Top 5 military powers in the Middle East

With the fights in the Middle East, it’s worth noting who has the biggest arms when it comes to military might over there. These rankings are based on statistical numbers and progress made over the past decades.

#5: Iran- With a 6.3 billion dollar defense budget and over 500,000 active front line soldiers, Iran has developed a massive domestic military unit under the lead of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps. What’s most impressive about Iran is not necessarily its numbers, but its ability to build its own submarines and tanks, which nobody else does in the Middle East. While Iran uses weapons made in the US and Russia, their investment in building their own ships is commendable, even if they might be unreliable.

#4: United Arab Emirates- With a 14 billion dollar budget, the UAE is the rising military power in the Middle East. Their weaponry is very diversified, originally purchased from the US, Russia, UK, Ukraine, France, Italy, and Germany. They focus on upgrading their equipment rather than having a lot of old equipment (quality over quantity) and they have been heavily involved in the fight against ISIS without US support, bombing militants in Libya with F-16 jets, some of the most advanced jets in the world. With a country of only 9 million people, they military spending has gone up 85% since 2004 and are now in the top 15 military spenders in the world.

#3: Saudi Arabia- The biggest country in the Mideast also has the fourth largest military spending in the world, with a budget of 56.7 billion dollars. They are a major buyer of US arms and will soon have an even more advanced air force than Israel. Saudi Arabia is one of the most capable security forces in the entire region.

#2: Turkey- Like the UAE, Turkey focuses heavily on modernizing and even next generation weaponry, and they try to build it domestically. Being a member of NATO, they have Patriot Missiles set up within the country to protect against attacks from Syria. The country has a goal of replacing their American made equipment with Turkish, which provides thousands of jobs and a focus on fresh, next generation tanks and fighter jets. They have an 18 billion dollar budget and almost has many front line soldiers as Iran at over 400,000.

#1: Israel- Arguably the toughest nation in the land, Israel has been defending itself from close foreign attacks since its independence in 1948. They’ve successfully warded off the Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian and Palestinian armies in the past and did not crumble as a result. Their close relationship with the US has provided many exclusive assets, such as the most advanced fighter jets, high-tech drones, and nuclear weapons. Israel has the most powerful air force in the world apparently. Because of their small size, their military is the fastest to mobilize at any moment and protect itself on all borders. Israel has a 15 billion dollar budget domestically, but it is also funded by the US in huge ways.

source: Business Insider


6 thoughts on “Top 5 military powers in the Middle East

  1. I think this is truly interesting based on how many discussions of the Middle East are centered on military attacks and forces. I would be curious to learn how military powers in the Middle East compare to those around the world, like the U.S., England, Russia, etc. Also, I think its a great key idea that you talk about mobilization being a strategic aspect of any military – essentially the faster you can move, the more protected the country and you troops are.

  2. I had no idea how powerful the Israel military forces were. Obviously the United States support has a lot to do with that fact but it’s great that they have the ability to mobilize their army at any given time.

  3. Interesting Article. With all of the oil money a lot of the countries have I never thought about how that would apply to military spending. I’m surprised Iran isn’t higher up on the list seeing as they have an established nuclear program. Definitely with all of the fighting over there having a strong military makes sense. I would be curious to know what the other nations in the Middle East are doing to build their military.

  4. This was a new look at who we see as a strong military power in the middle east compared to how they are spending and what they are doing with the money. It was interesting to see how some military powers who spend less can actually be stronger than those who spend more. I never knew Israel supposedly has the strongest air force in the world. I agree with Danielle, it would be interesting to see how they compared to the rest of the world in spending and strength.

  5. With the area filled with conflict it is interesting to see who exactly spends what on their military. Like wh097012, I found it interesting that with a nuclear program, Iran was not higher on the list.

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