Most Militarized Countries

The Most Militarized Countries in the World

Defense is undoubtedly an indispensable expense item for any state. Billions of dollars are spent every year to buy new weapons, establish new bases or cover the expenses of new recruits. Yet again, the term “defense” is just a euphemism serving to justify the violent acts of military-active states. Having this in mind, and before nationalistically boasting of our home country’s military power, it is a wise idea to have a look at the Global Militarization Index [1] prepared by Bonn International Center for Conversion in 2013.

In order to understand how the countries are scored, let’s take a look at methodology of the study. The calculation of the global militarization index score is done using the following variables:

• the comparison of military expenditures with its gross domestic product (GDP) and its health expenditure (as share of its GDP);

• the contrast between the total number of (para)military forces and the number of physicians and the overall population;

• the ratio of the number of heavy weapons available and the number of the overall population [2]

Taking all these into account, it is possible to estimate how “militarized” a country overall is. Now let’s take a look at the list, from 10 to 1.

10. Kuwait

Kobra Towers - Kuwait

Kobra Towers – Kuwait

The fact that Kuwait is in the Middle East, a.k.a. ‘The Land of Conflicts’, makes the country one of the world’s leading arms importer and when the military expenditures are compared to the other variables mentioned, the country claims the 10th place in the world in terms of overall militarization.

9. Cyprus

Caves in Cyprus

Caves in Cyprus

Cyprus has but one international conflict, that is the one with the Turkish population and the de facto ‘Northern Cyprus Turkish Republic’ which claims one half of the island. Therefore, Cyprus becomes a heavily militarized country.

8. Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan Tower - Baku, Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan Tower – Baku, Azerbaijan

The ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Armenia continues to keep Azerbaijan as a military-active state.

7. South Korea

A traditional house from Seoul, South Korea

A traditional house from Seoul, South Korea

One side of the longest war in the near history that still continues, South Korea invests a great deal on military expenditures against North Korea predominantly.

6. Jordan

Amman, Jordan

Amman, Jordan

Just another Middle-eastern country that has to be careful on the wet floor… Jordan claims the 6th place in the world when it comes to militarization.

5. Syria

Sword of Damascus, Syria

Sword of Damascus, Syria

There’s not much to say about Syria, right? The sunni-shii conflicts, the Kurdish issue, the ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant)… They’ve got enough justifications to be among the top-5 militarized countries in the world.

4. Armenia

Yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan, Armenia

The Caucasus is heating up and Armenia does not want to fall weak within the process. Add to that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict against Azerbaijan, there you’ve got the 4th most militarized country in the world.

3. Russia

St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg, Russia

A traditionally militarized country, Russia also actively uses its military power, be it fighting against Georgia or silently invading Ukraine.

2. Singapore

The Marina Bay, Singapore

The Marina Bay, Singapore

This peaceful country is not something you would expect to see as the second most militarized country in the world, right? However, Singapore has a strict “Total Defense” security strategy and therefore they spend a lot on weapons and defense technologies.

1. Israel

The Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, Israel

The Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, Israel

At the heart of the Middle-East, Israel is the most militarized country in the world, which is absolutely no surprise. The country has strict military laws and every male and female citizen has to do the national service in the country. 

So where are the others in that list? According to the Global Militarization Index, USA is the 31st most militarized country in the world, while UK is the 64th. Germany, on the other hand, is the 81st in the list. Iran, according to the results, is the 32nd most militarized country in the world and Turkey is the 27th. The least militarized country in the world seems to be Gambia, according to the research [2].

It is also important to note that there is no accurate information about the militarization in North Korea, but it is believed that their GMI score would be higher than South Korea at least.

References

1. Grebe, Jan. 2011. “The Global Militarization Index (GMI) – A tool for evaluating development orientation of states as well as regional developments.” Occasional Paper, February 2011, Bonn: BICC.

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Global_Militarization_Index

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The Most Militarized Countries in the World / Orduya En Çok Yatırım Yapan Ülkeler
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The Most Militarized Countries in the World / Orduya En Çok Yatırım Yapan Ülkeler
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The Most Militarized Countries in the World / Orduya En Çok Yatırım Yapan Ülkeler
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