5 Countries That Ditched Their Military Forces

Federated States of Micronesia
The flag for the Federated States of Micronesia
The flag for the Federated States of Micronesia

Leading up to World War II, the Federated States of Micronesia were under Japanese control, which explains why Micronesia became the site of some of the most fearsome battles ever fought in the South Pacific. In fact, so many Japanese and American vehicles litter the seafloor surrounding the collection of islands that the oil contained within them poses an environmental concern. After the war, the region became part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, beginning a long relationship with the U.S. Given that history, the country didn't make military spending a priority when it finally gained independence in 1979.

In 1986, Micronesia entered into a Compact of Free Association with the United States, and its defense has been the U.S.'s responsibility ever since. What's more, citizens from Micronesia don't need a visa to work in the U.S. (and vice versa), and while Micronesians rely on the United States for their defense, they can also enlist in America's fighting forces. In fact, Micronesians play an active role in the American military and have actually suffered more fatalities as a percentage of their population in the Iraq and Afghani wars than the United States has [source: Nobel].

Keep reading for links to more military madness.

Related Articles


  • BBC News. "Haiti country profile." Aug. 16, 2011. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/country_profiles/1202772.stm
  • Beatty, Andrew. "Panama says no to U.S. military base." July 4, 2008. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/07/04/us-panama-usa-idUSN0438345720080704
  • Carroll, Rory. "Haiti needs new homes and a new military, says new president." April 21, 2011. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/21/haiti-homes-military-new-president
  • Central Intelligence Agency. "Haiti." (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ha.html
  • Central Intelligence Agency. "Mauritius." (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mp.html
  • Central Intelligence Agency. "Micronesia." (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/fm.html
  • Central Intelligence Agency. " Panama." Aug. 23, 2011. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/pm.html
  • Fox, Ben. "Would-be soldiers hope for revival of Haitian army." The Washington Post. March 9, 2011. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/09/AR2011030902957.html
  • GlobalSecurity.org. "World Wide Military Expenditures - 2011." July 9, 2011. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/spending.htm
  • History.com. "Dec 31, 1999: Panama Canal turned over to Panama." (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/panama-canal-turned-over-to-panama
  • Leitenberg, Milton. "Deaths in Wars and Conflicts in the 20th Century." Cornell University. 2006. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.cissm.umd.edu/papers/files/deathswarsconflictsjune52006.pdf
  • NationMaster.com. "Brief information about Mauritian Military." (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.nationmaster.com/country/mp-mauritius/mil-military
  • NationMaster.com. "Micronesian Military Statistics." (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.nationmaster.com/country/fm-micronesia-federated-states-of/mil-military
  • Nobel, Justin. "A Micronesian Paradise -- for U.S. Military Recruiters." Time. Dec. 31, 2009. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1950621,00.html
  • Owen, Richard. "Pontiff selects Daniel Rudof Anrig as head of Swiss Guard." The Times. Aug. 21, 2008. (Sept. 9, 2011)http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article4579760.ece
  • Raghuvanshi, Vivek. "Indian Navy To Survey Islands of Mauritius." March 18, 2010. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4544966
  • Ridder, Knight. "Costa Rica to Allow US to Send Troops." Military.com. July 6, 2010. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.military.com/news/article/costa-rica-to-allow-us-to-send-troops.html
  • Rogers, Tim. "Costa Rica's Border War with Nicaragua: A Boost for Ortega?" November 19, 2010. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2032273,00.html
  • San José State University. "Political and Economic History of Haiti." (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/haiti.htm
  • The Telegraph. "Countries without armed forces." July 21, 2006. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1524489/Countries-without-armed-forces.html
  • Tran, Mark. "Manuel Noriega – from US friend to foe." Guardian. April 27, 2010. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/27/manuel-noriega-us-friend-foe
  • Trotta, Daniel. "Cost of war at least $3.7 trillion and counting." Reuters. June 29, 2011. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/29/us-usa-war-idUSTRE75S25320110629
  • U.S. Department of State. "Costa Rica." Feb. 10, 2011. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2019.htm
  • U.S. Department of State. "Haiti." Aug. 10, 2011. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/1982.htm
  • U.S. Department of State. "Mauritius." March 2, 2011. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2833.htm
  • U.S. Department of State. "Micronesia." Feb. 8, 2011. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/1839.htm
  • U.S. Department of State. "Panama." Aug. 16, 2011. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2030.htm
  • Veillette, Connie. "Costa Rica: Background and U.S. Relations." U.S. Department of State. Feb. 10, 2005. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/47152.pdf
  • Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University. "Costs of War: 225,000 Killed, $3.2 - 4 Trillion." 2011. (Sept. 7, 2011) http://costsofwar.org/
  • Wicker, Tom. "William Tecumseh Sherman." History.com. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://www.history.com/topics/william-t-sherman
  • Williams, Carol J. "Haiti debates having a homegrown army." Los Angeles Times. July 30, 2007. (Sept. 2, 2011) http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jul/30/world/fg-haitiarmy30
  • World Bank. "Haiti Country Brief." November 2008. http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/LACEXT/HAITIEXTN/0,,contentMDK:21040686~pagePK:141137~piPK:141127~theSitePK:338165,00.html


Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers Risk All to Save Lives

Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers Risk All to Save Lives

The U.S. Coast Guard's helicopter rescue swimmers perform one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. HowStuffWorks jumps in with them.