These Are the Nations Without a Military

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine reminds the world of the massive force of a large military. Russia, at 1.5 million, is the fourth-largest military in the world after India, China and North Korea. Russia also has threatened it might use part of its nuclear arsenal. It is one of only nine countries with these weapons.

The invasion of Ukraine also shows that a standing army may not be the only military force in a country. Its military numbers 196,000, but many of its citizens have joined in the battle for independence.

The size of military forces generally corresponds to the population. There are a few exceptions, the most notable of which is North Korea. In the United States, less than 2% of the labor force is in the military. In North Korea, the figure comes close to 9%.

Thirty-six nations in the world have no standing militaries at all, according to the CIA Factbook and the World Population Review. Some of these are territories. The analysis shows that: “Countries without militaries have either been demilitarized, never established a military when the country was created, or are former colonies/dependencies of nations with militaries and are still under the protection of those countries.” Greenland is an example. The largest island in the world is part of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Another country without a military is Liechtenstein. Its population is only 39,000, it covers only 62 square miles and it sits between Austria and Switzerland.

The Falkland Islands is another. It was the site of a war between the United Kingdom and Argentina in 1982. Currently, it is a British Overseas Territory.

These are the 36 countries without a military: Andorra, Aruba, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, French Polynesia, Greenland, Grenada, Iceland, Kiribati, Kosovo, Lichtenstein, Macau (China S.A.R.), Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Montserrat, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Panama, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sint Maarten, Solomon Islands, Svalbard (unincorporated region of Norway), Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Click here to see which countries have the largest militaries.

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