Country Listing

Paraguay Table of Contents



The nation faced no foreseeable external threat in late 1988 and took care to maintain workable diplomatic relations with its large neighbors, Brazil and Argentina. Relations with Bolivia, which had sometimes been slightly strained over issues related to the shared border in the Chaco, had not been viewed as a serious threat to national security since the Chaco War. The threat of insurgent activity appeared low, and no incidents of guerrilla activity had been reported since a limited number of minor incursions took place in the early 1970s. Consequently, the external defense mission of the armed forces was essentially limited to monitoring the nation's borders.

The internal security mission was far more significant. Military units frequently were called out to control demonstrations or handle other manifestations of unrest. The military also maintained checkpoints in the sparsely populated Chaco region as part of the government's administration of the area.

All three branches of the armed forces were involved in civicaction projects. The army's engineer battalions were responsible for road construction and the maintenance of transportation routes. The engineers also built schools and public buildings for rural communities, did excavation work, constructed water tanks, and provided bricks and tiles for local building projects. The navy performed ship repair for the merchant fleet, and naval vessels transported goods to needy communities at no cost. The air force provided transportation services and helped build schools and landing fields in isolated areas. Medical personnel from all three services operated rural clinics and offered free emergency medical treatment. The army's veterinary unit was the nation's only public veterinary service. All three services were active in disaster relief efforts.

Data as of December 1988