it the caveat at the top that says "According to the website GlobalFirepower.com?" You are a master sleuth indeed!

If you're referring to the linked quizzes above, 2 used GFP as a source, 2 use Wikipedia, and 1 uses the SIPRI database and also references Wikipedia.

+2
Level 83
Feb 18, 2015
Another year another update from GFP. Mostly minor shufflings. No major changes at the top of the list. Throughout the bottom ranks the major theme seems to be the sharp rise of some Asian countries and the steady decline of Europe. Spain and Syria have both tumbled off the top 30, making way for Algeria and Singapore. And GFP apparently still hasn't fixed whatever quirk of their algorithm that allows Czech Republic and Switzerland to make the list over North Korea, the UAE, Mexico, or other larger, more powerful countries. It's my hypothesis that they are too generous with the boost they give to landlocked countries for having no navy. But without looking at the algorithm I don't know.
+1
Level 83
Apr 23, 2016
The update this year seems to include an algorithm overhaul that makes the top 30 rankings seem a lot more intuitive and sensible. For instance, Switzerland, Singapore, Ethiopia, and the Czech Republic are all off now, as probably anyone would agree they ought to be; and North Korea is back on, which seems obvious. No more difficult explanations.
+4
Level 83
Aug 23, 2018
I haven't updated this in 2 years. Pending approval I put in the numbers for 2018.

Not really any big changes. North Korea, South Korea, Iran, and Spain all moved up significantly. Other than that there were just minor shufflings and the top 5 remain the same. The only move in to or out of the top 30 was Sweden out, and the Czech Republic back in. This seems unfortunate as it doesn't make sense to rank Czechia higher than Mexico, Sweden, The Netherlands, South Africa or many other nations. I suspect the algorithm is still in need of fixing as mentioned above.

+1
Level 52
Jan 30, 2019
Thanks! nice quiz.
+1
Level 65
Jan 24, 2013
Great quiz!
+1
Level 82
Jan 28, 2013
Nice! 27/30
+2
Level 40
Feb 16, 2013
0.2461 compared to 0.2601. Does that mean that America is only a bit more powerful than Russia. I'd have thought they were heaps more. Good quiz anyway!
+5
Level 83
Feb 17, 2013
I'm not entirely sure how the algorithm is calculated. In terms of conventional weaponry, for sure, the USA could clean Russia's clock at this point, even though Russia still has the 2nd best airforce in the world and among the most poweful navies. However, if you look at non-conventional weaponry, Russia still has some 17,000 nuclear warheads sitting around. Enough to destroy the world 5 or 6 times compared to the USA's capability of only destroying the entire world 3 or 4 times. I'm not sure, practically speaking, what difference that makes... but maybe it accounts for the closeness in score.
+3
Level 40
Mar 30, 2013
Oh, minus nukes, air force, drones and tactical missiles I've little doubt the Russians would give the US a good stuffing in a ground war. But of course, this would never happen. Mind you, they seemed to knock off the US pretty easy in that movie, Red Dawn. :)
+2
Level 83
Mar 30, 2013
I never saw Red Dawn, but I thought that it was about North Korea (on paper), even though it was about China (really). Or you're talking about the 1984 film? In 1984 the Soviets and Americans were more or less on equal footing. Now, that's not the case. But....... hard to speculate given the hypothetical parameters you set up. With nukes, Russia has the advantage. With air force, tactical missiles and drones technology, the USA has the advantage. Leave it just to ground forces and the US probably still has an advantage but you would have taken away most of their technological superiority if you eliminate the air force (assuming that you are grouping in air-based weapons from the Navy, Army and Marines along with Air Force), so... in all likelihood it would be a horrific, grinding total war a la WW1 or WW2 wiping out generations of men, with advantage going to the defender if there was one. I know I'm taking your comment too seriously. :)
+3
Level 40
Mar 31, 2013
Obviously, this is just educated guesswork. But yeah, given these limitations the US would still have the technological edge. The Russians the edge in toughness and determination. I'd imagine the Americans would have a lot of initial success but that it would eventually end up in a ground-out war... and that's where the Russians have historically always had the edge. I think it's fair to say the Americans have a poor track record in this sort of war. But anyway, it's just my opinion. You're very obviously welcome to your own.
+2
Level 83
Mar 31, 2013
eh... Americans have done fine at forgetting about Afghanistan which is now the longest war in the nation's history. Of course that's all "over there" so not really present in most Americans' minds. But, the USA has also successfully negotiated World War 1, World War 2, the Revolutionary War, and the American Civil War which were all pretty awful, the last one especially for Americans. Russia weathered attacks from Napoleon and Nazi Germany, but then again they also lost the will to fight in Afghanistan much the same as the US did in Vietnam. I say it's a wash.. and.. like I said before... ultimate advantage goes to the defender.
+1
Level 83
May 26, 2022
Now that we've seen how completely and totally incompetent and obsolete the Russian military has become since their invasion of Ukraine, I'd like to amend this to say that, if you took nuclear weapons out of the equation, the US military would absolutely crush the Russians, even with Russia on defense and America invading... their performance in Ukraine has been perhaps the most pathetic in recorded history, or at least since Thermopylae. But probably worse than Thermopylae because the Persians did eventually win that one.
+1
Level 15
Mar 20, 2013
Good quiz! but what about

Afghanistan, isnt it a very powerful military force

+2
Level 83
Mar 21, 2013
hm... no, not really. Global Firepower ranks them 48th, even with the boost they get for being landlocked (landlocked countries are not penalized for having no navy), they still end up pretty low.
+1
Level 44
Apr 26, 2016
Serbia is landlocked and it has navy. :D
+1
Level 73
Jul 5, 2016
Several do- http://www.neatorama.com/2010/07/05/landlocked-navies-of-the-world/
+3
Level 83
May 22, 2013
I looked more into the algorithm used by TotalFirepower. As it turns out, they actually do *not* count nuclear weapons when considering the algorithm. So there are other reasons for the closeness in scores between the US and Russia. It's a complicated formula using 40 different data points. Of those, Russia has an edge on the United States in artillery strength (a variety of different kinds) and certain types of naval vessels. Russia's external debt is 1/28 that of the US. It produces more oil than the US but consumes far less than it produces (unlike the US which consumes almost twice what it produces). Russia also has 3x more proven oil reserves. And its a bigger country, though I'm not sure if that's a plus or minus... harder to conquer, but also more difficult to defend.
+1
Level 14
Oct 30, 2013
Where the flip is Andorra?
+15
Level 83
Oct 31, 2013
betwixt France and Spain, last I checked.
+1
Level 36
Dec 10, 2013
Wow I forgot Ukraine, Turkey, Vietnam, Thailand. But wow, would have NEVER guessed Ethiopia. jeez
+1
Level 36
Dec 18, 2013
I finally got them all! after like 10 tries... YAY
+3
Level 50
Dec 19, 2013
I gave up when I answered Sweden as a joke and it was there! Country that hasn't been in war since 19th century. Country that has made political decision that they don't even try to keep army that can defense their own country. Nothing against swedish but give me a break.
+2
Level 83
Dec 20, 2013
You realize that this is a top 30 list, right? Not top 5 or top 10. Which country do you believe should take Sweden's place? The Philippines? They're currently ranked 31st. Switzerland? Malaysia? South Africa?

Sweden still has among the finest air forces in the world. I think that alone probably places them in the top 30. Though they have downgraded the size of their airforce in recent years and are near the bottom of this list. Perhaps in a few more years as we see the rising power of Asian countries and a few in Africa, Sweden will be knocked off the list entirely. But for now, honestly, who would you replace them with?

+2
Level 50
Jul 13, 2014
How about North Korea?
+1
Level 83
Apr 24, 2016
In the latest update Sweden has slipped to 29th place and the DPRK is again ranked higher than them.
+4
Level 68
Dec 23, 2013
surprises me Vatican is not on here. I mean the pope with his cardinals and highly faithfuls would get gods full support and win everything and they have their own guards hopping around in their fancy suits.
+3
Level 83
Dec 23, 2013
I don't think that god's favor is part of the algorithm used. And while in the past, for sure, the Vatican could field a pretty formidable armed force, these days I don't think they have much in the way of conventional weaponry.
+4
Level 71
Feb 9, 2014
Stalin once supposedly said, when told that Pope Pius XII disapproved of his policies, "How many divisions does the Pope have?" 600 years earlier that would have been a legitimate question. The Papal Army was disbanded in 1870 according to Wikipedia.
+1
Level 83
Feb 9, 2014
This reminds me of Dave Chappelle's rendition of "Black Bush" and his attitude toward the UN, which I cannot repeat here and not be censored.
+1
Level 36
Jan 10, 2014
100%!
+2
Level 75
Jan 20, 2014
I can't believe i got 29/30 on my first attempt. Even got ethiopia.
+1
Level 75
Feb 19, 2014
Crap...i did worse this update. Must be getting more stoopit. :-(
+1
Level 36
Mar 23, 2015
Ethiopia was once on top 30? -_- didn't know that....
+3
Level 83
Mar 23, 2015
Yeah last year.

This is my theory: GFP doesn't publish their algorithm. But they do say a couple things about it. One thing is that landlocked countries are not "penalized" for not having a navy. It's my opinion that for most countries which are not landlocked this probably means that they are, in effect, heavily penalized for having a coastline. If they are comparing naval strength against some sort of mean, then the fact that America's naval power so *completely* outclasses everyone else, it's just totally embarrassing how weak every other navy in the world is compared to America's (even including countries like Russia and the UK), then I think what happens is that countries that are landlocked in effect get a pretty substantial boost to their ranking. By far the oddest countries to ever show up in the top 30 are Ethiopia, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. All land-locked countries.

+1
Level 51
Jul 21, 2017
I mean, it WOULD be pretty hard for the U.S. to pull up to Switzerland in their subs.
+3
Level 83
Oct 4, 2017
:) ha. but... see... the US Navy is so overpowered they wouldn't even have to. They could park a fleet of aircraft carriers, missile cruisers and nuclear submarines somewhere in the Mediterranean and launch enough tomahawk missiles, tactical nukes, and B2 bomber-delivered bunker busters to turn the Swiss Alps into a valley. And that's true for any land-locked country on Earth. It's not as if navies are only used in amphibious assaults these days.
+1
Level 60
Jun 20, 2022
I completely agree with you here. It seems silly to almost penalise a country for having a coastline. America, with the most powerful navy ever can project its force all over the world. I don't think any other country on its own has that capability.
+1
Level 45
Feb 9, 2014
why is Netherlands not included?
+1
Level 83
Feb 9, 2014
I don't know. For whatever reason, the website GlobalFirepower chose not to rank them. I'm guessing that if they were ranked they would be about on par with Australia.
+1
Level 83
Feb 17, 2014
update: The Netherlands was recently added to the GFP list of ranked countries and I have removed the caveat. They're currently ranked 32nd in the world.
+2
Level 84
Jan 25, 2018
Why would they be here? Our military is a joke. Ofcourse, we do have some ships and we do have patriotmissiles but that's about it. Gouvernements budget cuts made us lose almost all of our tanks and there's close to none ammunition in stock for let's say training. On paper we have 13 Chinook helicopters but only a few of them actually fly, the others are in parts or maintainance without parts.
+8
Level 83
Jan 25, 2018
but your country is well equipped to defend itself from attacks by Don Quixote.
+1
Level 67
Apr 29, 2020
Why would you need a large army? To defend against Belgium or Luxembourg? lol
+1
Level 83
Nov 9, 2021
Luxembourg is probably safe to ignore, but keep an eye on those devious, bloodthirsty Belgians.
+1
Level 73
Feb 10, 2014
I was happy with my 25/30, but then I realized some extremely obvious ones like Israel and Saudi Arabia had managed to slip my mind.
+1
Level 83
Feb 10, 2014
A lot of people don't think of Saudi, though as a % of GDP they are the 3rd biggest military spenders in the world, after North Korea and Eritrea. Having lived and worked here for 5 years, though, I'm not sure if that would translate into actual war-making capability if it ever came to it. I wouldn't have much confidence in the people here. I know they conquered one of the largest land empires in history in a very short span of time once upon a time but that was a long time ago.
+1
Level 14
Feb 12, 2014
I think we can all learn a lesson from Kim Jong Un...

It sucks to be a North Korean

+1
Level 69
Feb 13, 2014
o.O So surprised about Sweden. People keep saying things like "if we were invaded, we could only hold out for one week". I'm also surprised about Japan; aren't they supposed to not even have a military?
+2
Level 83
Feb 13, 2014
Probably depends on who invades you. If it was the USA, a week might be optimistic. If it was Finland, though, you'd probably be fine.

Regarding Japan, it's actually true that the Japanese constitution prohibits the development of "war potential" and specifically renounces war as a means of settling disputes. The constitution was written by the USA after World War 2. However, starting in 1950 largely in response to developments in Korea, Japan began building up something like a national guard. That has evolved into the Japan Self Defense Force, one of the finest national guard forces in the world. And more recently (last year, in fact), the Japanese government has approved a full-scale rearmament of the country as a way of countering the increased military spending and posturing of China and the continued craziness emanating from North Korea. Not that that decision had any effect on these rankings, but it shows attitudes have slowly been changing since 1945.

+2
Level 62
Jul 9, 2017
I wouldn't underestimate Finland as an opponent, after all Finland was the only country to ward off the attack of the mighty Soviet army. There's also 350 000 reserve soliders in Finland to Sweden's measly 200 000.

I get your point, but if you wanted to pick a weak country easily won, I don't think Finland was the best choice of all Sweden's neighbours. Just saying...

+1
Level 83
Oct 4, 2017
Defending your own territory is a lot different from invading someone else's. I'm sure the Finns are brave enough but if they wanted to invade Sweden, really, the Swedes have nothing to worry about.
+2
Level 83
Feb 13, 2014
It's probably worth noting that of all of these countries, only the United States and Russia really have the capability of projecting significant power all over the world. China and India have significant weight to swing around in their own regions, but are still not significant global powers militarily. The UK and the rest of the top 10 are capable of projecting some more across the world and in their own regions, but not enough at this point to conquer a decent-sized country more than 1,000 miles away or so. The bottom 20 countries on the list are all quite capable of defending themselves against their neighbors- but none of them really have the power necessary to attack any other country that they are not adjacent to. Not in any meaningful way, anyway. With a few odd exceptions most of these countries are only interested in self-defense or at most settling border and trade disputes in their local area.
+1
Level 21
Feb 17, 2014
Will you update your quiz to keep it up to date with recent power index calculations?

http://globalfirepower.com/countries-listing.asp

+1
Level 83
Feb 17, 2014
I just updated it a month ago. But I can do so again when I have time. They made a lot of changes in the last month, much more than in the entire past 18 months combined... maybe they adjusted the algorithm or something. Syria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic are now in the top 30.. The Netherlands has been ranked finally (#32), and Mexico, North Korea, and Ethiopia have all dropped out of the top 30.
+1
Level 83
Feb 17, 2014
I edited the quiz and resubmitted it.

In addition to the precipitous drops of those three countries which fell off the top 30 entirely, there were big declines in the numbers posted by Iran, Sweden, and a few other countries; as well as big gains for the three newcomers to the top 30 already mentioned, and also Turkey, Japan, Canada, Poland, and Australia. China continues to close the gap between itself and Russia, but has not yet surpassed it's comrade to the North. The USA, of course, retains its commanding lead.

+1
Level 36
Mar 7, 2014
USA! USA! USA!
+1
Level 36
Feb 19, 2014
You updated. I see
+1
Level 44
Aug 1, 2014
Great quiz!
+1
Level 36
Aug 6, 2014
I was really surprised to see Sweden and Czech Republic
+2
Level 83
Aug 6, 2014
Sweden used to have a pretty good air force.
+1
Level 26
Jan 20, 2015
Great quiz! Try my Most Powerful People of the World quiz.
+1
Level 40
Apr 1, 2015
Where is North korea??
+1
Level 76
Jul 22, 2015
Gladly not on this list
+1
Level 36
Apr 22, 2016
It is now, check GFP out now
+1
Level 56
Apr 1, 2015
haha Switzerland made the list! A country known for its proverbial neutrality!
+1
Level 36
Apr 22, 2016
A lot has changed, fix this. GFP updated.
+1
Level 60
Apr 26, 2016
26/30 in first attempt. Another 30 seconds would have helped...
+1
Level 73
Apr 26, 2016
Why do Russia and China have a higher power index, but lower ranking than America? The UK has a higher power index than France and India too, but is ranked lower. In fact, the ranking seems to jump around all over the place. How are the rankings calculated?
+1
Level 83
Apr 26, 2016
I don't know what you mean. The smaller the number is, the stronger the military force is. The ordering is correct, I just double checked.
+1
Level 36
Apr 26, 2016
a .0000 would be a perfect score meaning they are as powerful as a country can possibly be.
+1
Level 83
Apr 26, 2016
I don't think that's how it works. I'm guessing that the aim is to make 1.00 the median score, as there are 126 countries on the list, and #62 (Hungary) has a score of 1.0007.
+1
Level 59
Apr 26, 2016
Who is in last place now? Any country come after Vatican City (do Popes get elected on their "commander-in-chief qualifications", I wonder)? They DO have Swiss Guard army (with no nukes, I assume) and are landlocked, though Navy could presumably sail the Tiber.
+1
Level 83
Apr 26, 2016
Of the 126 countries ranked by GFP, the Central African Republic comes in last place. But there are many countries not ranked that don't even have a military.
+1
Level 63
Apr 26, 2016
I typed in Canada as a joke....
+3
Level 83
Apr 26, 2016
I put them on the quiz as a joke, too.
+1
Level 29
Apr 26, 2016
Honestly surprised at Sweden, a country which apparently operates a "state neutrality" response to foreign affairs ala Ireland and Switzerland.
+1
Level 52
Apr 26, 2016
you know, Andorra has no army.

try my Andorra quiz here.

http://www.jetpunk.com/user-quizzes/178909/andorra-a-z

+2
Level 22
Apr 28, 2016
3 minutes I feel is not long enough.
+1
Level 83
Apr 29, 2016
It's more than enough time.
+1
Level 72
May 5, 2016
got them all with :04 remaining, it can be done.
+1
Level 73
May 21, 2016
Yeah, I ran out of time too, though I might not have got Sweden, even with another 30 seconds, but I would have got the other 3-4 I missed.
+1
Level 72
Feb 11, 2021
This really rewards faster typers, because even when I know the answers, it's hard to think and type 10 answers per minute consistently. This is my third try and I keep missing a few. I don't know why the default time of 4 minutes was considered to be too much for 30 answers.
+1
Level 83
Feb 11, 2021
Well... there are 196 answers on the Countries of the World Quiz with a time limit of 12 minutes. That's over 16 answers per minute. This is 30 answers, so if the time limit were 4 minutes that would be 7.5 answers per minute. Most of these answers have one word in them. I think only people who have never seen a keyboard before in their lives type fewer than 10 words per minute.
+1
Level 35
Apr 30, 2016
Forget Indonesia, Vietnam and Taiwan (really??). Surprising, Spain and Ukraine are still here despite crisis and corruption. Also Egypt is shockingly high, since it cannot control own territory.
+2
Level 83
May 1, 2016
You might be surprised how much is controlled by the military in Egypt. They've got their hands in everything there.
+1
Level 35
Jun 16, 2016
I understand, military actually leads the state, but i meant their unsuccessful war against IS and other terrorist groups at Sinai Peninsula and around.
+4
Level 83
Jun 16, 2016
fighting a homegrown ideologically-motivated guerilla/terrorist insurgency is next to impossible. Even the United States, by far the most powerful and sophisticated military power in the history of the world, has had only middling success at such endeavors.
+2
Level 81
Aug 30, 2016
I think the lesson of history is that the solutions to such insurgencies are political rather than military. The military can only cut heads off the hydra.
+2
Level 83
Aug 31, 2016
It depends on the resolve of both the insurgents and the established power, how much legitimacy/popularity each have with the populace at large, and also how much brutality the stronger power is willing to or able to exert on the weaker one. Before the contemporary age of democracy and television news media, if an indigenous population was causing you trouble you could just commit wholesale genocide against them and that actually tended to work pretty well.
+1
Level 50
May 31, 2016
I had one second left and Swede. 29/30. :(
+2
Level 41
Jun 5, 2016
I'm surprised Mexico, currently at 31, isn't on this list
+1
Level 83
Jun 5, 2016
They used to be.
+1
Level 74
Aug 15, 2016
Greece? Really? Huh.
+1
Level 83
Aug 16, 2016
You never saw the movie 300?
+1
Level 81
Aug 22, 2016
I think if this algorithm were put to the test, it would be found rather lacking. There is no way the USA and Russia are that closely matched.
+2
Level 66
Oct 2, 2016
Got them all, guessed Algeria with only 3 seconds on the clock.
+1
Level 55
Oct 3, 2016
30/30 in my first go!
+1
Level 30
Oct 20, 2016
got 24
+2
Level 12
Nov 29, 2016
Why is Belgium not here? Them wafflez iz Dedly
+1
Level 49
Dec 30, 2016
I missed 1. Stupid Ukraine.
+1
Level 60
Feb 8, 2017
Lichtenstein has no military at all
+4
Level 52
Oct 1, 2018
That's what they WANT you to think.
+2
Level 62
Mar 6, 2017
100%

Drop that hundo!!!

+1
Level 60
Mar 29, 2017
I like Lichtenstein, they have NO army at all
+1
Level 41
Jun 15, 2017
LiEchtenstein
+1
Level 12
Apr 27, 2017
But Italy has more than Germany it says. ???
+1
Level 83
Aug 4, 2017
Germany is ranked higher than Italy but not by much. The size of the number is inversely proportional to the strength of the military.
+1
Level 41
Jun 15, 2017
How did I miss Canada
+1
Level 21
Aug 4, 2017
Where's Finland. Has bigger army than Sweden. And in Finland you have to choose military service or civilian service.
+1
Level 83
Aug 4, 2017
Sweden used to have a premiere air force but their military power is dwindling.
+1
Level 53
Sep 24, 2017
Forgot Greece and Israel
+1
Level 64
Oct 4, 2017
I use this website all the time! Also did you know they updated their website. You should probably update this quiz as well.
+1
Level 83
Oct 4, 2017
If I get around to it. I haven't been as active here as I used to be.
+1
Level 39
Oct 30, 2017
30/30 on the first attempt.

I even guessed Taiwan, ahah!

+1
Level 38
Dec 14, 2017
Well....I guessed everything. Algeria, Taiwan, Thailand,Sweden,Greece,Ukraine... All of these countries that many People would not think of. And then... My only miss was Israel. That's frustrating :D. 29/30
+1
Level 71
Feb 27, 2018
Good quiz, I find the Social Gazette ranking more interesting .....here it is
+1
Level 35
Mar 25, 2018
Brilliant quiz well done!
+3
Level 80
Aug 25, 2018
Part of the 'are you a bigot' series? Haha, oh kal, you really are a peculiar chap.
+1
Level 72
Oct 5, 2018
Czechia with 0:04 remaining! I didn't think I was going to get this quiz but just made it.
+1
Level 52
Oct 6, 2018
Only missed the Czech Republic. From the percentages, I can tell I'm not the only one.
+2
Level 75
Oct 10, 2018
How would Egypt rank higher than Israel? Israel is stronger surely, given its decisive victories over Egypt (plus its allies) in recent times?
+3
Level 83
Oct 11, 2018
The Israeli military is far more sophisticated but the Egyptian military is larger and the equation also factors in demographic information. In addition, Egypt and Israel have had a peace treaty in effect since 1979. If Israel had to fight off the same coalition of countries today as they were able to defeat in 1948, it's very likely that things would go a different way.
+1
Level 40
Jan 6, 2019
kal, nice how you visited a lot of countries. have you visited mostly for work or vacation? I like your place of residence:)
+2
Level 83
Jan 7, 2019
I've worked full-time in Virginia, California, Seoul, Riyadh, and Dammam. I had a residence in Bahrain when I was working in Dammam. I went to South Korea and Saudi Arabia specifically for jobs I had accepted. I've lived and visited many other places but the rest of those places I was there just because I wanted to be, though sometimes I would do a bit of work here and there.
+2
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
Cool, kalbahamut...I was in Dhahran for ten years...my dad worked in Dammam.
+1
Level 40
Jan 7, 2019
Nice to know your bio. Thanks for sharing!
+2
Level 68
Apr 26, 2019
I'm from the Czech Republic and the only answer I missed is... the Czech Republic.
+1
Level 83
Apr 26, 2019
it's odd that it is included.
+1
Level 28
May 5, 2019
I seriously forgot Israel. 19/20 good job me
+1
Level 53
May 8, 2019
Got them all but Spain. Oops.
+1
Level 71
Jul 22, 2019
As far as I'm aware, there's been an update in the GlobalFirepower index. I don't like it, because the UK has slipped down the rankings, but it's happened...

*sad British noises*

+1
Level 83
Jul 22, 2019
Looks like there hasn't been any changes to the countries included in the top 30, just a bit of shuffling up and down within their ranks. I'll probably hold off updating until next year. They still haven't fixed the stupidity of the algorithm that boosts the Czech Republic so high.
+1
Level 70
Aug 10, 2022
There has been a lot of investment in capability by the Czech government in recent years. They’ve dropped down to 41 now, I believe this is because they’re in a transitional phase of modernisation. They remain a relatively big producer of armaments, and have been historically. Up until 2004, they had cumpulsory military service, so would have ranked even higher then. I wouldn’t be too inclined to underestimate the Czechs, I think that they’d punch well above their weight, if push came to shove.
+2
Level 87
Jul 25, 2019
Argentina didn't show up? I'll be darned.
+1
Level 61
Jul 26, 2019
I forgot Germany??? Hahahaha! I'm honestly surprised that some of the biggest drug-running countries such as Colombia from South America didn't make the list... surely they have the armaments?
+1
Level 83
Jul 27, 2019
Not really. Ak-47s are not really much use against aircraft carriers, stealth bombers and predator drones.
+1
Level 61
Sep 4, 2019
What about Freedonia, they have a formidable army?
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Level 52
Jan 20, 2020
Got all but Israel. I’m an idiot for that. Shocked by the Czech Republic
+1
Level 81
Feb 3, 2020
As I said back in the day, I still have my serious doubts about the algorithm. I don't believe the USA, Russia and China are anywhere near that close. Russia and China to each other, sure, but neither or them are even close to the US. Take aircraft carriers and force projection more generally, for example - the US has a clear advantage over both combined. Indeed I have little doubt that, though it wouldn't be easy, quick or bloodless, the USA could take both the Russian Federation and the PRC together. On the other hand, it seems about right that there's such a big jump from the top three to fourth. I doubt India could at present pose much of a threat to China, though they do have a quality navy.
+1
Level 31
May 4, 2020
Why is North Korea so low
+4
Level 83
May 4, 2020
Because it's not very powerful.
+1
Level 54
May 4, 2020
Best answer ever!
+1
Level 31
May 6, 2020
Well they have nukes, a 2,000,000 strong army, and many planes, missiles, and a sizeable navy
+3
Level 83
May 6, 2020
The algorithm only factors conventional weaponry, so nukes are not included. It also takes into consideration things like economic power, natural resources, geography, etc. North Korea has an anemic economy, it can't feed its own people day to day, it has no oil or anything like that. It's a house of cards that would collapse without outside support. Most of their military technology is obsolete, too. But they do have a lot of jets, a lot of submarines, a lot of artillery, and a very large army... so they make the list.
+1
Level 52
Jun 5, 2020
I love smart, succinct answers....nice!
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Level 70
Aug 10, 2022
Not to mention the fact that, what nukes they may possess have probably been cobbled together with bits of old milk cartons, empty aluminium cans and some sticky tape. They’d probably go off in one of their faces, like your drunk uncle messing about at a home firework display.
+1
Level 31
May 6, 2020
It is true their economy is falling to s***
+1
Level 28
May 6, 2020
omg i forgot germany
+1
Level 57
Aug 14, 2020
Australia has the 21st most powerful military in the world and they still lost a war to emus. Smh
+1
Level 83
Aug 14, 2020
Emus are OP
+1
Level 49
May 26, 2022
USA has the 1st most powerful military in the world and they still lost a war to drugs. Smh
+1
Level 70
Dec 16, 2020
Hey @Kal, do you know why the source info chooses to exclude nukes etc.? If I was a megalomaniac dictator thinking of invading someone else, that’s probably one of the most important factors affecting my decision.
+2
Level 80
Dec 16, 2020
I guess because there's too much psychology involved to judge their real significance.
+2
Level 83
Dec 16, 2020
I don't know but I assume it's because the widespread use of nukes would render conventional weaponry pointless and would be a civilization-ended event where nobody won. And, knowing this, most governments and world leaders with an IQ in triple digits are extremely reluctant to use nuclear weapons for any reason, making them basically very expensive very dangerous paperweights in the majority of scenarios.
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Level 70
Dec 17, 2020
Interesting. I would still assume they would have a huge deterrent effect if nothing else. To me that would be worth more than a couple of hundred tanks, for example, but I guess it’s tricky to decide exactly what weight to give to nukes. Still seems a slightly strange omission to me, but sure. An interesting quiz regardless.
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Level 63
Dec 16, 2020
What countries changed from the previous list? And Which ones went down and up?
+2
Level 83
Dec 17, 2020
I didn't do the update but looks like South Africa and Switzerland are new. Don't remember who was at the bottom before. I think Sweden, the Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Singapore, and the UAE were on some previous iterations.
+1
Level 76
Dec 17, 2020
Switzerland small but powerful 🇨🇭
+1
Level 76
Dec 18, 2020
If we relax, even for a second, Liechtenstein will invade.
+1
Level 67
Mar 21, 2021
Liechtenstein is just waiting for their opportunity to pounce. Switzerland needs its military to protect itself.
+1
Level 76
Feb 10, 2021
Switzerland stronk 💪
+1
Level 45
Dec 17, 2020
Pretty impressed with myself didn't expect to get 21 first go
+1
Level 57
Dec 18, 2020
I got Switzerland but forgot Canada...
+1
Level 71
Jan 28, 2021
I would love to see a quiz that divides these power numbers by the area or population of the countries... small countries with strong militaries. I'd imagine Israel would be very high up there.
+1
Level 60
Feb 9, 2021
How did I forget Israel, of all places?
+1
Level 70
Feb 10, 2021
So Switzerland is better than Greece? Nonsense listing...
+1
Level 83
Feb 10, 2021
I haven't looked at the page's methodology in a while, but I'm guessing that this is another quirk of the algorithm they use which grants an absurd boost to landlocked countries, since they are not penalized for having no navy. Theoretically this should be neutral, giving them neither an advantage nor disadvantage over other countries with a coastline that do have navies; but I think that in practice the fact that the USA's navy so completely dwarfs every other country in the world's makes things a bit janky, and so any country with access to a sea, even if they have the *2nd* largest navy in the world, is automatically at a disadvantage (in terms of the algorithm) versus any country that does not. That's my best guess. ::shrug::
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Level 83
Feb 10, 2021
Fortunately, for whatever reason, landlocked countries tend to have very poor militaries, and so this weakness in the algorithm doesn't affect this quiz very much. Only one landlocked country cracks the top 20 this year. But in the past, the other strangest members of the top 20 (Ethiopia and the Czech Republic) were also landlocked. So I'm pretty sure it's the same thing happening in each case.
+1
Level 23
Feb 10, 2021
That large Swiss army must get bored
+2
Level 67
Feb 10, 2021
Nah, they've got those knives to play with.
+1
Level 67
Feb 10, 2021
GREECE should have been in there...
+1
Level 70
Feb 10, 2021
Egypt is a bit weird. Not a huge surprise and I totally expected it to be on here, but it's kinda an outlier in the top 10 among other countries that are mostly either very developed, very populous, or both.
+1
Level 83
Feb 10, 2021
I don't see it that way. Apart from North Korea, pretty much every country in the world that spends an exorbitant amount of money, as a percentage of GDP, on their military is in or around the Middle East. And this goes back decades. Egypt, being at the heart of many of those historical Middles Eastern conflicts going back to the dawn of civilization, being in the recent past by far the most advanced, most prosperous, most culturally significant Arab Muslim nation in the world (before the big Arabian oil boom), and presently still the most populous Arab country in the world and one that is heavily militarized and essentially controlled by a military dictatorship... seems to belong in my eyes.
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Level 70
Feb 12, 2021
Suppose that makes sense. I don't know much about modern Egyptian history, but based on what I do know, the military has always played a pretty important and powerful role. Plus, France and the UK have significantly smaller populations and arguably less of a need for a strong military than Egypt.
+1
Level 58
May 19, 2022
A couple thousand years ago and you'd see Egypt right up at the top of this list. So, you know, ups and downs.
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Level 76
Feb 10, 2021
Yet another quiz in which knowing the most populous and economically prosperous countries serves as a quasi-proxy for knowing what the quiz is actually about.
+1
Level 38
Feb 10, 2021
100%
+2
Level 30
Feb 10, 2021
Great Quiz! But War is bad, in my opinion.
+1
Level 83
Feb 11, 2021
Having a powerful military can be an effective means of preventing war. and I agree.
+1
Level 57
May 17, 2021
I think it's time you updated the quiz, I checked your source and Greece is now on there, and a bunch of countries moved.
+1
Level 83
May 17, 2021
I may look into it. I think QM started updating this one automatically. But it might be on a 1 or 2 year timer I don't know how it works when he does that.
+1
Level 59
Jun 13, 2021
Only missed Taiwan, that seems to be the one I overlook on these types of quizzes, got Poland in the last half second
+1
Level 55
Oct 20, 2021
I think Greece has now replaced South Africa
+1
Level 26
Jan 29, 2022
I guessed Greece.
+1
Level 83
Nov 7, 2021
Canadry recently became the 4th person on my block list, because he's a troll and QM won't allow me to respond to him accordingly. I would summarize what he had contributed to the conversation, but, he has contributed nothing.
+1
Level 26
Jan 29, 2022
Only missed Switzerland,always forget a country with such a powerful military yet hasn't fought a war in over 200 years.
+1
Level 26
Jan 29, 2022
If this was between 1908-1918, then Bulgaria probably would've been top 20.
+1
Level 82
Mar 10, 2022
The 2022 list is out. Greece is in, Algeria is out!
+1
Level 83
Mar 11, 2022
I think QM set this up to be self-updating
+1
Level 60
Mar 20, 2022
Phew! Got Taiwan to finish with 5 seconds left
+1
Level 58
May 19, 2022
A 0.4457 just prevented itself from being fully conquered by a 0.0681. I guess its not all about numbers...
+1
Level 83
May 19, 2022
One of the biggest upsets in military history. A lot of contributing factors, including many things that don't factor in to the Global Firepower algorithm.
+1
Level 70
Aug 10, 2022
This rather backs up what you previously said about nukes being little more than expensive paperweights, since Russia could obviously ‘win’ by firing them at major cities and forcing submission, but even Tsar Vladimir knows that he just can’t do that.

I suspect that this measure is rated as a better one than most because of the of the sheer number of variables it accounts for, from an impressive set of data. It’s clearly one of the best as a quantitative analysis, but therein lies its inherent and unavoidable flaw: in the real world, there are far too many variables which can’t be quantified and fed into algorithms. For example, how could they quantify the UK’s relative advantage over France as an island; or, how much advantage does Switzerland gain by being surrounded by Alps? What role does morale play in conflict, or home advantage? Relative competence/experience amongst the general staff? Some things, you just can’t assign a number to.

+1
Level 55
Jun 15, 2022
You probably should update this to the 2022 version. Pakistan is now a lot stronger.