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Thread: Top 10 Best Modern Militaries/Armed Forces

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    Top 10 Best Modern Militaries/Armed Forces

    Who do you think are the top 10 best Militaries/Armed Forces in the world? In other words if each country was to go in an all out war with each other, one on one, who would win the most times? And I mean army, navy, air force, special forces, ect. and not so much on nukes. Think about technological capabilities, population and country size, ect.

    Here are mine;

    1. United States

    Big Gap Here

    2. Russia

    Big Gap Here

    3. China

    4. India

    5. United Kingdom

    6. France

    7. Germany

    8. Japan

    9. Brazil

    10. Pakistan


    Obviously United States owns the competition. No military comes close anymore. Russia obviously comes next, with a large geographic size, okay population, and high tech weapons from the old Soviet Union (although their poverty is bringing them down).

    China and India come next with the largest populations and one of the largest land areas. China has the largest overall armed forces, India has the second largest overall armed forces.

    United Kingdom and France comes next with technology (especially Britain's special forces) as good as Russia, maybe even better. Their small size and population keeps them a BIT lower than the other Eurasian giants.

    Germany and Japan (especially Japan) has had a lot of international pressure against military build-up but they still have one of the best armed forces. Germany has some of the finest tank forces in the world. Japan still has a power navy, although it has decreased quite a bit since WWII.

    I wasn't sure who would come next but after some thinking Brazil seems powerful enough. It has a large geographic size and population and their armed forces are pretty big too. They also have a pretty large economy to make up for anything else. Pakistan would come next, with a pretty large military. They have also developed nukes (this list doesn't focus much on nukes but it deserves a mention in this case none the less).

    What are your top 10?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverbackman View Post
    Who do you think are the top 10 best Militaries/Armed Forces in the world? In other words if each country was to go in an all out war with each other, one on one, who would win the most times? And I mean army, navy, air force, special forces, ect. and not so much on nukes. Think about technological capabilities, population and country size, ect.

    Here are mine;

    1. United States

    Big Gap Here

    2. Russia

    Big Gap Here

    3. China

    4. India

    5. United Kingdom

    6. France

    7. Germany

    8. Japan

    9. Brazil

    10. Pakistan


    Obviously United States owns the competition. No military comes close anymore. Russia obviously comes next, with a large geographic size, okay population, and high tech weapons from the old Soviet Union (although their poverty is bringing them down).

    China and India come next with the largest populations and one of the largest land areas. China has the largest overall armed forces, India has the second largest overall armed forces.

    United Kingdom and France comes next with technology (especially Britain's special forces) as good as Russia, maybe even better. Their small size and population keeps them a BIT lower than the other Eurasian giants.

    Germany and Japan (especially Japan) has had a lot of international pressure against military build-up but they still have one of the best armed forces. Germany has some of the finest tank forces in the world. Japan still has a power navy, although it has decreased quite a bit since WWII.

    I wasn't sure who would come next but after some thinking Brazil seems powerful enough. It has a large geographic size and population and their armed forces are pretty big too. They also have a pretty large economy to make up for anything else. Pakistan would come next, with a pretty large military. They have also developed nukes (this list doesn't focus much on nukes but it deserves a mention in this case none the less).

    What are your top 10?
    USA has the index of 100%

    180% NATO (if it counts)

    100% USA - US is da best when it comes to blowing things up.

    64% European Union - EU is not that far of the american scale.

    12% China - China has a small millitary it is still the only country in the world who can get 10.000.000 soldiers fit or figth in 1 day.

    9% Russia - Russia is performing poorly demographicly and economicly.

    5% India - India has a huge demographical benefit simular to Chinas still there is a big gab between the millitary hardware and technology used by the two countries.
    Last edited by Ohns; 24-09-09 at 23:17.

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    I'm a university student in my 2nd year doing a double major in political science and history and have been personally researching and reading/watching news, information and articles on world militaries also learning from my courses and from several websites I gathered (globalfirepower.com, globalsecurity.org, nationmaster.com, cia.gov, etc.) here are my top 10 and extended Top 15 militaries in the world according to my studies and research.

    1.) The United States of America - Obviously and undisputed top military in the world due to the second standing largest army and very powerful combined force of army, navy and air force, excellent military training with their marines, delta forces, seals, excellent technology and economy, numerous allies, more than 100 military bases and global influence in the world, 2nd largest nuclear arsenal (however most technologically advanced nukes), huge military budget, extensive and continuing military experience in wars such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and now in Yemen, permanent member of UN Security Council, 4th largest country in the world by area/land mass and 3rd by population with over 300 million people, one of the largest military weapons technologies and producers in the world, leading member of NATO, etc.

    2) People's Republic of China - largest standing army in the world as well as the largest country in the world with a population of over 1.3 billion, equally large and powerful navy and air force, good military training, improving navy and air force, between 200-300 or more nukes making it between 3rd-5th largest nuclear arsenal in the world, second highest military budget after US, growing economy and rapidly improving technology, self-sufficient in military production and huge military weapons technology, permanent member of the UN Security Council, most powerful Asian military, etc.

    3) The Russian Federation - 5th largest army in the world with over 1,000,000 troops, largest nuclear arsenal in the world (one of the two most advanced nukes in the world, the other being US), largest country by area/land mass by far, one of the largest countries as well with a population of over 142 million people, most powerful Eurasian country, very disciplined and professional military training, large and powerful navy and air force as well, one of the best military technologies and weapons producers in the world, stable and growing economy after the Soviet collapse in 1990, permanent member of the UN Security Council, large military budget, one of the most experienced militaries in the world, etc.

    4) Republic of India - 3rd largest standing army in the world after China and US, second largest country in the world by population after China with over 1.75 billion people, also one of the largest countries in the world by area/land mass, one of the largest and rapidly improving and powerful army, navy and air forces in the world, good military training, experienced military with wars over Pakistan and China, growing military weapons production and technology/industry, large military budget, 3rd most powerful Asian military power, etc.

    5) The United Kingdom - one of the largest military budgets and economies in the world, small combined military force of army, navy and air force personnel in the world but very effective nonetheless, the most powerful navy and air force with a strong army as well in Europe and one of the best and largest navies and air forces in the world as well, permanent member of the UN Security Council, one of the leading members of NATO, one of the largest countries in Europe with 62 million population after Russia with 142+ million, Germany 80+ million, Turkey 75 million and France 65+ million, one of the best military training in the world along with US, Canada, Australia, Russia, etc., an experienced military with recent NATO involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, one of the top nuclear powers, one of the leading NATO and EU members, etc.

    6) France - permanent member of the UN Security Council, one of the best militaries in Europe and very good military training, decent sized and very powerful army, navy and air force, one of the largest economies and military budgets in the world, one of the largest countries in Europe with over 65 million people, one of the top nuclear powers, one of the leading NATO and EU members, etc.

    7) Germany - largest country in Europe with over 80+ million people, one of the leading NATO and EU members, excellent military training and one of the best military weapons technology and industry in Europe and the world, 4th largest economic power in the world and one of the best technologies in the world, decent sized but very powerful and professional combined force of army, navy and air force, one of the best tanks, air craft carriers and fighting planes, and other military weapons producers in the world, not a declared nuclear power but is a member of the NATO nuclear sharing policy and possesses a number of nuclear weapons along with Turkey, Italy, Belgium and Netherlands, one of the leading members of NATO and EU being the most populous member of EU, a defensive force but in war time can mobilize and possess a very large and powerful army and overall military, is very capable of producing its own nukes if need be but due to its bad reputation in WWI and especially WWII not allowed to acquire its own produced nukes, etc.

    8) Japan - one of the best navies and air forces in the world as well as a small but very professional and well trained army, 2nd largest economy in the world and one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, one of the most populous countries in Asia and the world with over 127 million people, a defensive force like Germany but can quickly create a very large and powerful army and overall military if need be, does not possess any nuclear weapons but very capable of producing its own, due to their bad reputation in WWII like Germany restricted military, etc.

    9) Republic of Turkey - most powerful military of Middle East and Central as well as Western Asia, 2nd largest army and overall military of NATO after US, excellent military training and very well trained according to NATO standards, a very large (over 1,055,000 overall military) and powerful combined force of army (514,000 active, 380,000 reserve and 144,000 paramilitary), navy (best in Middle East and the Muslim world, and air force (2nd best in Middle East after Israel), one of the largest Eurasian countries with 75 million people, largest economy in Middle East and in the Muslim world being 17th economy in the world in GDP nominal and 15th in GDP PPP, 8th largest military budget in the world, technologically and in military weapons industry the best in Middle East and in the Muslim world as it has access to NATO weapons and produces 60% of it's own weapons and has future impressive military production projects like a native tank based on the German Leopard model jointly created by South Korea, a unique and strategically as well as geographically important country and considered a bridge between East (Asia and Russia) and West (Europe and the Americas) being near Middle East, one of the few Muslim majority (99% Muslim) countries but a secular democracy, has great influence in Middle East and in the Muslim world due to it's long legacy of Turkic empires ruling over most of Muslim lands especially from the previous Ottoman Empire (1299-1923 ruling over three continents of Arabia and Middle East, North Africa, Anatolia/Asia Minor of current day Turkey and Southeastern Europe/Balkans as well as Caucasus), part of the NATO nuclear sharing policy and possesses 90 nuclear weapons (40-45 of them under the personal use and disposal of the Turkish air force and navy), is capable of producing it's own nuclear weapons with a growing economy and military technology, has signed a deal with neighbouring Russia to open Turkey's first nuclear power plants in the next few years after neighbouring Iran's attempts to acquire these weapons to maintain a balance of power in the region, part of G20 major economies in the world, produces food, weapons, automotives, textiles and clothing, very attractive tourist location, etc.

    10) Israel - one of the best military trainings in the world, a very experienced army with it's several wars with the neighboring Arab countries since it's formation in 1948, best air force in Middle East, very self-sufficient in creating its own military weapons production/industry/technology, small but very professional and powerful army and air force and decent navy, a nuclear power, strong alliances with US, NATO/EU/Europe and Turkey, many resources and self-sufficient in these vast resources, one of the most experienced militaries in Middle East, the Muslim world and in the world in general with the Turkish Cyprus invasion in 1974, and the recently continuing civil war in the eastern part of Turkey with the separatist/communist/terrorist organization called PKK (Partiye Karkireye Kurdistan meaning Kurdistan Workers Party) for 25+ years since 1984-present, etc.

    11) Islamic Republic of Iran - very good military training and professionalism, one of the top 3 largest military powers in Middle East the Muslim world and 8th in the world, large and powerful army and air force, decent navy, seeking to develop and acquire nuclear weapons, the major Shiite Muslim country, over 70 million population being one of the largest Muslim countries, strong alliances with Russia and China, an experienced army with it's recent war with Iraq from 1979/80-1988/89/90, vast reserves of oil and gas, etc.

    12) Islamic Republic of Pakistan - very good military training and professionalism, the largest Muslim military power in the world with over 600,000 active troops and the 6th/7th largest in the world, very large and powerful army and air force decent navy, a very experienced army with it's wars with neighbouring India, the only Muslim nuclear power, strong alliances with Turkey and the rest of Middle East and the Muslim world especially with the Arab states, China, France and some NATO/EU/Europe, and US, largest contributor to UN peacekeeping missions with over 10,000 soldiers, second largest Muslim country and one of the largest in the world in population with 180 million people, etc.

    13) Brazil - a growing military and economic power in the world, largest and most powerful military and economy in South and Latin America, strong alliances, one of the largest countries in the world by population (over 192 million people) and area/land mass (5th/6th largest in the world), etc.

    14) South Korea/Republic of Korea - one of the most economically and technologically advanced countries in Asia following Japan's model, 6th largest active army in the world, a very powerful and large army, navy and air force, one of the best navy and air forces in Asia, very self-sufficient in military weapons production/industry/technology and general production, over 45 million people, strong alliances with Japan, Turkey, US and NATO/EU/Europe, etc.

    15) North Korea/Democratic People's Republic of Korea - the most militarized and combat ready army in the world, the 4th largest active army in the world, a very large and powerful army and air force decent navy, over 23 million population, etc.

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    I meant 3rd largest country in the world for China.

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    The stuff I put for Israel about the resources and the Muslim world and experience in Cyprus and PKK civil war was about Turkey sorry put that stuff in the wrong section.

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    Hi TurkYusuf, try using edit button in your completed post to correct text.

    Other correction is that India doesn't have 1.75 B people yet. :)

    I wouldn't put Germany behind France and England. If WW2 is any indicator how the solders would fend, Germany should be first in Europe. It has biggest economy with 4 trillion GDP, almost twice bigger than Russia. Economy means the most in modern warfare. If enemy destroys more of your tanks and airplanes than you can replace, you lost the war. Army with just handguns means nothing today.
    The only edge of Russia over Germany is the amount of nukes and vast territory.

    Other than that, a nice comprehensive review you wrote, thanks.

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    Yeah thanks I tried to explain as much as possible and justify my ranking but the main reason why I put Germany below UK and France as well as Russia is due to it being a limited self defence military after World War II, the same case with Japan. It has the largest and most advanced economy and technology in Europe but UK and France higher military budgets if I'm not mistaken, I'll have to re-check that but I think that's the case. However both Germany and Japan have great potential to be the most powerful militaries in the world like they were during World War II as it took US, Russia, UK and the other allies to bring these two powers down. India has more than 1.1 billion people close to 1.2 billion, 1,177,128,000 to be exact you can search and check it if you want. It is estimated that their population will exceed even of that of China in 50 years. Thanks again for your reply appreciate the feedback.

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    You're right at current military forces Germany and Japan are behind Russia, France and England. I was more thinking about where they could be if they really tried, according to their GDP and past history.

    I think that China in 50 years might become the strongest military power in the world. I hope when this happens, old communist, megalomaniac elite will be all gone, and new generation of Chinese will feel more like citizens of the world with peaceful intentions.
    On other hand I think that NATO will be still strong military union balancing new Asiatic Superpowers.
    China is economically growing faster than India. Knowing some animosities of these two countries, India might look for strong alliance with someone else. Who knows, maybe India will join NATO one day to feel safe?
    What I'm getting at is that I don't see anyone being super dominant on earth in next 50 years that could conclude in next world war.

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    It doesn't make much sense to separate the armed forces of EU member states. They should be considered as EU armed forces because they are bound together by numerous treaties, such as the Common Security and Defence Policy and Common Foreign and Security Policy, and work under the European Defence Agency.

    The EU's armed forces rank second in the world, with an annual budget of nearly $300 billion. That's still less than half the US's budget, but it is three times more than Russia ($30 billion) and China ($70 billion) combined.

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    Very interesting Turkyusuf1

    I was just wondering about a few things maybe you know, I heard somewhere North Korea would only have enough fuel to manage a few days of operations.

    Where does Indonesia come in the world ranking?

    And have you a ranking for African countries like

    1. South Africa
    2. Morocco
    3. Egypt
    and so on...

    Cheers.

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    It is true that North Korea is highly overestimated and probably will not last very long in a war with a major power or even a middle power as their economy and technological capabilities are very limited and weak. However they are considered the most militarized country in the world as they spend a huge amount of their GDP on military and pretty much the whole country is looked upon as an army and treated as such. They are very tough, hostile and paranoid due to the communist government which brainwashes its people to think this way especially towards the West, most specifically towards the US. Now I didn't mean to generalize saying they are tough, hostile and paranoid in my previous sentence but like I said they are brainwashed to think this way. Despite everything they have the 4th largest army in the world ahead of countries like Russia and still possess much military power/force that should be taken seriously, they are also developing and working on possessing nuclear weapons and have already succeeded in having some warheads according to some sources. Now Indonesia is ranked in top 15 as 12th or 13th in several websites I have come upon but when I looked more into it, I ranked them as 18th in the world. They have a very tough training system, and are economically growing as well, have fairly large and powerful army, navy and air force but still have some time to be considered powerful enough to be in top 15 or 12/13 in my opinion. I don't know much about African militaries but would rank Egypt, South Africa and Nigeria as the top 3, and the rest would follow. Anyway here's my extended top 20 to 30 if you or anyone else wants to know more: 16) Egypt, 17) Italy, 18) Indonesia, 19) Mexico, 20) Taiwan, 21) Sweden, 22) Greece, 23) Canada, 24) Spain, 25) Saudi Arabia, 26) Ukraine, 27) Australia, 28) Thailand 29) Denmark, 30) Poland.

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    Thanks for that Turk, I always find it depressing reading about countries where parts or in some cases large sections of the population live in abject poverty and yet their governments still manage to spend billions on their military. It also begs the question why would a small neutral country like Sweden with no natural enemies be spending so much on a standing army that place's them at 21 in the world ranking.

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    Yeah no problem my friend glad to have cleared things up. I not only study and research everything from militaries, economies, politics, history, etc. but also enjoy doing this as a hobby as I continue to enhance my knowledge and learn something new about a certain country every day. Yeah I partially agree with you that certain countries should not spend as much on military but should focus on improving their economies, health care and human rights issues. But you have to also understand for example my country Turkey is in a geographically key position and is surrounded by former enemies and dangerous, hostile and powerful countries such as Iran, Russia, Greece, Armenia, and the Middle East, etc. so they have to keep getting stronger and maintain a powerful well-equipped, well-trained and capable large armed forces to have a balance of power in the region and to deter future attacks on their soil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    It doesn't make much sense to separate the armed forces of EU member states. They should be considered as EU armed forces because they are bound together by numerous treaties, such as the Common Security and Defence Policy and Common Foreign and Security Policy, and work under the European Defence Agency.
    The EU's armed forces rank second in the world, with an annual budget of nearly $300 billion. That's still less than half the US's budget, but it is three times more than Russia ($30 billion) and China ($70 billion) combined.
    Until the EU binds all its independent national armed forces under the yoke of a European Union High Command, that sort of number-fiddling is just a dishonest attempt to puff Europe up into something stronger than it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Invictus_88 View Post
    Until the EU binds all its independent national armed forces under the yoke of a European Union High Command, that sort of number-fiddling is just a dishonest attempt to puff Europe up into something stronger than it is.
    Ok, but if we're talking about a hypothetical situation in which the world is shitting a brick I'm sure there would be developments to further integrate defense. In fact the Lisbon Treaty has already set forth the first steps for that. The EU as a whole has HUGE potential. Admittedly it's not fully integrated and the defense spending in the Euro-area is dwindling, but let's remember that potential can change a lot, much like the US and USSR in WWII. They turned into super powers almost overnight, because of they're potential. The EU has a population over 500,000,000, quality technology, and a relatively strong economy when we drop Greece. XP POTENTIAL! ;)

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    On North & South Korea

    U guys seem well versed on military issues, probably more than the news. Can someone tell whats the worst thing that can happen in the yellow sea? with the USS Washington aircraft carrier in place to carry out drills with the South and the North is threatening firepower.

    Should a war break out what's China's stance. i mean it has to take a side and i'm sure it won't leave North Korea alone

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    Nothing's going to happen. North Korea is just terrorizing South, because it has nothing better to do, or just needs few billions of dollars so Kim Jong-Il can by a new Mercedes and new palace. I've seen it many times before.
    China these days won't jeopardize western market and new vibrant development of their economy for North Korea. North Korea means nothing to china at the moment, and it's going to mean even less in the future.

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    Well it all depends on NK if they launch any more missles into the south the south will retaliate. If it escalates from there, the US will ensure the south has everything it needs to criple the north and China will do nothing.

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    I still hope S Korea, US, and Japan have guts to finish North Korea. But what they do right now it's just PR maneuvers, to show off force, for peace of mind of S Korean citizens. If they really want to strike, NK and us wont expect anything. That will be the best time to strike. Surprise is the best weapon.

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    South Korea doesnt want to strike or they would. The south wont strike until after another cheap shot from the north. Then the north would be quickly knocked out, two days tops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TurkYusuf1 View Post
    It is true that North Korea is highly overestimated and probably will not last very long in a war with a major power or even a middle power as their economy and technological capabilities are very limited and weak. However they are considered the most militarized country in the world as they spend a huge amount of their GDP on military and pretty much the whole country is looked upon as an army and treated as such. They are very tough, hostile and paranoid due to the communist government which brainwashes its people to think this way especially towards the West, most specifically towards the US. Now I didn't mean to generalize saying they are tough, hostile and paranoid in my previous sentence but like I said they are brainwashed to think this way. Despite everything they have the 4th largest army in the world ahead of countries like Russia and still possess much military power/force that should be taken seriously, they are also developing and working on possessing nuclear weapons and have already succeeded in having some warheads according to some sources. Now Indonesia is ranked in top 15 as 12th or 13th in several websites I have come upon but when I looked more into it, I ranked them as 18th in the world. They have a very tough training system, and are economically growing as well, have fairly large and powerful army, navy and air force but still have some time to be considered powerful enough to be in top 15 or 12/13 in my opinion. I don't know much about African militaries but would rank Egypt, South Africa and Nigeria as the top 3, and the rest would follow. Anyway here's my extended top 20 to 30 if you or anyone else wants to know more: 16) Egypt, 17) Italy, 18) Indonesia, 19) Mexico, 20) Taiwan, 21) Sweden, 22) Greece, 23) Canada, 24) Spain, 25) Saudi Arabia, 26) Ukraine, 27) Australia, 28) Thailand 29) Denmark, 30) Poland.
    i partially agree with your list... but venezuela should be also into the top 30 imo. a latin american ranking is more like:

    1 brazil
    2 mexico
    3 venezuela
    4 argentina
    5 colombia

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canek View Post
    i partially agree with your list... but venezuela should be also into the top 30 imo. a latin american ranking is more like:

    1 brazil
    2 mexico
    3 venezuela
    4 argentina
    5 colombia
    The military budget ranking per the 2009 SIPRI ranking goes like this in Latin America (top 10):

    1. Brazil
    2. Colombia
    3. Chile
    4. Mexico
    5. Venezuela
    6. Argentina
    7. Peru
    8. Uruguay
    9. Guatemala
    10. Paraguay

    Colombia's budget is well over $10 billion and Chile's also beats Mexico ($5.6 billion vs. $5.4 billion). I wouldn't shortchange Colombia and Chile.

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    i don't think military budget ranking per the 2009 is a good way of judging the armies of latin america.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canek View Post
    i don't think military budget ranking per the 2009 is a good way of judging the armies of latin america.
    Well, it can't be taken alone, like, you have to keep in mind how many arms a country has stockpiled and how many resources it could dig into if it needed to. What about the three countries you listed make you think that their military is superior to Colombia's, despite Colombia spending twice as much money on their military?

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    Hmm i agree with most of the country's but don't you think holland is missing out? it's a small country but they deffinetly have a good trained army! We actually have one of the best trained sf

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