Do Small Countries Need Armies
Countries exist within an environment which is prone to both internal and external threats. As a result, security is vital in maintaining the stability and safety of the inhabitants and the country’s material and non-material possessions. In the past, conquests were popular among countries, threats that called for preparedness of nations to protect their sovereignty. Presently, security threats have been replaced by terrorist attacks which call for similar if not more readiness. The military capability has been continuously viewed as the ultimate measure of a country’s power and the only way to secure the country both internally and externally. Developed nations are known to have established large unparalleled army bases which have aided them to retain their power in the global standing. Small countries, on the other hand, have been reconsidering on whether to or not to have armies owing to their numerous unsolved problems. Low-income countries are not economically stable to fund the vast army expenditure as well as the costs that come along with warfare and should, therefore, channel the available resources towards development plans.Small countries have limited resources to establish and maintain high army expenditures. Small states limited geographical spaces imply that they have limited natural resources, which are hardly enough to sustain their development. Critically, there are better development plans that the countries can exploit their resources to run as opposed to funding army activities. Army activities, whether internal or external, do not occur in the absence of social and economic destruction (Collier, 2016). Warfare hardly helps in building safe societies but acts best in destroying the existing establishment. When small countries enter military activities, they risk losing the development projects that they have spent a fortune to earn.
Military expenditure has significant implications on the development of small nations as it impedes their social and economic development. Involvement in army activities means that the funds that would otherwise be directed to development projects are diverted to the army. Therefore, governments are forced to sacrifice the finances budgeted for public services and infrastructural development to army projects. Development during war regresses to two percent and makes developing countries to grow poorer (Murdoch & Sandler, 2011). Similarly, healthy social relationships hardly thrive in war stroke environments. Warfare cultivates mistrust among people and hence retards both social and economic development.
Despite the costs that come along with the maintenance of armies in small countries, there is a need for countries to ensure that they are well-secured. Security plays a central role in the determination and protection of political boundaries (Alesina & Spolaore, 2015). Nations, however small, should be in a position to safeguard their citizens and property from any threats from their external environment. Countries owe their inhabitants adequate preparation in cases of external attacks and size is no excuse. The presence of an army, regardless of its size and strength, prevents an enemy from seeking easy triumph.Army expenditure and warfare have serious adverse effects on the development of small nations. Low-income nations are obliged to attend to the most pressing interests of their citizens as opposed to engaging in warfare. Security interests only arise when primary interests have been satisfied. The presence of an army in a small country is not much important as the country already has myriad problems to survive the consequences of warfare. The states should focus on establishing stable economies that can endure the upheavals caused by war before launching army bases that are likely to attract more enemies.