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June 14, 2013 9:37 am

New Military Index Ranking World’s Top Armies Places Israel Just Three Ahead of Iran

avatar by Zach Pontz

IDF Tanks On the Move

Israel’s military may have a world-class reputation, but a new power index surprisingly says the Jewish state, at least this year, falls shy of a top 10 ranking.

The rankings published by list the top 68 militaries in the world. The list, which the site says makes use of more than 40 factors to determine army strength, places Israel at number 13. Just three spots down the list at number 16 is Iran, a country that Israel has warned may be the target of military action if its current nuclear weapons program continues unabated. Turkey, a country that has showed open hostility to Israel in recent years ranks 11th on the list two spots ahead of the Jewish state, while the Muslim Brotherhood’s Egypt ranks just one spot below Israel.

Israel’s Channel 2 notes that there may be many reasons for the relatively low ranking, which places the country behind the less prominent militaries of countries such as Italy and Brazil. The fact that Israel doesn’t publicly acknowledge it has a nuclear arsenal is one of them, plus its reliance on strategic alliances and the fact that much of its military might is kept secret.

The United States ranks highest on the list followed by Russia in second place, China in third, India fourth and the United Kingdom 5th. Others that rank ahead of Israel include France, Germany, South Korea and Pakistan.

“Ongoing regional threats have powered the Israeli war machine for decades,” write the list’s authors, adding details on Israel’s military makeup. According to the website, Israel has 187,000 active front-line personnel and 565,000 active reserve personnel, as well as 3870 tanks, 656 aircraft, 65 naval vessels and a military budget of $15, 209,000,000.

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