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1. Geography
2. Political situation
3. Defense
4. Economy
a. Figures
5. Health
6. Education
a. Universities
7. Demographics
8. Religions
a. Freedom
9. Peoples
10. Languages
11. Human rights
12. History
13. Cities and Towns

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Open map of MoroccoFlag of MoroccoMorocco /

Key figures
Army 175,000
Navy 7,800
Air force 13,500
Royal guard 12,000
Paramilitary forces 50,000
Reserves 150,000
Updated 2009. Figures are from August 2003.

Morocco has compulsory service for males only, ages 18 to 30. Military training is up to18 months, 6 first basic military training, the last 12 civil work.
Moroccan reserves stay in service until the age of 50.
The Moroccan military relies heavily upon enlisted soldiers, staying in full service for 25 years before receiving state pensions.
Morocco's defense budget was in 2003 US$2.3 billion MAD, 5% of GDP.
Morocco cooperates closely with USA in military matters, allowing US military into its ports and bases, in exchange for military aid. US aid was in 2004 US$10 million, increased to US$15 million in 2005.
Moroccan military has two commands, one for original territories, the other one for Western Sahara (which is occupied and annexed by Morocco, but without any international acceptance).
Morocco faces internal threats with mainly two Islamist groups, the Al-Qa'ida affiliated Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM) and the Salafiya Jihadiya.
The battle line with Polisario remains the Moroccan military's main task, even if there is an effective end to the fighting since 1991, and the release of the remaining Moroccan prisoners in 2005.
According to international reports of 2006, the Moroccan army is well equipped with 744 battle tanks and 100 light tanks
The navy equipment includes 2 frigates, 4 missile crafts, 23 patrol crafts. There are 5 navy bases: Al-Hoceima, Tangier, Casablanca, Agadir and Dakhla (listed from northeast down the Atlantic coast), the latter being in Western Sahara.
The air force equipment includes 95 combat aircraft and 24 armed helicopters. The 4 air force bases are located to a very limited area, all next to the main urban centres of Rabat and Casablanca. The bases are in Rabat, Meknes and Kenitra and Sidi Slimane, with a training base in Marrakech.
There is a foreign mission in Moroccan-controlled territory, the UN mission MINURSO (UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) counting 27 troops and 203 military observers.

1991: Cease-fire arranged between Morocco and Polisario. Foreign military in the UN mission MINURSO, counting a few hundred, begins surveillance of the region.
2004 June: USA designates Morocco as a major non-NATO ally.
2005 August 18: Polisario releases the last remaining 404 Moroccan prisoners.

By Tore Kjeilen