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These are the 31 countries that don’t have a military

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Can you guarantee security without a military? For most people, this question sounds like a contradiction, but there are countries that maintain their territorial sovereignty without actually having military forces.

With the help of the CIA World Factbook, we have identified the 31 countries that currently don’t have armed forces.

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While there are some nations on this list that don’t have a military whatsoever, others are dependent on other, more powerful countries that act as protective forces in the case of an emergency. For example, the Marshall Islands’ military defense is the responsibility of the US, while France and Spain both provide military support to Andorra because of their proximity.

In some territories that don’t have any standing army, their police forces function as de facto military forces. In Costa Rica, for example, the Fuerza Pública is responsible for the defense of the country’s external borders in addition to the police’s usual regulatory functions.

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Here is our list of which countries exist without regular armed forces.

1. Andorra

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. Aruba

Movement toward full independence was halted at Aruba’s request in 1990. 
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The island state of Aruba lies in the Caribbean Sea and has, since 1986, been a separate, semi-autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In recent years, it has become extremely popular with tourists.

The defense of the country, which has 116,000 inhabitants, is the responsibility of the Netherlands. Aruba’s national security services focus on fighting crime and terrorism.

3. Cayman Islands

cayman islands
Most of the population lives on Grand Cayman, the largest of the three islands. 

The Cayman Islands are a group of islands in the Caribbean belonging to the British Overseas Territories. This means Britain is also responsible for the defense of the archipelago, which lies roughly 150 miles south of Cuba. Nevertheless, the Cayman Islands still have a national police force called the Royal Cayman Islands Police Force.

4. Cook Islands

cook islands
As of July 2018, the Cook Islands have a population of 9,038 people only. 

The Cook Islands, named after Captain James Cook, are an island state in the southern Pacific that is independent but in free association with New Zealand. Thus New Zealand is responsible for its defense but only at request by the Cook Islands.

5. Costa Rica

Costa Rica
US troops are also stationed in the Central American country. 

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. Curacao

Willemstad, Curacao
Curacao is one of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

Curacao is also an island state in the Caribbean Sea that has no military forces. However, the Dutch government controls the foreign and defense policy of the 171 square-mile island, which has almost 150,000 inhabitants.

In a referendum in 2009, the people of Curacao voted to become a self-governing country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG) also provides maritime security.

7. Dominica

Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans. 

Dominica is an island state in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Pacific and is a member of the Commonwealth, a union of several sovereign states consisting of the United Kingdom and its former colonies. Dominica has a police force called the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force, which also acts as a coastguard.

8. Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands waterfall
The islands are not part of the European Union. 

Located in the North Atlantic between the British Isles, Norway, and Iceland, the Faroe Islands have a total of 51,000 inhabitants. They do not have regular armed forces, but the Danish government is responsible for their defense. The Arctic Command, which is part of the Danish armed forces, is responsible for the territorial defense of the Faroe Islands.

9. French Polynesia

Raiatea Island, French Polynesia
In the last few years, French Polynesia’s autonomy has expanded considerably. 

French Polynesia is located in the southern Pacific Ocean and consists of many small and large islands. The most famous island of the territory is Tahiti. In total, French Polynesia has 290,000 inhabitants, but no armed forces of its own. Instead, France is responsible for its territorial defense.

10. Greenland

FILE PHOTO: Snow covered mountains rise above the harbour and town of Tasiilaq, Greenland, June 15, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo
Greenland withdrew from the European Union in 1985 over a dispute centered on stringent fishing quotas. 

Greenland is the largest island on earth and geographically belongs to North America but is an autonomous part of Denmark. In 2008, Greenland voted for stronger self-government and responsibility in domestic affairs.

In 2009, Greenland passed the Self-Government Act, recognizing that its citizens had a right to self-determination under international law. However, Denmark continues to exercise control over several policy areas, including foreign, security, and financial policy. This is why the Danish government is also responsible for the defense of the island.

11. Grenada

Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1498. 

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.

12. Iceland

iceland waterfall
Over the years, Iceland has become increasingly popular with tourists. 

Although Iceland is a member of NATO, it has no permanent military force. NATO is responsible for Iceland’s defense.

Since 2006, all US forces have withdrawn from Iceland. Iceland participates in international peace missions with the civilian Icelandic crisis management unit.

13. Kiribati

Kiribati Aerial
Kiribati, which joined the UN in 1999, has been very active in international efforts to combat climate change. 

The state of Kiribati, independent since 1979, is located in the western Pacific Ocean and has 109,000 inhabitants.

Kiribati, which used to be called The Gilbert Islands, has no regular armed forces and the establishment of a military is forbidden in the constitution. However, the island state does have police forces.

14. Liechtenstein

Valduz, Liechtenstein
The country’s low taxes have spurred economic growth. 

Liechtenstein is the sixth-smallest state in the world. Although the country has no military armed forces, its national police force cooperates closely with the military forces of neighboring countries like Austria and Switzerland.

15. Marshall Islands

Majuro, Marshall Islands
The capital, Majuro, is an atoll of 64 islands. 

After almost four decades under US administration, the Marshall Islands gained their independence in 1986. The Marshall Islands have no armed forces of their own so territorial defense is still provided by the US.

16. Mauritius

Mauritius also has a national coast guard 

Mauritius is an island state in the Indian Ocean and has 1.3 million inhabitants. The country gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1968.

Although Mauritius has no regular armed forces of its own, it has police forces and a paramilitary unit called the Special Mobile Force. This is supposed to ensure the internal and external security of the country.

17. Micronesia

Micronesians can live, work, and study in any part of the US without a visa. 

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18. Monaco

monaco monte carlo
Monaco is a constitutional monarchy. 

The second-smallest state in the world, Monaco lies on the French Mediterranean coast and is known as a tax haven. The city-state, which covers an area of just 0.78 square miles, has a total of 31,000 inhabitants. France is responsible for its defense but Monaco still has a national police force.

19. Montserrat

The last volcanic eruption on the island occurred in 2013. 

The Caribbean island of Montserrat has been considered an overseas territory of the United Kingdom since 1783. Due to repeated volcanic eruptions, many of the island’s inhabitants have fled abroad in the past 25 years. Although Montserrat has its own police force, there is no regular military and its defense is Britain’s responsibility.

20. Nauru

The Nauruan language does not resemble any other in the Pacific region. 

Nauru, south of the Marshall Islands, is the smallest republic in the world. After being annexed by several countries during the 19th and 20th centuries, the country was declared a UN trust territory after the Second World War.

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.

21. Niue

The island’s population has decreased over the years, as many go to live in neighboring New Zealand. 

Located in the South Pacific, Niue Island has just 1,600 inhabitants and is a self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand. Although the small island has no military of its own, it does have its own police force. New Zealand provides the defense to this isolated island.

22. Palau

Palau has a population of about 21,516 people. 

Situated west of the former Caroline Islands, the archipelago opposed unification with the newly founded Federated States of Micronesia in 1978 and declared its independence as the State of Palau instead.

There is still a free-association agreement between the US and Palau. Thus, the US is allowed to station military personnel in the area. However, this has not yet happened. Palau also has national police.

23. Panama

Revolution tower Panama City
The Panama Canal was built between 1904 and 1914. 

The Central American country Panama abolished its military in 1990 and instead created the Panamanian Public Forces.

They consist of a national police force, a national aviation service and a border service. Since 1994, Panama’s constitution has prohibited the creation of a standing military.

24. St.Lucia

st. lucia, saint lucia
Adults aged 18 and over can register to volunteer with the security services. 

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. 

25. St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Mustique, St Vincent and the Grenadines
The island is twice the size of Washington, DC. 

The Caribbean island state of St. Vincent and the Grenadines gained its independence in 1979 after having been subordinated to the United Kingdom for a long time. The 102,000 inhabitants of the island have no military, but the island state has its own police force.

26. Samoa

American Samoa National Park
Samoa used to be called Western Samoa, but it dropped “Western” in 1997. 

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.

27. San Marino

San Marino tower
San Marino’s foreign policy is aligned with that of the EU, even though it is not a member. 

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.

In an emergency, the state reserves the right to call all San Marino citizens between the ages of 16 and 60 to service. However, responsibility for defense lies with Italy.

28. Sint Maarten

Sint Maarten
In 2017, Hurricane Irma damaged Sint Maarten badly. 

The Caribbean island of Sint Maarten is autonomous but part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The northern part of the island, Saint-Martin, is an overseas territory of France.

Sint Maarten has no regular armed forces and the territorial defense of the island is the responsibility of the Netherlands.

29. Solomon Islands

FILE PHOTO: Houses are seen in Honiara in the Solomon Islands, June 3, 2019.AAP Image/Darren England/via REUTERS
The Solomon Islands are members of the Commonwealth. 

Since the independence of the Solomon Islands in 1978, there have been repeated violent riots, and the crime rate on the islands has been high.

Between 2003 and 2017, aid missions consisting of police, military and civilian advisors from a total of 15 countries were active in the Solomon Islands. The aim of these missions was to restore civil and political order. The Solomon Islands have no standing army but have a police force.

30. Tuvalu

Tuvalu aerial
Tuvalu has a population of roughly 11,000 people. 

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.

31. Vanuatu

There are more than 100 local languages on Vanuatu. 

Until its independence in 1980, Vanuatu belonged to the New Hebrides, a territory of several Pacific islands administered by the United Kingdom and France.

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).

Read the original article on Business Insider Deutschland. Copyright 2019.

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