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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. History
12. Cities and Towns
13. Emirates

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Open map of United Arab EmiratesFlag of United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates /

Key figures
Military expenses: 3.1%/GDP (2005 est.)
Troops, Army: 44,000
Troops, Navy: 2,500
Troops, Air force: 4,000
Paramilitary forces: N/A
US troops: 570

All figures are 2003 estimates.

There is no conscription in UAE, service is voluntary. Both men and women serve in the military, from the age of 18. The military is divided into Army; Navy (includes Marines and Coast Guard); Air and Air Defense Force; and paramilitary forces (includes Federal Police Force).
In 1992, it was stated that about 30% of the armed forces were constituted by non-nationals. Since then, campaigns have been carried through to increase the number of emirati nationals.
The military budget has in percentage of national budget been drastically reduced since the 1980's. Certain military activities are financed directly by each emirate.
Among the main focuses of the emirati military is to guard the border zone to Saudi Arabia, which has not formally been demarcated. Also, there is a permament need to control UAE possessions in the Persian Gulf. UAE is in principle in dispute with Iran over a few islands; the Abu Musa being the most important of these, controlling Sharjah's main oil fields.

By Tore Kjeilen