Militaries — heavily armed and highly organized forces — can be used defensively to protect a country’s people against external and internal threats. They can also be deployed during emergencies, such as natural disasters, to evacuate affected populations and provide them shelter, food, and medicine.
But militaries can also be used offensively to attack other countries, maintain domestic power, and suppress opposition. Even when they are not actively deployed, militaries may divert resources from other public priorities, such as spending on healthcare and education.
On this page, you can find global data and visualizations on military personnel and spending.