10 Countries in the World that have No Military

Article by ,

The military is a government funded organization that consists of primarily the Navy, Army and Air-force. The role of this group is to ensure national security of the country from perceived or actual internal or external threats. They are also a vital part of establishing control. This is however technically different from the armed forces which is mainly meant for furthering political agendas. The military has existed since man flourished in civilization in large numbers. The profession of soldering is one of the oldest known ones in the world. Despite the growing military expenditures of nations such as United States of America, China, etc. and the prevalence of conflicts, some countries do exist today that only have such arrangements in a ceremonial role or they have discontinued altogether for various reasons.

This is interesting because these nations can serve as models for a more peaceful existence. However, they do have some internal law and order development consisting of a Police Force, security services to help the citizens in daily affairs. Some are being guarded by former colonizers or through certain peace agreements with more economically powerful nations. This is often seen for USA and the countries of the Pacific Ocean. Others dont have political autonomy and are basically dependencies such as Guam, Bermuda are receive defense help from other nations instead. Many are sparsely populated and often have low crime rates. A list of such countries is  as follows:

10. Samoa


Samoa is located in the Southern Pacific Ocean. It obtained its independence from New Zealand in 1962. Currently, the county has no standing army. However, it does have a national police force, Samoa Police Service that is quite small as crime rate is very low. The main sources of crime are related to drugs. There is also a Maritime Surveillance Unit for internal security and a Pacific Class control boat called the Nafanua. Its external defense is the responsibility of New Zealand as part of the 1962 Treaty of Friendship. Recently, Australia has extended security support through the Samoa Australia Police Partnership where new police headquarters will be built to strengthen the police service.

9. Kiribati


It is located in the western part of the Pacific Ocean and shares maritime boundaries with Indonesia, Philippines, and Micronesia. Japan occupied Palau during world war I. Later, during the period of World War II, United States of America and Japan troops battled for rights over these islands. Eventually, from 1947 onward, Palau was governed by the United States of America. However, it gained full sovereignty in 1994. Today, it has no army of its own except its internal police force and 30-man Maritime Surveillance Unit. USA also provides defense help as part of the 1938 Free Association Compact that made Palau its responsibility.

8. Tuvalu


Tuvalu is a part of the Polynesian Islands and is located midway between Hawaii and Australia. Formerly known as Ellice Islands, it is the third least populated country in the world. It was a part of British Western Pacific Territories during the period 1892 to 1916. Later, it became a full-fledged colony of the British Empire till 1974. Independence was gained in 1978 and it became a member of the United Nations in 2000. This country has no regular military force. However, it does have a police force called the Tuvalu Police Force and also a Maritime Surveillance Unit along with Customs, Prisons and Immigration. Australia has provided it with a Pacific Class boat for surveillance help.

7. Marshall Islands

Beautiful corals in shallow reef Marshall Islands Majuro Atoll

It is an island country which is the northern part of the Pacific Ocean. Largely devoid of resources, this is a service based economy and receives a lot of aid from the United States. In 1979, the government was officially established and eventually in 1986, it obtained its sovereignty by a Compact of Free Association with the United States. This was the basis for aid provided and eventually the independence process was completed in 1990. However, the United States will continue to provide aid and protection during war time particularly as per the agreement, thereby disabling any needs for separate army for this nation.

6. Grenada


This country, also known as the “Land of Spice” is located near the south-eastern Caribbean Sea as a part of the Commonwealth Realm. It was a British colony from 1763 and gained its independence in 1974. In 1983, there was an invasion by the United States under the operation code-named “Operation Urgent Fury” whereby there was an attempt to overthrow the emerging socialist regime that was being promoted by the Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop who was eventually executed. Over time, when the troops withdrew from the country, the nation became democratic instead of communist. It doesn’t have any standing army but has a Royal Police Force and Internal security services. It can usually depend on nearby nations of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia etc for assistance in protection. However, the United State would emerge as a more probable helper in this regard instead.

5. Nauru


It is the world’s smallest republic covering only 8.1 sq m and is also the second least populated country after Vatican City. It is located in the South Pacific and was occupied by the Japanese in World War II. Eventually after the war ended, it entered into trusteeship again. It gained independence in 1968. Its phosphate reserves helped it to prosper but over time, they were exhausted and eventually, it became an illegal income tax haven.  It accepted aid from Australia during the period 2001 to 2008. The two countries have an informal agreement, where by Australia is responsible for Nauru’s defense. Despite its lack of military, this republic maintains a large internal police force and internal security agents.

4. Andorra


It is a landlocked country, bordered by France and Spain. This nation has a very small population and the annual number of tourists far exceeds the number of citizens. Historically, Andorra has a small army that was used during certain periods but in the modern era, this didn’t amount to a standing army. Now its army is more of a ceremonial one where there are a small body of volunteers who hold military posts that are more nominal in nature. This is a 12 person unit and the army has not fought for the last 700 years. However, the GIPA is another unit trained in counter-terrorism activities. This is a rare threat and thus their role remains limited. Protection is provided by Spain and France.

3. Costa Rica

costa rica

This nation, located in Central America has long been a top performer in human development with decent income levels. It is also the only Latin American country to have democracy before 1950s. However, previously, in 1917-19, General Granados ruled as a military dictator and his regime’s unpopularity led to a decline in the military. In 1948, the Costa Rican Civil War which resulted in a lot of bloodshed saw the abolishing of the military by the victorious rebels. This tradition has been maintained since the advent of democracy. However, it does have an internal police force. Currently it is under the protection of The United States of America.

2. Vatican City


Established in 1929, it is the smallest independent country in the world, both by area and population. The Bishop of Rome- Pope rules this State. The military defense is carried out by Italy because it is an enclave within the Italian Republic. The Palatine Guard and the Noble Guard were disbanded in 1970 itself. However, even these were mainly ceremonial bodies. However, presently the Corpo della Gendarmeria acts as its internal police force and is responsible for law enforcement, public order and other security roles.The Swiss Guard also exists and is maintained by the Holy See. They are responsible for the safety of the Pope and the security of the Apostolic Palace. However, this is more of a de facto military rather than potentially considerable as a form of full-blown armed forces for Vatican City.

1. Liechtenstein


It has the highest GDP per capita in the world by Purchasing power parity method and is also the smallest German speaking country in Europe. It also enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the world. This country has the lowest crime rate in the world as well. It follows a policy of neutrality. The army was abolished after the Austro-Prussian War mainly due to economic reasons in 1868. It also remained neutral in World War II. However, despite its economic prosperity, it has maintained itself with an internal police security system and no military since the discontinuation previously. This National Police has a trilateral treaty with Austria and Switzerland for close co-operation among the three countries.


Leave a Reply

You must be login to post a comment. Log in now