Survey: Israel’s Military Ranked 17th Most Powerful
According to Global Firepower’s annual Military Strength Ranking index, the Israeli army is the 17th most powerful force in the world. The Jewish state dropped one spot in the latest survey, and, notably, for the second year in a row placed behind its arch-enemy Iran. Regarding other Middle East states, Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan also ranked ahead of Israel. The study noted that the Jewish state has about 170,000 active personnel in the various branches of its military, with a further 445,000 people serving in the reserves. Together, then, more than 7 percent of the country’s population maintains some role in the Israel Defense Forces. With a population of about 9 million people, Israel continues to punch above its weight, with a yearly defense budget approximating $20 billion, which far exceeds those of many nations listed in the index’s top 20. The survey takes into account such factors as the size of a nation’s army, the number and quality of its weaponry, as well as associated elements such as geography and the strength and stability of the local economy. While Israel is believed to have upwards of 200 nuclear weapons, Global Firepower only factors into its calculations countries with declared stockpiles.