Country Listing

Laos Table of Contents



Armed Forces: Total strength approximately 37,000 in 1994: 33,000 Lao People's Army; 3,500 Lao People's Air Force; 500 Lao People's Navy. Approximately 49,000 reach military age annually (1994 estimate).

Internal Security Forces: Paramilitary self-defense force, or Irregular People's Army act as lightly armed local defense force organized at provincial level for territorial defense and at local levels. Most members retired military personnel; approximately 100,000 persons. Also acts as reserve for regular armed forces. Police force under jurisdiction of Ministry of Interior.

Major Equipment and Military Expenditures: End of military support from Russia and Vietnam combined with lack of domestic funding inhibit needed modernization of aging equipment, much of it from former Soviet Union and Vietnam. Military expenditures--including public security budget--approximately US$104.9 million (1993 estimate). Degenerating capabilities because of poor state of equipment and personnel skills.

Data as of July 1994