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The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 million) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 million) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 billion) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 million) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 million) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 million) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 million) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

What Is Behind US Military Decision to Delay the Induction of Transgender Recruits?

The Pentagon’s decision to delay an Obama policy allowing the induction of transgender recruits into the U.S. military has been criticized by rights groups.

“Each day that passes without the policy in place restricts the armed forces’ ability to recruit the best and the brightest, regardless of gender identity,” said Human Rights Campaign spokesman Stephen Peters in a statement.

In a leaked memo, Defense Secretary James Mattis said that the decision was made after consultation with senior defense officials, and “in no way presupposes an outcome.” The Pentagon said the decision was made so the military could “review their accession plans and provide input on the impact to the readiness and lethality of our forces.”

Daily Emails and Alerts– Get the best of Newsweek delivered to your inbox[1]

<!–[if IE 9]><![endif]–>GettyImages-457547400 transgenders Major Alexandra Larsson of the Swedish Armed Forces, Sergeant Lucy Jordan of the New Zealand Air Force and Major Donna Harding of the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps listen to Corporal Natalie Murray of the Canadian Forces speak during a a conference entitled ‘Perspectives on Transgender Military Service from Around the Globe’ organized by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Palm Center in Washington,DC on October 20, 2014. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

The decision came on the eve of the July 1 implementation of the measure set by previous Defense Secretary Ash Carter. Currently, recruits who disclose their trans status after they join the military can continue to serve but transgender people cannot enlist.

So what are some of the reasons that have been cited by lawmakers and officials in criticism of the reform?

Republican House lawmakers on Wednesday called for Mattis to reverse the bill, and threatened to launch a lawsuit if he refuses.

“This policy is not only costly, it’s also a threat to readiness,” said Rep. Vicky Hartzler, during debate on the annual defense authorization bill, reported the Military Times.

“Military service is a privilege, not a right. It is predicated on the singular goal of winning the war and defeating the enemy. All decisions on personnel and funding should be made with this in mind.”

Military chiefs last week submitted a request asking for a new proviso to be added to the bill, requiring transgender recruits to wait to enlist for up to two years after transitioning. They also claim more time is required to assess the experience of transgender personnel, and consider the effect on military bases.

Defenders of the bill claim that it enhances force readiness, by selecting personnel regardless of gender. Republicans argue the move is an attempt at social engineering and of little real benefit to the armed services.

Another issue is cost.

Some critics allege that the move could cost the military tens of millions, which could be better spent. Under the terms of the new bill, the military will cover healthcare and surgery costs for transgender service personnel.

However, Aaron Belkin, a professor of political science at San Francisco State University, told Reuters in 2015 that transition care for transgender members of the United States military would cost around $5.6 million, a fraction of the military’s budget. The Rand corporation has estimated costs could come to between $2 and $8 million.[2]

Democrats in a letter [3]to Mattis Friday urged him not to  further delay implementation—now at six months’ standing—and claimed that costs would be minimal.