Liberians remain very vulnerable to heightened insecurity including external aggression.
In terms of military strength ranking, Liberia only tops a small south Asian landlocked kingdom. And it is Bhutan. This kingdom has a population of 779,898, six (6) times less than Liberia’s population. Out of 138 countries, Liberia ranks 137 with a rating of 9.5753 according to the 2021 Global Fire Power Military Ranking.
The militaries of even Niger, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Laos, Somalia, and Congo are far better than Liberia. Isn’t this a shame for a 173-year-old nation?
Here is my proof: https://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing.asp
Over 50 factors were used to determine this military ranking or index, some of which include: manpower, equipment, finances, logistics, natural resources, etc. Let us get into it with a specific glance at Liberia:
Does Liberia even have an army? No, Liberia does not. What Liberia has can better be described as “a military”. In actual fact, Liberia has a brigade and not even a division or a corps. Liberia only has 2,200 soldiers or less. And to have an army, a country should have at least 100,000 soldiers or two corps.
The below military units further explain and/or justify the points:
1) Squad – 7 to 14 soldiers and it is led by a Sergeant
2) Platoon (3-4 squads) – 20 to 50 soldiers and it is led by a Lieutenant
3) Company (2-4 platoons) – 100 to 250 soldiers and it is by a Captain or a Major
4) Battalion (2-5 companies) – 400 to 1,200 soldiers and it is led by a Lieutenant Colonel
5) Brigade or Regiment (3 battalions) – 2,000 to 8,000 soldiers and it is by a Brigadier General or a Colonel (1 star)
6) Division (2-3 brigades) – 7,000 to 22,000 soldiers and it is led by a Major General (2 stars)
7) Corps (2-7 divisions) – 50,000 to 300,000 and it is led a Lieutenant General (3 stars)
8) Army (2-5 corps) – at least 100,000 soldiers and it is led by a General (4 stars)
With all due respect, the official rank of the Chief of Staff, Prince C. Johnson, is Brigadier General and not General, Lieutenant General, or even Major General. Therefore, Chief of Staff Prince C. Johnson III. should not be decorated with two (2) stars but one (1) star because he is a Brigadier General and not a Major General.
To add insult to injury, the Commander-in-Chief George M. Weah reduced AFL’s budget to US$10.9 million this fiscal year 2020/2021 amid the lack of equipment, logistics, and declining manpower.
The military spending/defense budget of Liberia for 2017 was US$20m, a 4.23% increase from 2016 under former Pres. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Pres. George Weah has drastically reduced this amount to US$13m with AFL having US$10.9m according to 2020/2021 Approved National Budget.
The U.S. Government gave over US$402 million to rebuild Liberia’s post-conflict army. Where is it? Over a billion US dollars was spent on Security Sector Reform (SSR). Where did it go?