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Military branches:
Lao People's Armed Forces (LPAF): Lao People's Army (LPA; includes Riverine Force), Air Force (2008)
Military service age and obligation:
15 years of age for compulsory military service; minimum 18-month conscript service obligation (2006)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,549,774
females age 16-49: 1,570,702 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 993,162
females age 16-49: 1,052,053 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 73,973
female: 72,758 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
0.5% of GDP (2006)
Military - note:
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)

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