Every year, Global Firepower releases its list of the most powerful military forces in the world. America predictably tops the list again in 2018, and the rest of the top five is unchanged from last year.But things get more interesting further down the list. Both North and South Korea have moved several places up the list since last year, likely to do with recent military escalations in the region. It remains to be seen if the diplomatic moves towards denuclearization will affect their ranking in next year’s list.Another big mover on the list is Iran. The nation has hit the news in recent months, with the military advisor to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei saying he is prepared for war with the U.S. and Israel. Iran’s new ranking higher up the list indicates he’s been putting his money where his mouth is.A few countries have slipped down the list, but this doesn’t necessarily mean Malaysia, Chile and Austria have less powerful militaries than last year. Countries’ rankings are not just based on the total number of weapons they have. Global Firepower also takes into account geographical and diplomatic factors, financial stability, and ability to call on powerful allies.Another country that has fallen down the list is Ethiopia, amid the signing of a declaration to end a years-long military stand-off with neighboring Eritrea. Diplomatic relations broke off after a two-year war ended in 2000, but the countries are now ready to re-establish ties.
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