The world’s biggest countries without armed forces

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BLACKEAGLE

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18 February 2015

An established armed force is normally thought of as essential for safeguarding borders but a few nations do however get by with no military muscle of their own. Army-technonology.com lists the ten biggest countries geographically without any armed forces.



Costa Rica
Costa Rica abolished its armed forces after the triumph in the civil war in 1948. The nation, spread over 51,100km2, is the biggest among those with no standing armed forces. Costa Rica celebrates Army Abolition Day (Día de la Abolición del Ejército) every year on December 1st.

Despite a border conflict with Nicaragua, the nation still exists with no regular army and the police force currently handles the internal security of the country. Costa Rica does however have a paramilitary force of approximately 8,400 personnel, constituting a Civil Guard of more than 4,000, a Border Security Police of 2,000 and a Rural Guard of 2,000.

Solomon Islands
The Solomon Islands, an archipelago in the Southwest Pacific, located about 1,900km northeast of Australia, covers a total area of 28,896km2. A police force of nearly 500 personnel, including a border protection element, provide security and protection to the country.

The police forces also perform fire service, disaster relief, and maritime surveillance duties. The US Coast Guard (USCG) provides training to Solomon Islands border protection officers.



Independent State of Samoa
The Independent State of Samoa (previously known as Western Samoa) occupies an area of 2,831km2 on two main islands of Upolu and Savai'i and seven small islands. It has had no standing army since becoming independent from New Zealand in 1962.

The Samoan Police manages internal security and border protection in close cooperation with the New Zealand defence forces. The Samoa Police and Prison Service (SPS) has a force of more than 500 personnel. The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) operates maritime surveillance flights to safe guard territorial waters.

Kiribati
Kiribati, another country with no standing army, is a conglomerate of three groups of islands - the Gilbert Islands, the Phoenix Islands and the Line Islands, which together encompass 811km2 of land spread over 3.5 million square kilometres of ocean.

Kiribati Police Service and Prison, with defence assistance from Australia and New Zealand, safeguards the country. The Police Maritime Unit operates the RKS Teanoai, a Pacific class patrol boat supplied by Australia under the Pacific Patrol Boat programme.



Dominica
Dominica, a 751km2 island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, has had no standing army since 1981 following an attempted army coup. The Regional Security System is responsible for the defence of the nation.

The Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force, established in 1840, includes a Coast Guard unit for conducting patrols across the 148km-long coast and is responsible for the homeland security of the nation.

Federated States of Micronesia
The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) operates no standing military forces and the US has full authority and responsibility for the defence and security of the FSM under a cooperative relationship with the nation.

FSM spans over 702km2 of land on four islands across the Western Pacific Ocean. A small federal national police force known as FSM National Police, an arm of the FSM national government, handles the internal security in the states. Each of the four states in Micronesia has police department and internal Department of Public Safety.



Saint Lucia
Defence in Saint Lucia, one of the sovereign island nations spread over 616km2 in the eastern Caribbean Sea, is supervised by Regional Security System (RSS), an international agreement signed by Treaty states in the eastern Caribbean region for the defence and security of member states.

Saint Lucia's internal security is managed by the Special Service Unit under the command of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force. The Coast Guard under the same command safeguards the 158km-long shoreline and monitors the 370km-long exclusive economic zone of the island.

Andorra
Andorra maintains no standing military force, but receives protection from bordering nations Spain and France under separate military treaties. The nation, which occupies an area of 468km2, has however a small volunteer army purely for ceremonial duties. Law enforcement in the nation is handled by the National Police Corps, an arm of the Ministry of Justice.

The paramilitary GIPA (Grup d'Intervenció Policia d'Andorra), a part of the national police, is responsible for the counter-terrorism and hostage recovery missions in Andorra.



Palau
The Republic of Palau, located in the North Pacific Ocean, which became a sovereign state and established diplomatic relations with the US in 1994, operates no regular military, but signed a Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the US.

The Palau National Police operates a Pacific-class patrol boat for maritime patrol and fisheries control along the 1,519km-long coastline. Australia donated the boat and also provides training for the crew.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, a 389km2 territory encompassing a group of islands between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, receives protection from the Regional Security System in the Caribbean.

The law enforcement and internal security of the nation is the responsibility of Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVPF) which operates two units - the Special Service Unit, and the Coast Guard.
The world’s biggest countries without armed forces - Army Technology
 
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It is interesting to see these countries, surviving without a army and have support from allies and have been doing well and have not had any problems which is good to see. Maybe the bigger ones with armed forces can learn from these countries and see how they survive and have a good reputation and the community has trust in the police who do the patrols and also control the area so no mayhem occurs in the town. I wander what will happen if a powerful enemy like the ISIS comes and tries to wage a war and they may have problems but if the allies are there than can overcome them
 
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It is interesting to see these countries, surviving without a army and have support from allies and have been doing well and have not had any problems which is good to see. Maybe the bigger ones with armed forces can learn from these countries and see how they survive and have a good reputation and the community has trust in the police who do the patrols and also control the area so no mayhem occurs in the town. I wander what will happen if a powerful enemy like the ISIS comes and tries to wage a war and they may have problems but if the allies are there than can overcome them
I wondered if someone would post a comment saying that we nations with armed forces could "learn" from them. The problem is, if they were attacked, either a first world country would have to defend them, or they would be utterly defeated. It is not a peaceful world.
 
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Not having a military is a luxury that few countries can afford. And those who can afford it are usually geographically isolated, protected by regional powers under military treaties and largely irrelevant. Pacificism may work on an individual level, but we are far from the point where similar standards can be applied to countries.
 
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Not having a military is a luxury that few countries can afford. And those who can afford it are usually geographically isolated, protected by regional powers under military treaties and largely irrelevant. Pacificism may work on an individual level, but we are far from the point where similar standards can be applied to countries.
DF103, very well put. Thanks for explaining it.
 
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The islands, particularly in the Caribbean , don't surprise me that much. Costa Rica, though, I would have never guessed they didn't.
 
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Interesting article. I did know about some of these countries but Costa Rica definitely comes as a surprise. Then again the article did mention that they have certain paramilitary units and border guards etc. Most of these countries have a treaty with bigger neighbours to be under their protection... probably the best way to do it if a country doesn't have the money or the personnel to have their own army.
 
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While some countries probably don't need armed forces due to location like a previous poster has said, I also think some countries won't need armed forces because of the way other countries perceive them.
While its also not financially viable for some smaller countries, I'd imagine that these countries also keep theirself to theirself and don't go hung ho into every hot spot around the world.
 
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This is a great article. I know I was shocked by a couple of the countries, like Costa Rica, but at the same time I am not overly surprised because of their location and the ease of which they are among all the countries around them.
 
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Mostly this countries dont need so much arm forces because they have attained peace on their own nation. Having that peace is much better and there is no need to be out there creating an army. Creating a bigger and larger Arm Deposits would just create terror on this world.
 
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