Since 2007 the Institute of Economics and Peace publishes the Global Peace Index report, which is a tool for measuring security in individual countries. According to the statistics that can be found online, Iceland holds the first position on the list of the most peaceful states. It might seem surprising to you but there are not defense forces in Iceland as we know them.
The term military force means any defense units maintained by the government which can be used for actions in domestic and foreign policy. Some of the countries like Iceland do not have an army. It, however, retains non-military units. In this post, we will have closer look at what are those and how it works in a country with no army.
Icelandic Crisis Response Unit
It is under the management of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. There are around 100 people that serve here. This service has been operating as an unarmed unit since 2008 except for emergency situations. People serving here have been trained and equipped by the Norwegian army and its members are civilian specialists.
Special Unit of the National Police Commissioner
This unit deals with intelligence activities and anti-terrorist actions and supports the police if needed. There are around 55 people serving here. It has five sub-divisions: the first for the explosives, the second one for water operations, the third for snipers, fourth for the intelligence division and the fifth specializes in anti-aircraft abduction, parachuting, and port security.
It consists of 3 ships and 4 aircraft, naval artillery and anti-aircraft weapons. The number of people serving here is about 160. Its main task is to protect fishing areas and ensure the safety of the Icelandic fishing fleet.
Iceland, however, is not having its own air forces, as a member of NATO can count on the support from the allied countries. Those periodically patrol Iceland’s airspace. Until 2006 Iceland had a pact signed with the United States of America who agreed to take care of the obligations related to the protection of the Icelandic state.
I believe that everyone dreams of living in a safe country where there is no need to be afraid of leaving the house, especially at night. This is Iceland with its low crime and maximum guaranteed protection. It has the highest income per capita which allows people to live with a good life level. An important element is that Iceland does not have an army just like most countries around the world. And those countries do not achieve such good results as Iceland.
Any armed conflict with Iceland is not possible due to the fact they have no regular army. You do not have to worry though. If you are traveling to Iceland and think it might be dangerous it is definitely the opposite. You might need to be more afraid of the elves that might be quite naughty here!
Military and Defense Forces in Iceland
The level of crime in Iceland is extremely low. Murders, sexual crimes, or violence are extremely rare. For this reason, Iceland is the safest country. No wonder why there is no steady army here.