Could you imagine your country without military security? Probably not. This, however, is the case for several countries that do not have their own military forces. This is Part 2 of 2 of the list.
Since the US invasion of Grenada in 1983, the country no longer maintained its own military forces. The island, a state located in the northern part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, has its own police force called the Royal Grenada Police Force. They also act as Grenada’s coast guards whenever needed.
When Iceland became a founding member of NATO in 1949, it became the sole member that did not have its own standing army, with the condition that they would not be expected to establish one. The country’s strategic geographic position in the Atlantic made Iceland an important member, so NATO agreed. NATO instead became responsible for Iceland’s defenses. The country, however, has its own coast guard that does almost all of the military missions that need to be fulfilled, as well as maintaining Keflavik as a military installation.
Kiribati is located in the western Pacific Ocean with its 109,000 inhabitants. Previously called The Gilbert Island, the state had been independent since 1979. Its military relies on both Australia and New Zealand because the constitution forbade them to establish one for their own. Even so, they still have their Kiribati Police Service, which is responsible for law enforcement and paramilitary duties.
Law enforcement in Liechtenstein is solely dependent on their National Police, and that’s because the sixth smallest state in the world has no active military. There used to be a Liechtenstein’s Army. However, it was abolished in 1868 after the Austro-Prussian War when they sent out an army of 80 men, even though they were not really involved in any combat. Today, the country’s military forces depend on nearby countries like Austria and Switzerland.
The Marshall Islands, for almost four decades under the US administration, finally earned their independence in 1986. Even so, they did not establish their own armed forces, so it is still the United States that provided them with territorial defenses against possible invasion.
Mauritius has a military and police presence, although none of them is regular of its own. This is because all these security functions are carried out by 10,000 active-duty personnel, all under the command of the Commissioner of Police. Eight thousand are members of the National Police Force that are responsible for domestic law enforcement, 1,500 are Special Mobile Force, and the remaining 500 are members of the National Coast Guard. These people are what keep the 1.3 million inhabitants of the island safe, ever since they gained their independence from the United Kingdom in 1968.
Federated States of Micronesia
Micronesia, a part of the Caroline Islands that are formerly UN trust territory in the Western Pacific under US administration, has only the police force as their permitted force. The island has had no military of its own ever since its independence in 1986. Even though they have state departments for Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk, and Yap, as well as municipal departments for Kitti, Kolonia, Madolenihmw, Nett, Sapwuahfik, Sokehs, and U on Pohnpei, their defense still falls under the responsibility of the United States with the Compact of Free Association.
Monaco is a city-state considered the second smallest in the world. It only has 0.78 square miles inhabited by around 31,000 people. They have their national police force, but their defense is France’s responsibility.
Before it became independent in 1783, the Caribbean island of Monserrat was considered an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. Many of its inhabitants decided to live abroad due to its active volcanoes, so only around 4,997 people are living on the island as of 2022, which was a great decline compared to the more than 14,000 people living there in the 1950s. Montserrat does not have a regular military, although it has its own police force. The defense still falls under Britain’s responsibility.
The smallest republic in the world is located south of the Marshall Islands. Several countries have annexed it throughout the 19th and 20th centuries until it was declared as a UN trust territory after World War II. According to an informal agreement, the island gained its independence in 1968, and the security of its 10,000 inhabitants lies with Australia.
Niue is in free association with New Zealand, but the island is self-governing its 1,600 inhabitants with its own police force. Whenever necessary, New Zealand would be the one to provide this South Pacific island with the needed defenses.
Palau opposed the unification with the newly-founded Federated States of Micronesia in 1978 and instead declared its independence as the State of Palau. Regardless, there is still a free-association agreement between the US and Palau, so the United States is permitted to station military personnel in the archipelago, although it has its own national police just like the others.
Panama used to have its own military forces until they decided to abolish it in 1990 and created the Panamanian Public Forces instead, consisting of a national police force, national aviation service, and border service. The 1994 Panama constitution prohibits the country from creating its own standing military.
St. Lucia is a member of the Commonwealth, an island state that belongs to the West Indies. Although the state has its own police force, including special units and naval units, it does not have its own military forces.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
This Caribbean island state used to be subordinated to the United Kingdom for a long time until its independence in 1979. St. Vincent and the Grenadines have about 102,000 inhabitants but no military, although, just like the rest, it has its own police force.
Samoa has no formal defense structure or regular armed forces, even when they were the first Polynesian nation to achieve independence in 1962. What they have are their own police force and informal defense relations with New Zealand.
San Marino is the third smallest European State and the oldest existing republic in the world. Even so, it has no regular armed forces but instead has a voluntary military corps that can be utilized for police support and ceremonies. In case of emergency, the state has the right to call its citizens ages 16 to 60 to service, although Italy is responsible for defending it.
Solomon Islands’ crime rate and repeated riots have increased since it gained its independence in 1978. So between 2003 and 2017, a total of 15 countries sent aid by sending police, military, and civilian advisors to restore civil and political order. Apart from those, the islands do not have their own standing army.
Tuvalu was known as the Ellice Islands until its independence from being a British Colony in 1978. More or less 11,000 people make up the population of this fourth smallest state in the world, with its security being managed by the Tuvalu Police Force as they do not have regular military forces.
The island state of Vanuatu, which consists of over 80 islands, has had no regular military ever since its independence from the New Hebrides in 1980. Still, there is the Vanuatu Police Force, the Vanuatu Mobile Force, and the Police Maritime Wing (PMW).