Portuguese Armed Forces

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Portuguese Armed Forces
Military manpower
Military age 20 years of age
Availability males age 15–49: 2,534,872 (2000 est.)
Fit for military service males age 15–49: 2,036,712 (2000 est.)
Reaching military age annually males: 74,050 (2000 est.)
Active troops 44,900
Military expenditures
Amount $2.458 billion (FY97)
Percent of GDP 2.6% (FY97)

The Portuguese Armed Forces (Portuguese: Forças Armadas Portuguesas) are divided into three branches:

  • Army (Exército Português)
  • Navy (Marinha Portuguesa or Armada Portuguesa)
  • Air Force (Força Aérea Portuguesa)

In the 20th century, Portugal had only two major military interventions, the first one in the 1st World War and the other between 1961 and 1974 in the former colonial territories of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau, the Portuguese Colonial War, a war that killed and wounded thousands of Portuguese men and continues to affect Portugal to this day.

Since 2003, the military service is optional. Portugal has military involved in several peacekeeping missions abroad, like INTERFER and UNTAET in East-Timor, MINURSO in Western Sahara, EUFOR in Bosnia and KFOR in Kosovo.

The last government spent large amounts of money in the modernization of the Armed Forces, in an action that created much controversy, the main one was the acquisition of 2 new submarines.

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