Overview. 26 countries without armies

Thursday 25 April 2013
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Countries without an Army

26 countries in the world have no army.

As war is forbidden (UN Charter Article 2), many others could do the same.

Identification criteria:

  • 1. Constitutional provisions on the absence of an army or limiting armed forces to police forces.
  • 2. Absence of heavy weapons.
  • 3. Civil attachment of paramilitary forces (customs, coast guard, air guard, intelligence, homeland security, anit-riots squads and so forth) to the civil authority.

List of countries


Cook Islands

Costa Rica







Marshall Islands









San Marino

Solomon Islands

St Kitts and Nevis

St Lucia

St Vincent and the Grenadines




Some comments:

  • One country out of 8 in the world is without an army (26 of 194, 14%)!
  • Although all rather small, there are rich and poor, old and recent ones.
  • 20 of these countries are islands or archipelagos, 4 have no access to the sea.
  • 7 were demilitarized: 5 for serious problems due to the army, one for economic reasons, one for ballistic reasons. All others are born without an army.
  • Only 7 of them have, to varying degrees, “protectors”. All others manage their own security and international relations alone.
  • Except 3 of them, Niue, Cook Islands and the Holy see (Vatican) they are all members of the UN.
  • Except for the Vatican, they are all democratic.
  • According to the Human Development Index of the United Nations, the situation of women there seems to be better.
  • Budgets for education and literacy rates are also comparatively better.
  • The history of the countries without army is full of lessons learned on non-military ways of solving conflicts.
  • There are also “territories” without an army or demilitarized by treaty: the Moon, the Antarctica, the Alland Islands (Finland), the Spitsbergen, number of small islands, the Monn and all celectial bodies (By a world wide treaty), etc.
  • The existence of countries without an army makes it possibile to have none-violent institutions, including nations-sates.


Survol. 26 pays sans armée


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