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Vietnam Military


The Vietnam People's Armed Forces consists of the Vietnam People's Army, the Vietnam People's Public Security and the Vietnam Civil Defence Force. The Vietnam People's Army (VPA) is the official name for the active military services of Vietnam, and is subdivided into the Vietnam People's Ground Forces, the Vietnam People's Navy, the Vietnam People's Air Force, the Vietnam Border Defence Force and the Vietnam Marine Police. The VPA has an active manpower of around 450,000, but its total strength, including paramilitary forces, may be as high as 5,000,000. In 2011, Vietnam's military expenditure totalled approximately $2.48 billion, equivalent to around 2.5% of its 2010 GDP.

During peaceful periods, the VPA has actively been involved in Vietnam's workforce to develop the economy of Vietnam, to coordinate national defence and the economy. The VPA has regularly sent troops to aid with natural disasters such as flooding, landslides, etc. The VPA is also involved in such areas as industry, agriculture, forestry, fishery and telecommunications. The VPA has numerous small firms which have become quite profitable in recent years. However, recent decrees have effectively prohibited the commercialisation of the military.

The Foreign Relations Department of the Ministry of National Defence organises international operations of the VPA. Apart from its occupation of half of the disputed Spratly Islands, which have been claimed as Vietnamese territory since the 17th century, Vietnam has not officially had forces stationed internationally since its withdrawal from Cambodia and Laos in early 1990.

Some pro-Hmong organisations claimed that since the end of the Vietnam War, Vietnamese forces are sent to Laos repeatedly to quell the Hmong rebellion. In late November 2009, shortly before the start of the 2009 Southeast Asian Games in Vientiane, the Vietnamese army undertook a major troop surge in key rural and mountainous provinces in Laos where Lao and Hmong civilians and religious believers, including Christians, have sought sanctuary.


Military branches : People's Armed Forces: People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN; includes People's Navy Command (with Naval Infantry, Coast Guard), Air and Air Defence Force (Khong Quan Nhan Dan), Border Defence Command), People's Public Security Forces, Militia Force, Self-Defence Forces (2010)
Military service age and obligation : 18 years of age for male compulsory military service; females may volunteer for active duty military service; conscript service obligation - 2 years (3 to 4 years in the navy); 18-45 years of age (male) or 18-40 years of age (female) for Militia Force or Self Defence Forces (2006)
Manpower available for military service : males age 16-49: 25,649,738

females age 16-49: 24,995,692 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service : males age 16-49: 20,405,847

females age 16-49: 21,098,102 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually : male: 847,743

female: 787,341 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures : 2.5% of GDP (2005 est.)






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