This is a very subjective question, leaving people bound to claim their own country a having the best army in the world. In reality it comes down to what you define as best.
If you define best as "which individual Army is most likely to win a war against a foreign power?", then the answer is undoubtedly the United States. Although they have a smaller Army than the Chinese in terms of manpower, their technology is, at this time, far superior making them more likely to succeed in all out war.
That said, war is rarely straight forward and allegiances are often formed to bring down a common enemy who could not be defeated by an individual nation. For example, if the United States entered into war with A member of the European Union, the other members would probably come to it's aid. In this situation, the eventual victor of the conflict would probably be the allied Europeans as together they have similar technology to the United States but a greater number of troops and a stronger economy.
If the playing field was level in terms of man power and technology the situation changes again, with the emphasis being on the skill of the Individual soldier and the strategy of the army. Here the British probably excel, having regiments like the SAS, Royal Marines and Parachute regiment with a reputation for stringent discipline and intensive training (the Royal Marines have the longest basic training course of any normal infantry soldiers in the world at 33 weeks). Of course the US is not far behind with Delta Force or the Navy SEALs but the size of their special forces makes it harder to train all of the soldiers to the same level that other nations may do. The Gurkhas should probably receive and honorable mention - they fight as part of the British army but hail from Nepal, so in a way they could be seen as an unofficial Nepalese army - in which case they would be the best trained and most skilled of any Army in the world, although lacking technology and manpower, they have proved themselves time and again in conflict.
Historically, Britain and America have always been very strong militarily, although Britain has a richer history. Since the official creation of both the British Army, no foreign power has ever managed to invade Britain (although this could also be down to the fact it i an Island nation). The same can be said for the US; once the British left they have had no need to actually defend their country itself - just allies or overseas territories. Compare these two to places that may have faced similar threats militarily, like Russia, France and Germany and their long standing dominance is very impressive.
Going back even further, the title of best Army in the world could be given to the Roman Army, as for several hundreds of years, they were head and shoulders above their nearest rivals. The Greeks might have a claim to having the toughest soldiers in the Spartans, who even today are world renowned as being seriously good fighters (they won one of most one sided battles in History at Thermoplyae in 480BC. Their entire lives were devoted to fighting and training so it's easy to imagine how they were such good fighters.
The Top ten "best" Armies at this time in terms of expenditure and man power, training and equipment.
1. United States
3. United Kingdom
Historically (looking at the most militarily powerful nations of the last few hundred years) the list should probably go;
Additional input from WikiAnswers Contributors:
This question could be interpreted in different ways. If it is asking about the most powerful conventional army in the world, most would say the US. However, many FAQ Farmers interpreted the question to be asking for a subjective opinion on the "best" military. Many people said the armies of their own nation were the best in order to be patriotic. Here are some of the facts and opinions that were given:
United States Army
- If they all had the same equipment and number, Israel or China might have the best, however they do not. America has a ton of soldiers, and definitely the best equipment anywhere giving US soldiers the edge they need to be the best. (Others say the US Army relies too heavily on technology.)
- Look at who the world superpower is (Russia as the counter-balance)
- I served in the U.S. Army for 8 years, as an infantry soldier in the 82nd airborne div. I've been to Iraq three times and Bosnia once and no army in the world can compare to America's land and air forces. I know the British army is good but then why do Americans train them in urban warfare? The British do have a better main battle tank but compared to the M2A1 Abrams they would get smoked in a desert battle. As far as trained soldiers go, some of America's forces are not that well disciplined, e.g. reservists. But when push comes to shove even they get the job done. To those who say we lost Vietnam: look at the statistics. Politically we lost, we also lost around 60,000 soldiers, but we killed over four million. So I'd say we won, South Vietnam lost.
- Sorry to butt in here but the SAS instructors train the American troops including the Navy Seals who are by the way, way over rated. Also the Abrams i think you'll find would not beat the challenger 2 as it is not good enough.
- Additionally, the counter-intelligence that the USA Armed Forces possesses is without a doubt, second to none. With spies and 700 military bases in 130 countries around the world, the USA Armed Forces has the ultimate capability to plan and attack an air or ground combat war, or dispatch for rescue and humanitarian relief. The British Army is not the best in the world for the mere fact that they could not defend nor protect their own country during the Second World War as they had to call on the Russians and Americans for help. Between the US Army and the British Army let's take a look at the facts. Facts: British Army active personnel: 101,000; Total British Armed Forces personnel; 195,500 Total Military Bases Around the World: 86; British Nuclear Stockpile: 200+; Special Forces: Special Air Services; British Defense Expenditure (Y 2008): $69 billion USD; US Army active personnel: 1, 055,000,000; Total US Armed Forces personnel: 1, 426,000,000; Total Military Bases Around the World: 700 in 130 countries; American Nuclear Stockpile: 5000+; Special Forces: Navy Seals, Delta Force, Green Berets, Top Gun; US Defense expenditure (Y 2008): $623 billion USD (47% of world's total military expenditure.) Bottom Line: US Armed Forces = 600 pound Gorilla (In response to the above statement- It is not completely correct and a little offensive. The British of course fought the "Battle of Britain" (a predominantly air-based battle) against the Germans and won, thus securing the British Isles. The Americans came to the aid of FRANCE, who they helped liberate along with the British)
- Always bring the British Army into fight their battles. Then they get Britain attacked as well.
- The British Army is without a doubt is the best army in the world. It may not always have the best equipment and technology, but the British army has definitely got the best trained, most skilled and professional soldiers in all the world.
- The British Army are without question the finest soldiers. They are the standard all others aim to and Sandhurst is were the rest of the world comes to train their armies.
- It hasn't lost a major conflict in its five hundred year history and it was the back bone to the largest Empire on the earth ever. The British are too modest when it comes to its armed forces as it likes to keep a low profile.
- The best army in the world be a combination of the US, British, Australian and Canadian forces. The UK/Australian SAS and SBS special forces are simply the best. When it comes to the best regular troops, I would have to say it is the Gurkha regiments from Nepal who are part of the British army. I have heard that during the Falklands War that the Gurkhas fought the heavily armed Argentinian invaders with their knives and beat them hands down.
- If you had a level playing field combat situation (same amount of soldiers) between any army in the world and the British the British would win full stop.
- The Israeli Army has the most skilled minds and advanced technology in the world, they constantly create patents in the field of military technology and regularly share intelligence and work with the military forces of the US . In addition, the country of Israel is strategically placed in an area of great threats that forces its defense forces to be in tip top shape.Israeli Special Forces (Mossad) or (IDF) Facts: Best training, Best Tactical operations, Israeli Military leaders are sent to train Police and military all over the world.
- The Indian Army has got the bravest soldiers and skills. Thus they are the best army in the world. Being ruled by different rulers at different times India has never lost its dignity.
- The British Army is without any shadow of a doubt the world's best trained and combat experienced Army of either the ancient or modern world. It has participated in far more wars than the whole of the rest of the worlds armies put together and that is historical fact. It also raised and trained half of the worlds existing armed forces today. Even the Indian and Pakistan armies have a common heritage being formed by the British. There initial training is the longest in the world for infantry and marines. Their assault courses put the USMC and special forces to shame as few can complete them and those that can in the US forces take twice as long as the British. Britain does not have the high tech equipment of the US Armed Forces due to the fact successive modern governments whose politicians have never served in the Armed Forces, continue to starve them of proper equipment and keep reducing the armed forces size. Individual infantry and Armored Regiments have accumulated more battle honors for their colors and Gideon's than the combined infantry regiments of any other worlds army. Sadly they are only allowed to display a very limited and selected number of battle honours on their colours and Gideon's. They do not display any battle honours for the American War of Independence (American Revolutionary war) because it is the only war they ever lost and is regarded as a civil war fought overseas, kin against kin. Today they are also the best paid armed forces. The minimum initial training for non combat arms is 13 weeks, for artillery and armour it is 18 weeks and for the infantry it is 26 weeks (30 parachute Regiment). The Corps of Royal Marines of the Royal Navy is now 33 weeks.
- The SAS are without doubt the best special services in the world, not the Navy Seals. The SAS have a brilliant track record of success after success playing huge roles across the world.
- Pakistan's army is the best army in the whole world. The Pakistani army is well trained and dedicated to their duties. Pakistani commandos are very brave.
- North Korea: anyone who challenges them in a nuclear war ... will be toast. (funny, seeming how North Korea hias 1/10000 the amount of nukes America Has)
- The Chinese have the greatest army on earth. They are well trained. For example, 10,000 soldiers walk together, they are look the same because they step at the same time. There is no doubt that they are the greatest. (Others say that China, Russia and North Korea are just conscripted cannon fodder.)
- Finnish Army would be one of the best ones.
- Russian and American armies are the best in the world.
- The Greeks by far have the bravest soldiers. In World War II, Italy came to take over Greece and could not do it, a country with 10 times the army. They had to call in Germany for help. After 10 months of fighting they finally took control of Greece [FYI: took them 40 days to take over France]. Germans were stuck on Crete for 6 months and could not take control of the island because kids as well as older people were stabbing the parachute troopers as they were coming down. Only island that has never been conquered. Because of this LONG delay [10 months], it forced Germany to enter Russia in the winter ... and you all know what happened. Germany lost the war. So when it comes to courage, passion and having heart I would say Greece, hands down.
- Australian Army is the greatest and most aggressive in the world, our SASR special forces has surpassed the British and throughout our short history our courage, AGGRESSION and raw ability have prevailed through all our battles. You just ask any US soldier that has been on op with an Aussie and they will tell you how it really is. The Australian Army gets the job done, no nonsense, not relying on technology. Our soldiers grew up outside, in the bush, we were born soldiers and if there was ever a time someone tried to invade our land, it wouldn't just be our military at hand it would be our grandparents, mothers, fathers and children all stepping up to protect our freedom. It's a solid block that our country has been developed on, I respect the other army's especially the British, though based on "even" personnel numbers, our quality of soldier reigns above the rest. After all we have more to live for (beaches, women, and cold beer).
- Military strength is a term that describes a quantification or reference to a nation's standing military forces or the capacity for fulfillment of that military's role. For example, the military strength of a given country could be interpreted as the number of individuals in its armed forces, the destructive potential of its arsenal, or both. For example, while China and India maintain the largest armed forces in the world, the U.S. Military is considered to be one of the world's strongest, although the certainty of such a claim cannot be ascertained without a detailed analysis of opposing military forces in relation to one another as well as taking into account the field(s) of battle and tactics used in such a conflict.
- Canada is under the United Kingdom. Although Canada is a young and small country in comparison to many other countries it's true that the Snow Birds (jet fighters) beat out the Americans! The latter statement doesn't really matter in the context of things. American, Canadian, British or our allies, it takes ALL OF US to win a war against our enemies. By fighting amongst ourselves it resolves nothing and only shows up each country as being fools. If we can't get along together then how can we even begin to win a war!
- I am Italian but if you need an answer in the history, so the old Roman Empire was made with the best army for that time , some of this old way to combat is also today in use , if you need to know the most powerful army is us army but cause us government spend almost ten times what other country spen for own country. I say that the best are sas army from UK and Italian nocs from Carabinieri are also good.