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Military of Slovenia

After successful resistance to the Yugoslav National Army (JNA) following the 10-day war of independence in 1991, Slovenia faced the challenge of establishing independent armed forces. A major reorganization of the Slovenian Army (SV) is currently underway, with the goal of changing from a territorial defense force to an operational army aimed at peacekeeping. The Slovenian Army consists of about 4,200 professional soldiers, including officers and NCOs, and about 5,000 to 6,000 conscripts at a time during peacetime. Completely mobilized, it numbers around 55,000. Slovenia has mandatory military service (6-7 months of training) although young men may opt for the civil service alternative. The Slovenian Army is comprised mainly of infantry units, although it does have a small air force and naval unit. Reorganization will eventually eliminate the role of conscripts in the military structure, basing it instead on a professional corps. At the end of this process, professionals will number about 7,500 and conscripts about 33,000.

As part of the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia was never a member of the Warsaw Pact. Today, the foreign policy priority of NATO membership drives Slovenia's defense reorganization. Once many countries lifted the arms embargo on Slovenia in 1996, the country embarked on a military procurement program to bolster its status as a NATO candidate and to aid its transformation into a mobility force. Active in the SFOR deployment in Bosnia, Slovenia is a charter member of the Partnership for Peace and a regular participant in PfP exercises. The United States provides bilateral military assistance to Slovenia, including through the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program, the State Partnership Program (aligned with Colorado), and the EUCOM Joint Contact Team Program.

Since gaining independence, Slovenia avidly has sought NATO membership. With a view to becoming a full member, Slovenia has deepened its relationship with NATO through active participation in the EAPC and Partnership for Peace programs.

The Slovenian Army is currently in transition from a primarily conscript-based territorial defense organization to a professional force structure with NATO-interoperable combat units comparable to equivalent organizational units in the Alliance. Current spending on its military as a percentage of GDP is higher than that of the three countries selected at Madrid for NATO inclusion.

Since the lifting in June 1996 of the international embargo on Slovenia as one of the republics of the former Yugoslavia, the government has diligently pursued its restructuring, reorganization, modernization, and procurement with the paramount goal of NATO-interoperability. Implementation of interoperability objectives as determined by the Planning and Review Process (PARP) and the Individual Partnership Program (IPP) as part of Slovenia's PfP participation proceeds. Slovenia's elite units already train with and are integrated into international units including NATO members--for example as part of SFOR and on Cyprus. Its elite mountain troops will be assigned to the Multilateral Land Force peacekeeping battalion with Italy, Hungary, and Croatia. Slovenia hosted its first PfP exercise in 1998--"Cooperative Adventure Exchange"--a multinational disaster-preparedness command post exercise involving almost 6,000 troops from 19 NATO and PfP member nations.

Military branches: Slovenian Army (includes Air and Naval Forces)

Military manpower - military age: 19 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 525,031 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 417,726 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 14,958 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $335 million (FY99)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.6% (FY99)

See also: Slovenia