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Costa Rica Military - 2024


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Military and security forces

no regular military forces; Ministry of Public Security: National Police (Fuerza Pública), Air Surveillance Service (Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea), National Coast Guard Service (Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas), Drug Control Police (Policía Control de Drogas), Border Police (Policia de Fronteras), Professional Migration Police (Policía Profesional de Migración); Ministry of Presidency: Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS), Special Intervention Unit (UEI) (2024)

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

15-17,000 Ministry of Public Security personnel (2024)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the National Police are lightly armed although small special units are trained and equipped for tactical operations; the US has provided equipment and support to forces such the National Coast Guard, including secondhand US vessels and aircraft (2024)

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 (2024)

NOTE: The information regarding Costa Rica on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Costa Rica 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Costa Rica 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.