Top 22 Countries Without Standing Army And Who Defends Them?
Most countries that want to keep their independence and sovereignty place a premium on national defense. However, not every country in the world today (the United Nations recognizes 192 countries) has a standing army or armed forces.
These armless countries have their own territory, history, and reasons for being so.
Some countries seceded from larger ones and became so small and resource-poor that they did not require a formal military force. Other countries have agreements with neighboring militaries to receive assistance when needed.
Countries without armies share the feature of not having conflicts or wars because they are supported and sponsored by the world’s most powerful countries and organizations. Because the above-mentioned countries’ independence and territorial integrity are frequently called into question.
With KnowInsiders, let’s delve into the reasons why a country doesn’t have its own army.
Located in the Eastern Pyrenees, bordering France and Spain, this small country does not have its own army. Instead, defense responsibilities are supported by two neighboring countries, Spain and France. Andorra has only one military force tasked with protecting security and order.
Despite having no standing military force, the small nation of Andorra still participated in World War I (1914-1918). With an army of only 10 people, Andorra is not in any danger. Andorra was also not invited to the negotiations on the Versailles Peace Agreement. In 1931, Andorra declared the creation of the Andorra National Police. From an army of just 10 men, it has now grown to 240 people, tasked with maintaining peace and implementing hostage rescue plans.
Currently, Andorra has France and Spain acting as military protectors for the small country with an area of 181 square miles. In 1933, French military forces also helped Andorra resolve political unrest in the country. In addition to the above two countries, NATO military forces also participate in protecting Andorra when necessary.
Aruba in the Caribbean Sea is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. All military activities of Aruba can only rely on the Netherlands.
The Cayman Islands, a British overseas territory, has its own national police force but relies heavily on the United Kingdom for military power.
Although Costa Rica had an army before that, it is now one of the few countries without an official standing army. Former President José Figueres Ferrer decided to abolish the military force on December 1, 1948, after the Costa Rican civil war claimed the lives of approximately 2,000 people.
Costa Rica’s security is overseen by the Inter-American Treaty (signed in 1947), and any country that intends to attack or annex Costa Rica can request assistance. military forces from 21 countries, including the United States, Chile, and Cuba.
Costa Rica has a police force that is responsible for both law enforcement and internal security.
Curaçao, an autonomous state within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, has a presence of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard but no army of its own.
Since 1983, the country has been without a regular army. The Royal Grenada Police Force is in charge of keeping people safe, but the country also relies on the Regional Security System, a defense agreement among several Caribbean islands, to ensure their security.
Even if the US does not send troops to Grenada, the country has no plans to establish a standing army. Grenada does not have a standing army, but it does have the Royal Grenada Police Force and a Regional Security System. Grenada can request military assistance from neighboring countries such as Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines because it is a member of the Regional Security System.
However, the military forces of these countries are ineffective, so Grenada’s protector is likely to be the giant “neighbor” America.
Greenland – the world’s largest island is located in North America, but in reality it is an autonomous part of Denmark and is therefore protected by the Danish armed forces.
This island nation has completely disbanded its armed forces and is left with only 130 coast guard personnel, 3 patrol boats, 3 helicopters, and various boats and planes. However, due to a bilateral agreement, citizens of this nation are eligible to enlist in the Norwegian army. Iceland is an island nation that depends on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for defense and security.
Kiribati was under British rule until 1979. Like many of the other countries on this list, Kiribati does not have an armed force, but it does have a police force.
The small country of Liechtenstein, located between Austria and Switzerland, disbanded its army in 1868, following the end of the Austro-Prussian War, due to the high cost of the war.
Following its separation from the German Federation, Liechtenstein wanted to establish its own military force but lacked the necessary funds.
However, in order to keep the country peaceful, Liechtenstein has its own police force known as the Liechtenstein Principality Police Force.
When a war breaks out, the Principality of Liechtenstein will only establish a military force, and Switzerland will be responsible for defending Liechtenstein.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a Micronesian island nation in the Western Pacific Ocean, north of Nauru and Kiribati, east of the Federated States of Micronesia, and south of Wake Island, US territory.
According to the CFA Treaty signed in 1983, the Marshall Islands is an independent country that is a member of the Federal Convention of Micronesia and Palau (FSMP) and is protected by the United States, so it does not have an army, only a police force. the duty of keeping the country in order.
Micronesians used traditional stick maps to settle in the Marshall Islands around the 2nd millennium BC. This location has been known to Europeans since the 1520s, when Spanish explorer Alonso de Salazar discovered a coral reef here in 1526.
Following that, British and Spanish expeditions continued. The islands are named after John Marshall, an English explorer who arrived in 1788. The Marshallese called their neighborhood “jolet jen Anij” (God’s Gifts).
The Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius was a British territory until 1968. Mauritius has a paramilitary unit called the Special Mobile Forces, but it has no regular army.
Principality of Monaco – home to many millionaires and billionaires, this European tax haven has a military unit responsible for protecting the Royal Family but ultimately responsible for defense here is France
The Republic of Nauru is a country in the Western Pacific Ocean that has a population of 14,000 people and declared independence in 1968. Nauru is the world’s smallest island country, with a total area of 21 km2, as well as the world’s largest island country. The world’s only country without an official capital. If this island nation is in danger, Australia is responsible for protecting it. To ensure security, Nauru maintains its own armed police force.
The German Empire annexed and declared Nauru a colony in the late nineteenth century after Micronesians and Polynesians settled there. Nauru became a League of Nations trusteeship after World War I, administered by Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. During World War II, the Japanese army occupied Nauru. Following the war, the island was reclassified as a trust territory. Nauru became independent in 1968.
Nauru is a phosphate rock island with abundant resources near the surface, making open-cast mining feasible. The island still has some phosphate reserves, but they are no longer economically viable to exploit. Nauru had the highest per capita income of any sovereign nation in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
As phosphate reserves were depleted and mining activities severely harmed the environment, a fund was established to manage the island’s gradually depreciating assets. Nauru quickly became a tax haven and a center for illegal money laundering in order to generate revenue. In exchange for aid, Nauru allowed Australia to host the Nauru detention center from 2001 to 2008.
This small South Pacific island nation relies on New Zealand to help it defend. Niue also has a police force to ensure the safety of its more than 1,600 residents.
Palau, also known by its full name, the Republic of Palau, is an island nation in the Western Pacific Ocean. It is called an island nation because it has nearly 250 islands that form an island chain west of the Caroline Islands, covering an area of about 466 km2 in the Micronesia region.
The Republic of Palau shares maritime borders with Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Federated States of Micronesia. When visiting Palau, you will be greeted by breathtaking natural scenery, including limestone islands, volcanoes, primeval forests, and a massive coral reef system… All of these are gifts from Mother Nature to you. bestowed upon the lovely island nation.
Palau, also known as the Republic of Palau, is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean, 800 kilometers east of the Philippines and 3,200 kilometers south of Japan. This island nation is made up of 328 islands and has a population of 20.9 thousand (2008). The country has only had a police force since its inception. To ensure internal security, they will be armed with small-caliber weapons. The United States will be responsible for providing military support to this country under the terms of the Free Association Treaty.
In 1990, the nation dissolved its armed forces. The Panama Public Forces, comprising multiple paramilitary groups, are based in Panama. The national police, the national border guard, and the institutional guard are among Panama’s armed forces.
Since France owns the Polynesian archipelago, which is made up of more than 100 islands in the South Pacific and lacks an independent armed forces, France is in charge of making sure the archipelago is protected.
Samoa, officially the Independent State of Samoa, is a country in the South Pacific Ocean to the west of the Samoan Islands. The people who live here, like their neighbors Fiji and Tonga, are descendants of Polynesians who migrated here 3,500 years ago. Due to its division, this archipelago has had various names over time.
Scientists believe that the Samoan archipelago, as well as the islands of Fiji and Tonga, have been inhabited since the 5th century BC, when representatives of the Lapita archaeological culture migrated from the Bismarck archipelago in Western Melanesia. The Samoan Islands are a polynesian cultural center. The exploitation of the islands and atolls of the Central Pacific region began with Samoa. Around 1000 BC, Polynesians, possibly from Tonga, were the first inhabitants of the Samoan archipelago.
Samoa, officially known as the Independent State of Samoa, is a country in the South Pacific Ocean located west of the Samoa Islands, with its capital Apia and an area of 3,030 km2. This archipelago has a population of about 250,000 people who speak Samoan and practice fa’asamoa culture. Samoa signed a treaty with New Zealand in 1962, under which New Zealand agreed to provide military support to the island nation as needed. Samoa only set up a surveillance unit to ensure domestic security.
The small European nation of San Marino is the oldest republic in the world. This state is surrounded by Italy with a volunteer corps, but the defense of the country is guaranteed by Italy
Almost a thousand small islands make up the Melanesian island nation of the Solomon Islands, which is situated east of Papua New Guinea and covers an area of roughly 28,400 km². Since Australia’s national peacekeeping force was dispatched on the “Solomon Islands Mission” in 2003 to bring peace back and disarm rebels, the armed ethnicity has not had a military presence in the nation.
Up until a serious ethnic conflict, the Solomon Islands only kept a paramilitary force in place. Australia, New Zealand, and other Pacific nations then intervened to restore law and order.
East of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands are a large nation of islands that include Russell Island, Choiseul, Shortland Island, New Georgia Island, Santa Isabel, Guadalcanal, Sikaiana, Maramasike, Ulawa, Uki, Makira (San Cristobal), Santa Ana, Rennell and Bellona, the Santa Cruz Islands, and three tiny, remote islands: Tikopia, Anuta, and Fatutaka. The easternmost island is located approximately 1,500 kilometers (930 mi) away from the westernmost island. The Santa Cruz Islands, of which Tikopia is a part, are situated 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of Vanuatu and are extremely remote from other islands. Although politically a part of Papua New Guinea, Bougainville is physically a part of the Solomon Islands.
Located between Hawaii and Australia in the South Pacific Ocean, Tuvalu, also referred to as the Ellice Islands, is an island nation. Only roughly 26 km² (or 10 square miles) of reefs, coral islands, and jungle make up Tuvalu, which is fourth-smallest country in the world (after the Vatican, at 0.44 km², the Principality of Monaco, at 1.95 km², and Nauru, at 21 km²).
Scientists have established that Polynesians were the first people to set foot on Tuvalu, based on historical records. It was colonial rule over Tuvalu by the end of the 1800s. An extended period (1892–1916) saw the British government providing protection for a portion of it.
A portion of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands were annexed by the British in 1916. The inhabitants of this island nation decided in 1974 to split the colony into two areas: the Tuvalu archipelago remains a British dependency, while the Gilbert Islands became the independent nation of Kiribati. Tuvalu became a member of the British Commonwealth in 1978.
Located between Hawaii and Australia in the South Pacific Ocean, Tuvalu, also referred to as the Ellice Islands, is an island nation. After the Vatican, Monaco, and Nauru, Tuvalu is the fourth-smallest country or territory in the world, covering only about 26 km2 of reefs, coral islands, and jungle. The island nation was founded without an army. To safeguard domestic security, however, law enforcement agencies and maritime surveillance teams were established.
Similarly, Vanuatu – with more than 80 islands that make up the Pacific island nation – is not protected by the armed forces. However, they have a police force.
And lastly, the Vatican, the smallest sovereign nation on Earth. They lack their own armed forces, but they do have the renowned Swiss Guard to guard the Pope.
Numerous armed forces were founded in the past to defend this tiny nation, primarily to ensure the Pope’s safety.
The most well-known were the Palatine Guard and the Imperial Guard, which were disbanded by Pope Paul VI in 1970. The group currently in charge of ensuring the Pope and the Vatican are safe is called the Swiss Bishops’ Protection Force. Additionally, there is the Gendarmerie Cooperative, which functions as a civilian agency as opposed to a military one. They are in charge of guarding borders, regulating traffic, preserving population security, and looking into criminal activity.
Who is the Vatican’s guardian? Since the Vatican is situated within the region, protection for it falls under the purview of the Italian State. There are roughly 186,798 men and 109,703 women in Italy’s armed forces, with 43,882 serving in the Navy. The goal of Italy’s Air Force is to maintain calm in the skies.
French statesman George Clemenceau once said: “War is too dangerous and that is why the presence of the army is necessary”, until today this saying still retains its value.
While many countries have large and numerous armies to protect their national borders, some countries do not have any military forces at all.
However, regardless of this or that, they still have their own units to protect the country without necessarily having a standing army.
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