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Laos:
Military & Transnational Issues

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Laos Page


Other pages in this profile of Laos:
Geography, People, Government, Economy, Communications & Transportation,
Military branches
Definition
Lao People's Armed Forces (LPAF): Lao People's Army (LPA; includes Riverine Force), Air Force (2008)
Military service age and obligation
Definition
15 years of age for compulsory military service; minimum 18-month conscript service obligation (2006)
Manpower available for military service
Definition
males age 16-49: 1,549,774
females age 16-49: 1,570,702 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service
Definition - World rank and map
males age 16-49: 993,162
females age 16-49: 1,052,053 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
Definition
males age 16-49: 73,973
females age 16-49: 72,758 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP
Definition - World rank and map
0.5% (2006)
Military - note
Definition
serving one of the world's least developed countries, the Lao People's Armed Forces (LPAF) is small, poorly funded, and ineffectively resourced; its mission focus is border and internal security, primarily in countering ethnic Hmong insurgent groups; together with the Lao People's Revolutionary Party and the government, the Lao People's Army (LPA) is the third pillar of state machinery, and as such is expected to suppress political and civil unrest and similar national emergencies, but the LPA also has upgraded skills to respond to avian influenza outbreaks; there is no perceived external threat to the state and the LPA maintains strong ties with the neighboring Vietnamese military (2008)
Disputes - international
Definition
Southeast Asian states have enhanced border surveillance to check the spread of avian flu; talks continue on completion of demarcation with Thailand but disputes remain over islands in the Mekong River; concern among Mekong Commission members that China's construction of dams on the Mekong River will affect water levels
Illicit drugs
Definition
estimated opium poppy cultivation in 2005 was 5,600 hectares, about a 45% decrease from 2004; estimated potential opium production in 2005 was 28 metric tons, a significant decrease from 200 metric tons in 2003; unsubstantiated reports of domestic methamphetamine production; growing domestic methamphetamine problem


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