Costa Rica Military - 2023


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Military and security forces

no regular military forces; Ministry of Public Security: the Public Force (Fuerza Pública (National Police)), Air Surveillance Service (Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea), National Coast Guard Service (Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas), Border Police (Policia de Fronteras); Ministry of Presidency: Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS), Special Intervention Unit (UEI) (2023)

note: Costa Rica's armed forces were constitutionally abolished in 1949

Military expenditures

0.6% of GDP (2022 est.)

0.7% of GDP (2021 est.)

0.7% of GDP (2020 est.)

0.7% of GDP (2019 est.)

0.7% of GDP (2018 est.)

Military and security service personnel strengths

12,500 Public Force personnel; approximately 500-600 Air, 500-600 Coast Guard, and 300-400 Border Police personnel (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Public Force is lightly armed with an inventory that includes mostly older, secondhand US equipment (2023)

Military - note

Costa Rica relies on specialized paramilitary units within the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) for internal security missions and countering transnational threats such as narcotics smuggling and organized crime, as well as for participating in regional security operations and exercises; MPS forces have received advisory and training support from both Colombia and the US; since 2012, the US has also provided some military equipment, including aircraft and patrol boats (2022)

NOTE: The information regarding Costa Rica on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Costa Rica 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Costa Rica 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.