Armed Forces of Paraguay (Fuerzas Armadas de Paraguay; aka Armed Forces of the Nation or Fuerzas Armadas de la Nación): Paraguayan Army (Ejército Paraguayo), Paraguayan Navy (Armada Paraguaya; includes marines), Paraguayan Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Paraguaya); Ministry of Internal Affairs: National Police of Paraguay (Policía Nacional del Paraguay, PNP) (2023)
note: Paraguay also has a National Counterdrug Bureau (Secretaria Nacional Antidrogas or SENAD) that operates under the presidency
0.8% of GDP (2022 est.)
1% of GDP (2021 est.)
1% of GDP (2020 est.)
1% of GDP (2019 est.)
1% of GDP (2018 est.)
approximately 15,000 active duty personnel (10,000 Army; 3,500 Navy; 1,500 Air Force) (2022)
the military's inventory is comprised of mostly older equipment from a variety of foreign suppliers, particularly Brazil and the US (2022)
18 years of age for compulsory (men) and voluntary (men and women) military service; conscript service obligation is 12 months for Army, 24 months for Navy; conscripts also serve in the National Police; volunteers for the Air Force must be younger than 22 years of age with a secondary school diploma (2023)
note: as of 2021, women made up about 6% of the active military
the Paraguayan military is responsible for external defense but also has some domestic security duties; while the National Police are responsible for maintaining internal security, the military works with the police through a Joint Task Force (aka Fuerza de Tarea Conjunta or FTC) in combatting the Paraguayan People’s Army (Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo or EPP) and transnational criminal organizations; the military has an Internal Defense Operations Command (Comando de Defensa Interna or CODI), which includes the Army, Navy, and Air Force, to coordinate internal security support to the police and other security organizations, such as the National Anti-Drug Secretariat or SENAD
the EPP is a domestic criminal/guerrilla group initially dedicated to a Marxist-Leninist revolution in Paraguay that operates in the rural northern part of the country along the border with Brazil; the activities of the EPP and its offshoots—Marsical López’s Army (EML) and the Armed Peasant Association (ACA)—have consisted largely of isolated attacks on remote police and army posts, or against ranchers and peasants accused of aiding Paraguayan security forces
the military is a small force by regional standards, and its limited equipment inventory is largely obsolete, with some of it pre-dating World War II; it has deployed small numbers of troops on UN missions and cooperates with neighboring countries, such as Argentina and Brazil, on security issues, particularly organized crime and narco-trafficking in what is known as the Tri-Border Area; Paraguay has not fought a war against a neighboring country since the Chaco War with Bolivia in the 1930s; formally established in 1811, the Army has 9 divisions of infantry and cavalry, but each division is reportedly about the size of a US battalion or 500-1,000 troops; there is also a presidential guard regiment; the Navy is a riverine force that has some of the oldest operational warships in the World, as well as a small marine infantry force; the Air Force has a single combat squadron with a handful of light ground attack/trainer aircraft (2023)
NOTE: The information regarding Paraguay 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 Paraguay 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Paraguay 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.
This page was last modified 10 Nov 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.