Terrorist acts have spread and increased over the last decade. In response, many nations are increasing their military spending. Yet, there are other some countries that don’t have any military at all.
The question is, who are these countries and how can they afford to not have a military in these difficult times?
Well, there are currently 23 nations without an active military including;
- Costa Rica
- and the Vatican.
Quite simply, there isn’t enough land, resources or potential for conflict in those nations to mandate forming an army to protect themselves.
Many of these countries have signed deals with other nations ensuring their security. Some of these nations are being protected by former occupiers or their nearest neighbors.
- Australia, for example, has agreed to help the island nations of Nauru and Kiribati.
- Spain and France have a protection treaty with Andorra.
- The United States has defense pacts with the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau.
They do however continue several para-military forces. Both Haiti and Costa Rica‘s militaries were disbanded for similar reasons. But again, these countries receive some level of protection from outside sources.
As of October 2014, Haiti has over 7,200 U.N. troops and police in the country. Costa Rica has an arrangement with the U.S. Coast Guard to help them combat the drug trade there.
Other countries have some sort of small military force be it a national police force or coast guard, but these forces are not enough to constitute a standing army. Though, they sometimes participate in army like activities. Iceland for example, sent members of their Crisis Response Unit on foreign peacekeeping missions to Sudan, Afghanistan and Kosovo. But that does not make them a standing army. They have enough troops to run their country peacefully, but not enough to run a war.
Many of these countries will remain demilitarized, primarily because forming a military is expensive.
Some countries will remain demilitarized for economic reasons. In 2012, global military spending was 2.42% of GDP. For individual countries, this could mean millions of dollars in savings. In fact Haiti’s President has proposed rebuilding their military, but this would come with a proposed price tag of $95 million dollars. Plus, a reported 96% of Haitians polled are against the idea.
Of course, there are countries all around the world who prioritize having the strongest militaries in the world.