Nepal Reforming Military

Sharing a border with both India and China and caught amidst their territorial dispute, Nepal is reforming its army organization. The force of nearly 100,000 has hence been organized into eight primarily administrative divisions which corresponded to the county’s federally-organized provinces. However, as this organizational model generated excessive logistical problems and proved to be rather impractical, the eight divisions are now being consolidated into four geographic commands, each led by a major general. These are the Eastern Command, Central Command, Western Command and Valley Command; their boundaries are marked by rivers. Smaller tactical units such as companies and battalions, however, are set to remain untouched by the changes being made in the upper echelons.

Nepal Army soldiers participate in a joint exercise with US forces (Staff Sgt. Jared N. Gehmann)

Nepal has long maintained a balanced posture, seeking not to alienate either of its two neighbors. India and China have both helped equip the Nepalese military and have offered significant aid and investment to Nepal over the years.

With rising Sino-Indian tensions, Nepal’s geographic location and noteworthy military strength, both powers have been competing over gaining more influence in Nepal. While Nepal continues to officially pursue balance, however, China has arguably managed to maneuver itself into a better position due to its greater capacity to support Nepal through investment and its continued vaccine exports. However, even if Nepal is arguably more dependent on the PRC then before, ongoing Chinese violations of Nepalese territorial boundaries remain a thorn in the side for bilateral ties.

One of the units Nepal has deployed to UN missions.

The army of Nepal has a long tradition, tracing its roots back to the Royal Neap Army established in 1744. After the monarchy was abolished, the army was rebranded as the Nepal Army. The organization has provided personnel to several significant UN operations in countries like Haiti, Somalia and Sierra Leone. Nepalese soldiers have long had a reputation for excellent warriors and continue to be recruited to serve in the British Brigade of Gurkhas to this day.