The Armed Forces have become an indispensable part of almost every nation in the world. A country’s strength is often measured by the strength of its army.

Each country wants to have more powerful weapons than the other.

Countries often spend millions in order to strengthen their armed forces. But even in this world where most of the countries are stuck in an arms race, there are a few countries that have no army at all.

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

1. Andorra

This is a small landlocked country, which has a no standing military of its own.

In this country, law and order and some basic parliamentary duties are performed by the police itself. Well, if you are wondering, how will this country protect itself in the case of a war or any external threat?

Then you must know that it receives protection from bordering nations Spain and France under separate military treaties. It, however, has a small volunteer army but it’s purely for ceremonial purposes.

2. Costa Rica

It does not have its own army since 1948.

In the year 1948, this country was hit by a civil war. After that civil war, the country abolished its armed forces. It is one of the largest countries without an armed force.

The internal security is managed by the police force. Well, you would be quite surprised to know that despite a border conflict with Nicaragua, the nation still exists with any standing army.

3. Dominica

Since 1981, this country has no standing army.

Ironically, it was because of an attempted army coup that this country decided to abolish its army forever. Just like other countries in this list, the police is responsible for internal security.

However, there is something called the Regional security system, that is responsible for the defense of most of the Caribbean nations.

4. Grenada

This country has no standing army since 1983.

It was an American invasion that led to such a step. The police force maintains the internal security and the Regional security system is responsible for the defense.

5. Haiti

It is without any standing army since 1995.

Before 1995, military coups were quite common in Haiti. More than a dozen military coups and internal conflicts forced the government to disband the Army. But the rebels have demanded the creation of an army.

6. Iceland

This country does not have an army since 1869.

You would be surprised to know that this country does not have an army since 1869. The country is a member of Nato and has defense agreements with the United States.

7. Kiribati

This country too has no standing army of its own since 1978.

This is a small country is actually a conglomerate of three groups of islands namely the Gilbert Islands, the Phoneix Islands and the Line Islands. Australia and New Zealand provide defense assistance to this country when it is required.

8. Liechtenstein

This country has no standing army since 1868.

It abolished the army because the country could not bear the cost of maintaining an army. This country has a provision for the creation of an army, in the case of war but thankfully this situation has never occurred.

9. The Marshall Islands

This country has no army since its formation.

The sole forces would see in this country is the police. The police also maintain a Maritime Surveillance Unit which deals with the internal security.

Just like many other countries in this list, the United States is responsible for its security.

10. Mauritius

This multicultural country is without an army since 1968.

Mauritius is another popular country which has no standing army. Although the country has no army of its own yet it has an 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.

11. Micronesia

The Federated States of Micronesia to has no army of its own.
So, who protects this country in the times of crisis? Well, you guessed it, the United States of America.

The U.S.A. has full authority and responsibility for this country’s defense.

12. Monaco

The country is without an army since the 17th century.

This small country renounced its military investment way back in the 17th century. Interestingly, this country does have two small military units. One protects the Prince and the second for the civilians. France is responsible for its defense.

13. Nauru

Nauru too does not have its own military.

Australia is responsible for its defense. However, this country does have a competent police force which maintains its internal security. It is one of the smallest countries in the world by area and population.

14. Palau

Since the country’s foundation, they do not have a standing army.

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.

15. Panama

This country without any army since 1990.

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

16. St. Lucia

Just like many other Caribbean nations, this country too does not have its own military.

Its defense is supervised by the Regional Security System Defence, which is responsible for most of the Caribbean countries. The country has its own police force called the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, which maintains internal security.

17. St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Another Caribbean country without a military.

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

18. Samoa

This country has no military since its foundation.

However, there is a police force that takes care of its internal security. In accordance with a 1962 pact of relationship, New Zealand is responsible for defense.

19. Solomon Islands

It has not maintained any military since the heavy ethnic conflict.

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.

20. Tuvalu

Tuvalu too does not have its own military since its foundation.

Just like many other countries, this country too has its own police force which is responsible for internal security.

21. Vanuatu

Vanuatu does not have a standing army of its own.

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

22. Vatican City

The smallest country in the world has no standing army of its own.

However, it does maintains a Gendarmerie Corps for internal policing. The Swiss Guard protects the Holy See, not the Vatican City State. Although there is no formal defense accord with Italy, informally, the Italian military protects Vatican City.

The Palatine Guard and Noble Guard were abolished in 1970.


*This article was originally published at By Abir Gupta.