The defense is based on NATO membership. NATO's highest
body (Atlantic Council) is located in Brussels, and the
military NATO staff for Europe (SHAPE) is located at Mons.
The defense comprises (2008) 40,000 men enlisted squad with
2,000 men in reserve. The conscience system has been
discontinued. The defense is organized in an army of 12,000
men in a mechanized brigade and a rapid-fire brigade. The
reserves form a territorial defense of eleven battalions.
The Navy comprises 1,600 men with 2 frigates, 6 mine
clearance vessels, etc. and is operated operationally from
the Netherlands. The Air Force comprises 7,000 men with 71
fighter aircraft. The equipment is of a high NATO standard. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that BEL stands for Belgium.
Defense costs decreased in 1985–2006 from 3.0% to 1.1% of
GDP. Belgium participates in a number of UN peacekeeping
efforts. Afghanistan (ISAF), Bosnia and Herzegovina/
Croatia, Chad (EUFOR), Lebanon (UNIFIL II) and Serbia
(KFOR). The United Kingdom has 400 men and the United States
1,350 men grouped in Belgium.