In a world often marked by geopolitical tensions and military conflicts, the concept of countries without a standing military force might appear unusual, even vulnerable. However, many nations have adopted a non-military approach to national defense, relying on alternative means and international alliances to safeguard their sovereignty.
This intriguing phenomenon challenges our conventional understanding of security and prompts us to explore the unique strategies and alliances that enable these nations to thrive in an increasingly complex global landscape.
- Costa Rica
Costa Rica, located in Central America and the Caribbean, relies on specialized paramilitary units within the Ministry of Public Security for internal security missions, countering transnational threats, and participating in regional efforts.
In Central America and the Caribbean, Panama’s security is managed by the Ministry of Public Security, which includes the Panama National Police (PNP), National Air-Naval Service (SENAN), and National Border Service (SENAFRONT).
- Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico, also in the Central America and the Caribbean region, has its security ensured by the US National Guard (Army and Air), State Guard, and the Police Force. Defense remains the responsibility of the United States.
Mauritius, situated in Africa, maintains the Mauritius Police Force (MPF) under the Ministry of Defense, including a paramilitary unit known as the Special Mobile Force.
- Solomon Islands
The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force is responsible for internal and external security in the Solomon Islands, located in Australia and Oceania. Australia and New Zealand provide material and training assistance.
Iceland, situated in Europe, is unique as the only NATO member without a standing military force. Defense remains a NATO commitment, and the Icelandic Coast Guard and National Police handle security.
Vanuatu, in Australia and Oceania, manages security through the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF) under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The force was formed by unifying separate British and French police forces in 1980.
- French Polynesia
French Polynesia, also in Australia and Oceania, relies on local police and French Gendarmes for security, while defense falls under the responsibility of France.
- New Caledonia
New Caledonia, also in Australia and Oceania, has its security and defense managed by France, which bases land, air, and naval forces on the island.
Samoa, located in Australia and Oceania, maintains the Samoa Police Force under the Ministry of Police, Prisons, and Correctional Services. Informal defense ties exist with New Zealand.
- Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia, in Central America and the Caribbean, relies on the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force for security. The country has been a member of the Caribbean Regional Security System (RSS) since 1982.
Curacao, also in the Central America and the Caribbean region, has its defense handled by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Curacao Militia focuses on organized crime and terrorism.
Aruba, part of the Central America and the Caribbean region, has its defense responsibility with the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Aruban Militia (ARUMIL) primarily focuses on organized crime and terrorism.
Kiribati, located in Australia and Oceania, maintains the Kiribati Police and Prison Service under the Ministry of Justice. Defense assistance is provided by Australia and New Zealand.
Grenada, situated in Central America and the Caribbean, relies on the Royal Grenada Police Force for security, with the country joining the Caribbean Regional Security System (RSS) in 1985.
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, in Central America and the Caribbean, have security provided by the Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVPF), including specialized units. The country has been a member of the Caribbean Regional Security System (RSS) since 1982.
- Federated States of Micronesia
The Federated States of Micronesia, located in the Australia and Oceania region, maintains the Federated States of Micronesia National Police, including a maritime wing, for internal security. However, defense falls under the responsibility of the United States. The Department of Justice oversees the National Police, and state police forces handle law enforcement within their respective states.
Andorra, situated in Europe, has its security handled by the Police Corps of Andorra. However, the defense of Andorra is the joint responsibility of France and Spain.
- Marshall Islands
The Marshall Islands, part of the Australia and Oceania region, maintains the Marshall Islands Police Department (MIPD) along with local police forces and the Sea Patrol for internal security. Defense, on the other hand, is the responsibility of the United States. The MIPD and Sea Patrol report to the Ministry of Justice.
In the Central America and the Caribbean region, Dominica relies on the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force, which includes the Coast Guard, for security. This force operates under the Ministry of Justice, Immigration, and National Security.
- Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands, also located in the Central America and the Caribbean region, depend on the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service for security. However, defense is the responsibility of the United Kingdom.
Greenland, part of North America, has its security managed by the Greenland Police. Denmark’s Joint Arctic Command, located in Nuuk, coordinates Denmark’s defense of Greenland.
- Faroe Islands
Situated in Europe, the Faroe Islands maintain the Faroe Islands Police for security purposes.
- Sint Maarten
In the Central America and the Caribbean region, Sint Maarten’s defense is the responsibility of France, and its security is maintained by the Saint Martin Police Force (Korps Politie Sint Marteen).
Liechtenstein, located in Europe, relies on its National Police for security and law enforcement. Defense, however, is the responsibility of neighboring Switzerland.
- San Marino
In Europe, San Marino’s security is maintained by various forces, including the Military Corps (National Guard) and the Civil Police Corps. Defense, on the other hand, is the responsibility of Italy.
Monaco, situated in Europe, has its security managed by entities like the Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince and the Police Department. Defense falls under the responsibility of France.
Palau, in the Australia and Oceania region, has its security handled by the Ministry of Justice, which includes divisions and bureaus for public security, police functions, and maritime law enforcement. Defense is provided under the Compact of Free Association with the United States.
Tuvalu, also in the Australia and Oceania region, maintains its security through the Tuvalu Police Force, with support from Australia, which provides patrol boats.
Nauru, located in Australia and Oceania, does not maintain its own defense forces. Australia is responsible for defense under an informal agreement, while Nauru’s Police Force handles internal and external security.
- Cook Islands
The Cook Islands, part of Australia and Oceania, relies on the Cook Islands Police Service for security. Defense is the responsibility of New Zealand, in consultation with the Cook Islands.
Montserrat, situated in Central America and the Caribbean, has the Royal Montserrat Defense Force (ceremonial, civil defense duties) and the Montserrat Police Force for security. Defense is the responsibility of the United Kingdom.
- Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
The Falkland Islands, located in South America, are defended by the United Kingdom, which maintains approximately 1,200 troops on the islands. The Royal Falkland Islands Police provides security.
Svalbard, a territory of Norway in Europe, is demilitarized by treaty. Norwegian military activity is limited to fisheries surveillance by the Norwegian Coast Guard.
Niue, in Australia and Oceania, relies on the Niue Police for security. Defense is the responsibility of New Zealand.
- British Indian Ocean Territory
The British Indian Ocean Territory, located in South Asia, is under the defense responsibility of the United Kingdom. The security forces include the British Indian Ocean Territory Police, and the United States has an extended lease on Diego Garcia until December 2036 for military purposes.
The existence of nations without military forces raises thought-provoking questions about the nature of security and defense in our interconnected world. While they may not have armies, navies, or air forces, these countries demonstrate the power of diplomacy, international cooperation, and strategic alliances in safeguarding their sovereignty.
Their experiences offer valuable lessons about the potential for peaceful conflict resolution and the importance of pursuing alternatives to militarization. As the global community continues to grapple with the challenges of the 21st century, these nations serve as beacons of hope, reminding us that there are alternative paths to security that prioritize dialogue, cooperation, and diplomacy over the instruments of war.
Have you read?
Highest-paid CEOs among Russell 3000 companies, 2023.
These Are the highest-paid CEOs among S&P 500 companies, 2023.
Ranked: The 50 Richest Celebrity Couples in the World, 2023.
The world’s wealthiest 300 cities, 2023.
Global Happiness Index: Happiest Countries In The World In 2023.
Add CEOWORLD magazine to your Google News feed.
Follow CEOWORLD magazine headlines on: Google News, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
Thank you for supporting our journalism. Subscribe here.
For media queries, please contact: email@example.com