18 Countries In The World That Do Not Have An Army

The Armed Forces have become a crucial part of almost every nation across the world. Nowadays country’s strength is often measured by the strength of its Army.

Each country wants to have more powerful and advanced fighter aircraft and weapons than the other.

While many countries often spend millions in order to strengthen their armed forces, there are few countries in the world who believe that ‘War is Hell’ and hence, they do not keep any military force in their country.

Here is a list of countries that survive without any armed forces.

1. Andorra

Andorra has no standing army but has signed treaties with Spain and France for its protection. Its small volunteer army is purely ceremonial in function. The paramilitary GIPA (trained in counter-terrorism and hostage management) is part of the national police. Defense assistance is provided by France and Spain under an informal agreement between the three countries.

2. Dominica

Dominica has not had a standing army since 1981. Defense is the responsibility of the Regional Security System.

3. Costa Rica

In 1948, after its victory in the civil war, the country put an end to having any armed force. Every year, Costa Rica celebrates Army Abolition Day on December 1. The police force currently handles the internal security of the country.

4. Vatican City

The smallest country in the world, Vatican City used to have many armed forces to protect the pope and the country but Pope Paul VI abolished all the forces in 1970. However, since the little country is located in Rome, Italy protects the Vatican City.

5. Iceland

Iceland had an army in 1869 but after that, the country had defense agreements with the U.S. to maintain an Iceland Defense Force that existed from 1951-to 2006. In 2006, America announced that it will provide Iceland with its security without any stationed forces in the country.

6. Samoa

The 1962 Treaty of Friendship signed between Samoa and New Zealand established informal defence ties between two countries. This has allowed the Polynesian country to not have its own armed forces. However, the nature of the treaty being informal, Samoa would have to ask New Zealand for assistance before it would be provided.

7. Vanuatu

However, this country has something called the Vanuatu mobile force which maintains internal security and is equipped with small arms.

8. Solomon Islands

Initially, this country maintained its own force. After a heavy ethnic conflict, which forced countries like Australia and New Zealand to intervene, this country has not maintained any military of its own. However, the country does have a relatively large police force.

9. Liechtenstein

Abolished its standing army in 1868 because it was deemed too costly. An army is only permitted in times of war, but that situation has never occurred. Liechtenstein maintains a police force with a police tactical unit, equipped with small arms to carry out internal security duties. Defense assistance is provided by Austria and Switzerland under an informal agreement among the three countries.

10. Kiribati

Under the Constitution, the only forces permitted are the police, which includes a Maritime Surveillance Unit for internal security. The Maritime Surveillance is equipped with small arms and maintains one Pacific-class patrol boat, the Teanoai. Defence assistance is provided by Australia and New Zealand under an informal agreement between the three countries.

11. Saint Lucia

The Royal Saint Lucia Police maintain two small paramilitary forces consisting of 116 people, the Special Service Unit, and the Coast Guard, both units are responsible for internal security. Defence is the responsibility of the Regional Security System.

12. Andorra

Under a separate military treaty, Andorra receives protection from Spain and France but has no standing military force. Andorra does have a small army for special ceremonies. Laws in the nation are handled by the National Police Corps.

13. St. Vincent and the Grenadines

St. Vincent and Grenadines is another Caribbean country that does not have an army of its own. Just like other Caribbean nations, this country too receives protection from the Regional Security System.

14. Panama

This country does have something called the Panamanian Public Forces which is responsible for internal security and border problems.

15. Palau

The only forces permitted are the police. The country has a 30 man Maritime Surveillance Unit which is responsible for internal security.

Defense assistance is provided by the United States under the Compact of Free Association.

16. Monaco

Technically this country should not even be on the list since Monaco has a very small military that employs around 250 personnel that operate alongside the police and fire department. The Palace Guards are also part of the military. However, their duties are more ceremonial in nature.

Covering less than four square miles, this tiny country has earned itself a place on this list because it officially outsources all of its defence needs to its big neighbour – France.

17. Micronesia

The island country is comprised of 600 islands, all of which have the mighty military power of Uncle Sam backing them up.

At about 104,000, the population of Micronesia is no bigger than that of the District of Lichfield in Staffordshire, but if anyone in the country does aspire to a career in the military, they still have a chance, despite Micronesia not having a standing armed force of its own. The Compact of Free Association allows citizens of Micronesia to join the US armed forces.

18. Mauritius

Mauritius is another popular country that has no standing army. Although the country has no army of its own yet it has active police personnel of around 10,000, which is responsible for all military, police, and security functions. It is under the command of the Commissioner of Police.


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