The Military Balance is The International Institute for Strategic Studies’ annual assessment of the military capabilities and defence economics of 171 countries worldwide, and is available in both print and electronic format. It is an essential resource for those involved in security policymaking, and an indispensable handbook for anyone conducting serious analysis of military affairs, whether in the defence industry, government, the armed forces, academia, consultancy or the media.

In The Military Balance 2014, launched on 5 February, opening essays examine developments in armed conflict and the world of military technology and doctrine. This year’s ‘Conflict analysis and conflict trends’ essay considers lessons learnt from the ten years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the role of state and non-state adversaries, commonalities and continuities between modern conflicts, and possible capability requirements. This is followed by ‘Unmanned systems: capabilities develop amid continuing policy questions’. In this piece, the development and deployment of land, maritime and aerospace systems are discussed, as well as the problems of contested airspace, and the future for unmanned systems as a result of developments in autonomous technology. Finally, an essay on ‘Measuring cyber capability’ discusses factors by which we might begin to measure states’ abilities to operate in the cyber domain, and possible indicators of cyber warfare capability.

A Comparative Defence Statistics colour graphics section displays headline figures for defence economics and selected trends in land, sea, air and the defence industry. The Military Balance 2014 includes the following graphics:

• Top 15 defence budgets 2013
• 2013 top 15 defence and security budgets as a % of GDP
• Planned global defence expenditure by region 2013
• Planned global defence expenditure by country 2013
• Real global defence spending changes by region 2011–13
• Real defence spending changes in selected states since the 2008 financial crisis
• Composition of real defence spending increases 2012–13
• Composition of real defence spending reductions 2012–13
• Infantry and soldier modernisation
• Key defence statistics for China, France, India, Russia, the UK and the US
• US Army armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) modernisation
• Combat aircraft numbers reduce in European air forces
• Global ‘flat-top’ fleets, 1964–2023

Regional and select country analyses cover the major developments affecting defence policy, military procurement and defence economics, in North America, Europe, Russia and Eurasia, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Specific country analysis this year includes the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Algeria, Ethiopia and Brazil.

Detailed A–Z entries by region list national military organisations, headline personnel numbers, equipment inventories and relevant economic and demographic data as well as, at the end of each chapter, information on selected regional arms procurements and deliveries. Additional data-sets detail by region military exercises conducted during 2013 and both UN and non-UN global security and peacekeeping deployments.

Our annual Chart of Conflict is updated for 2014. This is a comprehensive reference on conflict, peace-support operations and transnational terrorist attacks, with additional details such as conflict dates and fatality figures. This year the chart focuses on women in armed conflict, with graphs, tables and timelines highlighting the roles played by women in military confrontations and the impact of conflict on the female population. This year’s chart, and previous years’, is available to purchase separately. Bespoke sizes can be accommodated on request.

‘Because military affairs are inevitably clouded in fog, the IISS Military Balance is an essential companion for those who seek to understand.Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, former UK Defence Secretary and Secretary-General of NATO

'The Military Balance is the unique and vital resource on which informed public debate of the world's armed forces is founded. Up-to-date figures and information on defence budgets, procurement totals, equipment holdings, and military deployments are presented clearly and succinctly. In the area of defense information, where nationally produced fictions often masquerade as facts, The Military Balance is the internationally recognized source of record.' William S. Cohen, former US Secretary of Defense

The Military Balance 2014 will be released on 05 February 2014. Print copies are available to pre-order and will be dispatched after the launch.

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The Military Balance 2014

The Military Balance is the authoritative assessment of the military capabilities and defence economics of 171 countries.

How to access The Military Balance: 

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