Many people believe each country should have an army, but there are some exceptions. Below you’re going to read about 10 countries of the world that do not have armed forces. While these countries do not have armed forces to protect them, there is a backup plan to offer protection in case of a conflict.
Ever since they entered the British protectorate in 1893, Solomon Islands didn’t had an armed force of their own as the country is protected by the United Kingdom. The best example was during the World War II when many British troops were stationed on Solomon Islands. Things have not changed even after the country won its independence from the United Kingdom and during the ethnic conflicts between 1998 – 2006, New Zealand and Australia had to intervene to reestablish peace in the country.
Currently the country’s police forces are the only ones capable of ensuring order and securing the border. There isn’t an official protector of the country although an agreement between Solomon Islands and Australia has been recently signed. As per the agreement, in the case of a war, Australia will provide military support, for a fee of course.
Even if the small Central American country had an army until the half of the 20th century, Costa Rica is not a country without an army. This decision has bee made by former president Jose Figueres Ferrer, who abolished all military structures in the country in 1948 because of the civil war that caused the death of nearly 2000 people.
Currently, the only protection comes from the Fuerza Publica, the local police, who is also responsible with border security. However, Costa Rica enjoys the support and protection of man other countries including the United States of America.
Without dealing with major conflicts throughout history, Samoa relies on relationships with its neighbors even if a military conflict arises. Just like other countries without an army, Samoa has a police force.
Even so, the police force is not capable of protecting the country if a major military conflict arises. Samoa has signed a treaty with New Zealand in 1962 to receive military help of any kind in case of a conflict.
Despite not having a professional army, Palau has a solid police force that is somewhat capable of protecting the country in case of a foreign invasion.
The police force is not entirely capable of protecting the country so Palau ensures its borders by signing a treaty in 1983 with the United States of America. The treaty states that the United States has to provide total military help if the sovereignty of Palau is threatened.
You may not believe it but Andorra, a country that had an army of 10 people in 1914, declared war against Germany and was active in the World War I along with allies forces. Active is an exaggeration because the small Andorra army didn’t make much difference and when Germany was defeated the country was not invited to the peace talks that took place at the Versailles palace.
In 1931, the group of men that were part of the Andorra army was disbanded and was replaced by the Andorra National Police, which included 240 police officers. And yet Andorra enjoys the protection of important countries. France and Spain vowed to protect Andorra from any aggression from inside or outside the country. Actually, in 1993, the French army had to intervene to end violence in Andorra. NATO also protects Andorra and the organization is ready to intervene to establish peace in case of a conflict.
Ever since the American invasion in 1983, Grenada didn’t had an armed force. The U.S. invaded the country because Grenada was getting to close to Cuba and the URSS. Prime Minister Maurice Bishop was executed and Grenada became a democratic state without an armed force.
For almost three decades now Grenada relies on a police force and a poor Regional Protection System. And since the country doesn’t have an official protector, it has to rely on its neighbors: Antigua&Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Kitts& Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vicent&Grenadine or Barbados but it’s hard to believe that this countries will be able to provide military help in the case of an invasion considering that they do not have impressive armed forces or a professional defense system. In the case of a major armed conflict, Grenada can however rely on help from a previous opponent: the good ol’ United States of America.
Even if the Marshall Islands and the Federal State of Micronesia became sovereign states in 1983, all these nations are under American protectorate. This means that the United States of America has to ensure the borders in case of an armed conflict.
Even so, only the Marshall Islands is a country without an army and the country says that only the United States is responsible with protection. However, Marshall Islands has a reduced police force which is enough to protect the country against domestic threats.
Just like other countries, Liechtenstein abolished its own army in 1868. Why ? An army was too expensive and the country was unable to pay for it. Even if other European countries suggested Liechtenstein start an army, the authorities ere unable to find the required funds.
There is however a police force that keeps the peace inside the country. What is curious is that this small country doesn’t have an official protector. There were rumors that Switzerland will protect the country in case of a major armed conflict but the two countries have not confirmed or denied this information.
Nauru, the smallest insular country in the world with a surface of only 21 square km is one of a kind in many ways. The country is so small that it doesn’t even afford to have a capital, not to mention an army to defend it.
However Nauru has a police force. Nauru relies exclusively on phosphate export and has close ties with Australia and other Micronesia countries. There is even a treaty between Nauru and Australia according to which Australia has to protect Nauru in case of an armed conflict. The treaty was signed in 1940 when the Australian Navy attacked German ships bombing Nauru.
Vatican is another state without an army. Actually, there were many military groups created over the course of time to protect the Vatican, especially the Pope however the Swiss Guard is now responsible with protection.
There is however a Gendarmerie however it is considered more of a civil force than a military one. And since Vatican is in Rome, Italy is responsible with defending it. Right now Italy has an armed force of approximately 200,000 soldiers.
Source: National Security Guard Companies.