Israel drops to 15th on list of world's strongest militaries

Global Firepower list puts Israel ahead of Iran, but behind Turkey and Egypt.

Hillel Fendel ,

IDF Merkava mark 4 tank outside Gaza
IDF Merkava mark 4 tank outside Gaza
Albert Sadikov/Flash 90

Israel still ranks among the top military powers in the world, but has dropped from 11th place a year ago to number 15 at present. So finds the military analytic website Global Firepower.

The website ranks military capabilities based on no fewer than 50 factors, including diversity and amount of weaponry, geographical position, natural resources, and manpower. It also takes into account whether the country is an actual or a suspected nuclear power, though it does not figure in nuclear stockpiles.

Israel, number 15 on the list of 106 nations, has an annual defense budget of $15.5 billion and it commands 160,000 active frontline personnel.

Egypt, which was #18 last year, is now ranked at #11, and Turkey is in eighth place.

Iran, which has repeatedly declared that it wishes to destroy Israel, is #20 on the list, up from 23rd last year but still behind Israel.

The top four remained the same as last year: The United States (with a $600 billion defense budget), Russia, China and India. France, the UK, and Japan are in places 5 through 7.

Global Firepower notes the following points in how the scores are calculated:

• Geographical factors, logistical flexibility, natural resources and local industry influence the final ranking.

• Land-locked nations are not penalized for lack of a navy; naval powers are penalized for lack of diversity in available assets.

• NATO allies receive a slight bonus due to the theoretical sharing of resources.

• Current political/military leadership is not taken into account.