Aug 28, 2009 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Military Balance 2009 annual assessment report has placed Eritrea as the world’s second most militarized country.

The Military Balance report by the International Institute for Strategic studies (IISS) for 2009 was released in terms of numbers of soldiers per million of population. It has released the five most heavily defended states of the world.

China may have the world’s largest active army. the report said but its 1.6 million soldiers are tasked with defending a population of 1.3 billion people. That works out at 1,200 soldiers for every million people-a figure that looks almost paltry when compared with the relative arrangements of many less populous countries.

Top on the list is the isolated communist state of North Korea , which maintains a 950,000 strong army – meaning that more that 40,000 soldiers are available to defend every million of its 23.5 million people.

The tiny nation of Eritrea musters barely five million inhabitants, but has an army of 39,770 soldiers for every million. Eritrea has 200,000 active army.

Israel, United Arab Emirates and Jordan hold third to fifth positions respectively.

The report said that Most of these states are characterized by volatile regional political relations.

The Military Balance is the annual assessment of the military capabilities and defence economies of 170 countries worldwide, produced annually by the IISS since 1959. It is an essential resource for those involved in security policymaking, analysis and research.

As well as detailed information on inventories, the book contains region by region analysis of major military and economic trends affecting security policy and the trade in military equipment

(Sudan Tribune)