The Middle East has been racked by turmoil for much of the past decade, and its militaries are constantly thrown into the region’s often-violent chaos.
A mixture of transnational threats like ISIS and domestic insurgencies from local militant groups, along with larger regional rivalries, all force Middle Eastern countries to develop their armed forces.
They aren’t always successful: Iraq’s military folded as soon as ISIS began to blitz across the country last summer, despite its superior manpower and American-made weaponry.
To make sense of the fire power of the Middle East’s countries, we have turned to the Global Firepower Index, a ranking of 106 nations based on more than 50 factors including overall military budget, available manpower, and the amount of equipment each country has in its respective arsenal, as well as access to natural resources.
The index is by no means the definitive end-all analysis and focuses exclusively on quantity. The index also does not factor in advantages like advanced weapons systems or nuclear stockpiles. Still, the index gives a good approximation of a country’s basic military readiness.
We’ve created a chart to compare 15 of the militaries in the Middle East according to the most recent information from the Global Firepower Index. The ranking was released in April (before ISIS’s blitz through Iraq and the flare-up between Israel and Hamas) and involves a complex set of data that is subject to ongoing adjustments and corrections.
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