Countries in The World without Armed Forces

 C ountries without armed forces. The term country here means sovereign states and not dependencies, whose defense is the responsibility of another country or an army alternative.

Many of the 21 countries listed here typically have had a long-standing agreement with a former occupying country; Agreement between Monaco and France, which has existed for at least 300 years. The Compact of Free Association nations of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and Palau rely on the United States for their defense. They ensure their national security concerns are addressed through annual Joint Committee Meetings to discuss defense matters with US Pacific Command. Andorra has a small army and can request defensive aid if necessary, while Iceland had a unique agreement with the United States that lasted until 2006, which required them to provide a defense to Iceland when needed.

Not all countries have active militaries. Why do some nations refuse to have armies and how do they protect themselves without them?

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.

Countries without armed forces

1- Andorra
This is a small landlocked country, which has a no standing military of its own.
Andorra is one of the smallest states in Europe. The mini-state between France and Spain only has about 85,000 inhabitants. The country in the Pyrenees does have its own police, called Cos de Policia d'Andorra, but no military. The defense of the independent state is the responsibility of Spain and France, because of their close proximity.

2 - 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 on this list, the police are 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.

3 - Grenade
Grenada is an island state in the northern part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. Since the US invasion of Grenada in 1983, the country no longer has its own military force.

However, there is a police force called the Royal Grenada Police Force, which also acts as the coast guard.

4 - Marshall Islands
This country has no army since its formation.
The sole force would see in this country is the police. The police also maintain a Maritime Surveillance Unit which deals with internal security. Just like many other countries on this list, the United States is responsible for its security.


5- Costa Rica
It does not have its own army since 1948.
There have been no armed forces in Costa Rica since 1949, but police forces are usually used for defense purposes.

The country, which is often referred to as "Switzerland of Central America", proclaimed its permanent and unarmed neutrality in 1983. In fact, Costa Rica is protected by the US.


6 - Saint Lucia
Just like many other Caribbean nations, this country too does not have its own army.
St. Lucia is an island state that belongs to the West Indies and is a member of the Commonwealth. The state does not have its own military but has its own police force, including a special unit and naval unit. 


7 - Samoa
This country has no military since its foundation.
The islands, now known as Samoa, were the first Polynesian nation to achieve independence in 1962. Samoa has no formal defense structure or regular armed forces, but it has its own police force. There are also informal defense relations with New Zealand in place.


8 - Tuvalu
Tuvalu too does not have its own military since its foundation
Until its independence in 1978, the island state of Tuvalu in the Pacific Ocean was known as the Ellice Islands (a British colony). The fourth-smallest state in the world has around 11,000 inhabitants and no military of its own. However, Tuvalu has its own police force.


9 - Nauru
Nauru, south of the Marshall Islands, is the smallest republic in the world. In 1968, the small island gained its independence. There is no military for its almost 10,000 inhabitants, but according to an informal agreement, the responsibility for defense lies with Australia.


10 - San Marino
San Marino is not only the oldest existing republic in the world, but it's also the third-smallest European state. The mini-state, which is completely surrounded by Italy, has no regular armed forces but has a voluntary military corps that performs ceremonies and can be used to support the police.

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11 - Kiribati
This country too has no standing army of its own since 1978.
This is a small country that 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.

12 - 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.

13- Saint 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 - 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.


15 - 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.


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16 - Vatican City
The smallest country of the world has no standing army of its own
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.

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17 - Federated States of Micronesia
Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) rely on the United States for their defense. 
The remaining countries are responsible for their own defense and operate either without any armed forces or with limited armed forces.

18 - Palau
Palau relies on the United States for its defense. 
The remaining countries are responsible for their own defense and operate either without any armed forces or with limited armed forces.

19 - Solomon Islands
The Solomon Islands has not had military forces since it became independent from Britain in 1976.
During the Pacific War of 1942–45, 680 indigenous Solomon Islanders enlisted in the BSIPDF and served in battles such as the Battle of Guadalcanal, alongside Allied forces, fighting the Empire of Japan.

20 - Mauritius
Mauritius does not have a military. 
All military, police, and security functions are carried out by 10,000 active-duty personnel under the command of the Commissioner of Police of the Mauritius Police Force. The 8,000-member National Police Force is responsible for domestic law enforcement.

21 - Panama
Panama is the second country in Latin America (the other being Costa Rica) to permanently abolish standing armies, with Panama retaining a small para-military security force. This came as a result of a U.S. invasion that overthrew a military dictatorship which ruled Panama from 1968 to 1989.

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22 - Vanuatu
The island state of Vanuatu, consisting of over 80 islands, has no regular military, but there is the Vanuatu Police Force, the Vanuatu Mobile Force, and the Police Maritime Wing (PMW).


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