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IRAQ AND THE WORLD’S BIGGEST ARMIES

When Saddam Hussein’s army invaded Kuwait last Aug. 2, it was among the largest in the world. By any of several measures, it was in the top 10. In the case of army size in proportion to population, Iraq was No. 1, according to a Times analysis. While the Iraqi army is now in ruins, it may be instructive to see where it stood, and which nations now move up the list.

Size of Force in Proportion to Population Rank: Troops on active duty per 1,000 population 1. IRAQ: 53.0 2. Israel: 42.6 3. North Korea: 39.1 4. Syria: 35.9 5. Cuba: 28.9 6. Nicaragua: 24.1 7. Bulgaria: 21.3 8. Vietnam: 20.4 9. Greece: 20.3 10. Taiwan: 18.5 11. Turkey: 16.6 12. Soviet Union: 15.5 13. Germany*: 14.5 14. South Korea: 14.3 15. Czechoslovakia: 13.8 16. Poland: 11.7 17. Romania: 10.8 18. Chile: 10.2 19. France: 10.1 20. United States: 9.3

Total Military on Active Duty Rank: Troops in thousands 1. Soviet Union: 4,400 2. China: 3,530 3. United States: 2.279 4. India: 1,502 5. Vietnam: 1,300 6. IRAQ: 900 7. Turkey: 879 8. North Korea: 838 9. South Korea: 604 10. Pakistan: 573 11. France: 559 12. Brazil: 541 13. Italy: 531 14. Germany*: 500 15. Egypt: 450

Defense Spending Per Capita Rank: Spending per person 1. Israel: $1,373.91 2. United States: 1,165.13 3. Saudi Arabia: 981.56 4. IRAQ: 696.34 5. United Kingdom: 589.24 6. France: 585.64 7. Switzerland: 581.54 8. Soviet Union: 406.79 9. Italy: 331.06 10. South Korea: 248.63 11. Japan: 227.51 12. Syria: 200.81 13. North Korea: 182.02 14. Iran: 165.07 15. Egypt: 116.42 Sources: International Institute for Strategic Studies (defense spending figures for 1990-91, except Cuba, Syria and North Korea, 1989; and Brazil, 1988); 1990 World Almanac (1987 figures on troop size) * Latest estimate from German Information Center, New York

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