Vietnam ranks high in military strength

By Nguyen Quy   October 29, 2019 | 05:31 am PT
Vietnam ranks high in military strength
Vietnamese soldiers guard a street in Hanoi during the second Trump-Kim summit, February 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Vietnam has the 23rd most powerful military in the world, according to a ranking by U.S. website Global Firepower.

The country was down three places from last year, but still second in Southeast Asia after Indonesia, according to the 2019 Military Strength Ranking.

Global Firepower is a U.S.-based non-governmental military website that assesses the military power of countries around the world.

The index measures military strength of 137 countries and territories around the world based on 55 parameters, including military resources, diversity of weapon systems, natural resources, geographical features, finances and available manpower.

A perfect score in the index is 0. The closer they are to this number, the more powerful their military is.

This year, Vietnam scored 0.3988 and Indonesia, 16th in the world, 0.2804 points.

In Southeast Asia, Thailand was in 26th position, followed by Myanmar (37th), Malaysia (41st), Singapore (59th), the Philippines (64th), Cambodia (107th) and Laos (127th).

The report said Vietnam has a total of 318 aircraft, including 140 helicopters, placing it 33rd in this category, while its combat tanks strength of 2,575 was ranked 10th.

Vietnam's naval strength, with 65 ships, placed it in 36th position. North Korea topped this category with 967 ships.

Vietnam has an estimated 5.4 million military personnel,with 1.65 million people reaching military age every year.

Compulsory enlistment has existed in Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, and thousands of young people join the army every spring. Men aged between 18 and 27 have to serve two years, while women can volunteer to serve.

Enlistment has become stricter in recent years after legislators accused many wealthy families of paying bribes to have their children evade service.

The U.S. firm’s report also revealed that Vietnam’s annual defense budget was around $3.3 billion. The U.S. is the world's largest defense spender at $716 billion per year, followed by China ($224 billion) and Saudi Arabia ($70 billion).

This year, the U.S. military was still ranked the most powerful in the world, followed by Russia and China.

India and France rounded out the top five. The rest of the top 10 comprised Japan, South Korea, the U.K., Turkey and Germany.

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