NATO consists of thirty countries on both sides of the Atlantic and brings together several armies in a virtually impregnable alliance. Beyond the armed forces of the United States, the United Kingdom or Germany, each country provides its soldiers, available to respond to any situation in which the organization needs to intervene. Not all areas have large troops, but every soldier can make the difference between victory and defeat in every battle. The five smallest armies, for example, only have a few hundred soldiers.
It was founded in 1949 with the aim of promoting the security and collective defense of its members and was a response to the growing threat from the Soviet Union. Despite its dissolution, the Atlantic Alliance has endured and evolved to address a variety of security challenges – the most recent being the war in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.
Initially consisting of twelve founding members, NATO currently includes 31 countries: Albania, Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United States, Estonia, Finland (added). France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Romania and Turkey.
What are the five smallest NATO armies?
It is worth noting that Iceland, a NATO member country, has no armed forces. Thus, the countries with military personnel of the five smallest countries in the alliance are:
- Luxembourg: It is one of the founding countries of the alliance. It has 1,010 soldiers, it has a small air force with only an Airbus A400M purchased from Belgium and two helicopters. Also 48 tactical vehicles.
- Montenegro: Incorporated in 2017. The personnel of its armed forces is 2,350 soldiers, divided into army, navy, air force and other sectors. It has tactical and armored vehicles, patrol boats and helicopters.
- Slovenia: With 6,400 soldiers, it has been part of the alliance since 2004. This army consists of tanks, patrol boats and turboprop aircraft, as well as light aircraft or helicopters.
- Latvia: Slightly more than the previous one, with 6,600 soldiers. It also joined NATO in 2004 and has tanks, patrol boats, mine countermeasure ships or support ships, and helicopters or training aircraft.
- Estonia: Also joined the alliance in 2004. It has 7,200 soldiers from the Navy, Air Force, Army and other armed forces. The ground force has increased to almost 50 combat vehicles in recent years. It also has patrol boats, anti-mine ships and helicopters.