Armenia Named World’s 3rd Most Militarized Nation

Armenian Mi-24 helicopters fire missiles during a military exercise.

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Armenia has become the third most militarized country in the world after Israel and Singapore, according to an annual survey conducted by a German think-tank promoting peace.

In its 2014 Global Militarization Index (GMI) released this week, the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) rated “the weight and importance of the military apparatus” in 152 states. Its resulting rankings are based on comparisons between their defense spending and Gross Domestic Products and health expenditure as well as the ratio of their military force to the size of the population.

Armenia occupies third place in the latest GMI, giving it a higher “level of militarization” than any other country in wider Europe, including its arch-foes Turkey and Azerbaijan. The latter is 10th in the rankings despite the fact that the Azerbaijani defense budget exceeds Armenia’s entire state budget.

“Military expenditure in 2013 by Armenia reached $427 million, while expenditures in Azerbaijan grew to $3.4 billion. In Armenia, the share of military expenditures in GDP is 4 percent; in Azerbaijan it is 4.7 percent,” explains the survey funded by the German government.

“With 4.5 per cent share of the GDP, health expenditures in Armenia are only marginally higher than military spending; in Azerbaijan, this share amounts to 5.4 per cent,” it says. “Per 1,000 inhabitants, Armenia has 17.9 soldiers and paramilitaries and 3.6 physicians; in Azerbaijan, there are 8.9 soldiers and paramilitaries and 3.5 physicians per 1,000 inhabitants.”

Military expenditure is projected to rise by 3 percent in Azerbaijan and remain virtually unchanged in dollar terms in Armenia next year. Over 15 percent of the Armenian government’s total spending in 2015, projected at around $3 billion, is to be channeled into national defense.

Yerevan relies heavily on military aid from Russia, its main ally, in trying to offset Azerbaijan’s decade-long military build-up financed from massive oil revenues. Baku too buys most of its weapons from Russia.

The BICC noted this fact, saying that the armed forces of both South Caucasus foes are “highly dependent on Russian support.” Armenia will not be able to end this dependence in the foreseeable future, it said.

Azerbaijani leaders regularly threaten to launch military action to take back Karabakh and surrounding Armenian territories.


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  1. GB said:

    Armenia is surrounded with hostile nations like Tatar-Turks, where most Armenian Highlands is under occupation of these brainwashed Turkic herds!

  2. Avetis said:

    The south Caucasus is a nasty neighborhood and Armenia’s neighbors are predatory animals. It is therefore natural for Armenia to be highly militarized. But how has a tiny, landlocked, remote, impoverished and blockaded Armenia put together such a powerful military? Like I have been saying, thank God for Mother Russia!

  3. Hratch said:

    Always need to ask percentage of what? because 100% of 1 is still only 1. The true measure of a nation’s strength is not necessarily measured in hardware, it is also the ability to freely make decisions that actually protect national interests and dignity. After so many Azeri violations and murders, we have yet to respond. The greatest hindrance to our military might is not possession of this or that weapon, it’s rather the political gag rule imposed by Mother Russia. Not only are our hands and feet tied, but we’re also up against a foe who is constantly being armed by our so-called ally. The recent gloating announcement of a 2.7% increase in weapons sales for 2015 is just but another example of who we are in bed with.

    • GeorgeMardig said:

      Entering war pushed by Azerbaijan is insane, Armenia will respond whenever Russia gives it’s OK. and for the record, There’s NO country in the area would dare act without the blessing of a Superpower, not Turkey nor Azerbaijan, never the less Armenia.

  4. Norin said:

    Great news! I hope that one day we become number 1. These days might makes right and as such, having a strong and potent military will insure Armenia’s national security.

  5. Hratch said:

    “The BICC noted this fact, saying that the armed forces of both South Caucasus foes are “highly dependent on Russian support.” Armenia will not be able to end this dependence in the foreseeable future, it said.”

    Exactly how Mother Russia likes it. Marinate both sides and simmer over low and slow heat until ready to devour.

  6. Armenian Christian said:

    Azeri # are highly inflated much of the money is embezzled we had way worse odds last time and we still won…

  7. Ara said:

    WOw this report is being “conducted by a German think-tank promoting peace”- !!

    this is report can not be taken seriously,,, this report is simply laughable (as the ones issued periodically by so called pro Turkish international crises group. e.g spoke mouth of Turkish foreign ministry Sabine F.), Germany was and remains pro Turkish/Azerbaijani- Beside this the same Germany was one of the leading countries who brought territorial and border changes in Balkan by using military force jointly with NATO…

    How would act Germany today, if The Saarland were still part of France and not Germany?

  8. Josef said:

    That’s what happens when your two neighbors
    Mongol Barbarians and are looking for every opportunity to
    Take your native land and also convert you to Islam !

  9. Alex Postallian said:

    DID YOU REALIZE,ARMENIA,IS ONLY 45 miles wide,233 miles long……THATS IT….