Carthage Defense Forces

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Carthage Defense Forces
Carthage Flag.jpg
Flag of Carthage
Foundedcirca 650 BCE
Current formEstablished 1848
Service branches24px Army of Carthage
24px Punic Navy
24px Carthage Air Forces
HeadquartersDefense Committee Headquarters, Carthage
SuffetSipho Ibrahima
Chinyere Afolayan
Defense Committee ChairmanJosiah Harris
Headquarters Commander-in-ChiefRichard Chamberlain
Military age18 for voluntary service
Available for
military service
885,372,373 males, age 18-45 (2013 est.),
870,234,178 females, age 18-45 (2013 est.)
Fit for
military service
683,464,457 males, age 18-45 (2013 est.),
675,262,689 females, age 18-45 (2013 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
38,743,935 males (2013 est.),
38,643,853 females (2013 est.)
Active personnel31,120,000
Reserve personnel13,100,350
Percent of GDP5%
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The Carthage Defense Forces are the military forces of the Republic of Carthage. They are composed of the Army of Carthage, the Punic Navy, and the Carthage Air Forces, and trace their lineage back to the founding of the city and the formation of the earliest sacred bands under royal authority, although they remained under civilian control since the establishment of republican rule in 1848. The suffetes of Carthage are the co-commanders-in-chief of the Defense Forces while the Defense Committee is responsible for the administration of the armed forces, the primary instrument of military policy. The suffetes are assisted the civilian Committee on National Security and the military Defense Forces Council in the formulation and implementation of national defense policy. Although administered separately at an organizational level, combat deployments are conducted through joint commands either through one of the standing regional defense commands or a specially-formed expeditionary command for deployment to a specific theater abroad.

The Defense Forces claim descent from the first bands of troops raised in defense of the ancient city of Carthage and have played a key role in Carthaginian history, from defending the city and its trade empire from Roman aggression to leading the pacification of the Congo valley. Known as the Imperial Army and Navy during the rule of the emperors, the military played a key role in Carthage's territory expansion throughout antiquity and into the age of colonization. The centralization of the military around the imperial family however led to its distancing from the population and the perceived loss of its citizen-soldier roots in the age of the Punic Wars. In 1848 during the Violet Revolution, the old imperial military was abolished and replaced by the modern Defense Forces, although most personnel and staff were retained during the transition. A number of traditions and procedures were changed throughout the next several decades in order to reform the military and make it more amenable to the new democratic environment, including stricter enforcement of the merit-based promotion system, the end of the sale of commissions, and changes in training and recruitment. Since then, the Defense Forces have served as the Republic's military force in conflicts across the globe, in defense of Carthage and its interests.


Supreme command of the modern Defense Forces is held jointly by the two suffetes of the Republic, although in practice the senior suffet holds higher authority than the junior suffet when not in agreement. Below the suffetes is the Defense Committee Chair, who holds a seat on the High Council and is charged with overseeing the day to day and long-term administration of the military and implementing policies adopted by the legislature or executive branches. By law, all of these positions may only be held by civilians, although this does not prohibit those with past military service from holding these offices. The Headquarters Commander-in-Chief serves as the Chief of the Headquarters Staff and chair of the Defense Forces Council and is the highest-ranking uniformed officer, tasked with oversight of the military and the provision of advice to the civilian administration.

The current structure was adopted in 1964 with the passage of the Rieman-Abkhor Defense Reorganization Act which combined the previously separate military committees and departments into the singular Defense Committee and created the Defense Forces Council as the primary advisory body for civilian leadership. It also resulted in the shift in command from the administrative service chiefs to lower-level theater commanders. Prior to this, command was exercised on a branch-specific basis, which highlighted shortcomings in interoperability and cooperation. Legislative approval was added as a requirement for deployment of the military abroad for a period longer than 60 days, restricting the suffetes' ability to unilaterally become involved in conflicts abroad. The act also specifically changed the collective name of the military services from the Armed Forces of Carthage to the Carthage Defense Forces, the name it retains to the present day.

Lower-level standing formations are assigned to regional or theater commanders who exercise operational control over units under their command. Six regional commands are currently responsible for the defense of the Carthaginian homeland territories, while five standing Rapid Deployment Corps remain under independent command form the basis of expeditionary combat formations. While regional commanders hold rank in a specific branch, they hold command of all forces within their geographic area of responsibility, regardless of branch.

Over time, a number of other support services have been consolidated to joint command, including the medical services, special forces, and strategic mobility assets, although these forces do not constitute additional service branches and are still nominally under the operational control of their parent services. In 1994, the Unified Military Procurement Act revised contracting, intellectual property, and procurement procedures to streamline the acquisition process, in particular for cross-service and joint programs.

Defense Committee

The Defense Committee is the civilian administrative body tasked with overseeing and managing the Department of Defense. It is headed by the Defense Committee Chair, who has a seat on the High Council, and includes the secretary of each service branch as well as the heads of the defense intelligence services. The committee's role is centered on the administrative management of the defense apparatus, as operational control of the Defense Forces is exercised by field commanders. The Headquarters Commander-in-Chief has a seat on the council but no voting or other statutory powers under the Defense Reorganization Act. The current composition of the committee is:

  • Defense Committee Chair
  • Defense Committee Vice Chair
  • Secretary of the Army
  • Secretary of the Navy
  • Secretary of the Air Forces
  • Director-General of the Defense Intelligence Agency
  • Headquarters Commander-in-Chief
  • Inspector-General of the Department of Defense
  • Defense Agency Director
  • Defense Support Services Administrator

Defense Forces Council

The Defense Forces Council serves as an advisory body to the civilian leadership on military matters, as well as a consultative body on Defense Forces-wide matters of policy. It is composed of the service chief of each branch, along with the Headquarters Commander-in-Chief and the Headquarters Vice Commander. The Headquarters Commander-in-Chief is considered the highest-ranking member of the Defense Forces and is drawn from one of the service branches, as is the Headquarters Vice Commander. The current composition of the council is:

  • Headquarters Commander-in-Chief
  • Headquarters Vice Commander
  • Admiralty Chief of Staff
  • Army Headquarters Chief of Staff
  • Marshal of the Air Forces
  • Inspector-General of the Militia

Headquarters Staff

The Headquarters Staff is the military staff of the Carthage Defense Forces, responsible for strategic and operational planning and coordination. It is composed of representatives from all of the major segments of the armed forces as well as civilians from the national security and foreign affairs agencies. The staff report to the Headquarters Commander-in-Chief, who is responsible for presenting these plans and proposals to civilian leadership for approval. While the Headquarters Staff do not maintain operational control over the Defense Forces, it is responsible for developing strategic, operational, and procurement plans for implementation by the civilian leadership and field commanders. The staff includes the following major departments:

  • Internal Affairs
  • Operational Planning
  • Intelligence
  • Logistics and Support Services
  • Research, Development, and Procurement
  • Liaison & Government Affairs


The primary mission of the Carthage Defense Forces is the defense of Carthage and its citizens from threats foreign and domestic, although domestic security is primarily handled by civilian agencies except in times of major emergency. In addition to combat deployments, the CDF has also commonly participated in humanitarian missions abroad and disaster relief both domestically and overseas. To this end, the Defense Forces maintain a strong expeditionary capability and have been involved in a number of international conflicts. A less publicly acknowledged role is to serve as an instrument of foreign policy, including the defense of recognized allies and Carthaginian interests.


The Carthage Defense Forces are divided into three primary service branches providing military capability in a range of conditions, both domestically and abroad. Each branch is administered separately within the broader Defense Committee structure, but when deployed are commonly combined into a single joint forces command responsible for all operations within the designated theater. Underpinning the Defense Forces' expeditionary capability are the Rapid Deployment Corps, which combine a flexible ground force with naval and air assets into a single command with high readiness, stationed in several regions throughout the country. This replaces the large basing network sometimes maintained to provide such capabilities in other nations.

Punic Navy

Punic Navy carrier battle group during exercises in the Atlantic, 2005.

The Punic Navy is the naval warfare branch of the Carthage Defense Forces and is responsible for maintaining the Republic's maritime security. It is considered the senior service, tracing its lineage back to the galley fleets that defended the city-state in antiquity. The Punic Navy maintains the Republic's primary expeditionary warfighting capability through a fleet of aircraft carriers and a well-developed amphibious assault capability while also maintaining the ability to exercise sea control and maintain sea lines of communication in wartime. In addition, it maintains the largest portion of the Carthaginian nuclear deterrent aboard its fleet of nuclear ballistic missile submarines. As of 2013, the Navy accounts for some 10,892,000 active and 3,655,350 reserve sailors, the second-largest of the three branches. It operates in excess of 1,800 warships and 24,000 aircraft of various types with a budget of $6.79 trillion.

Naval Infantry

The Naval Infantry are a department within the Navy responsible for providing force protection for warships and naval bases, as well as light expeditionary capability. In addition, the naval infantry are also responsible for providing embassy guards for Carthaginian embassies and consulates abroad in conjunction with the Diplomatic Protection Service. Units of naval infantry are normally of company size or smaller if assigned to a warship, but may be of battalion size if assigned to the protection of a major naval installation. When deployed at sea, units may be called upon to provide organic expeditionary capability for specialized scenarios, including the rescue of citizens abroad and supplementing the defense of foreign embassies. Naval infantry equipment is commonly procured from Army stocks.

Army of Carthage

The Army of Carthage is the largest and second-oldest branch, responsible for providing land-based warfighting capability. In addition, it provides manpower for large-scale amphibious operations in conjunction with the Punic Navy. The current Army is focused around a series of modular brigades designed for autonomous action and rapid deployment both abroad and domestically, and possesses a modern arsenal of advanced weaponry. In a defensive role, it is supplemented by the National Militia, which provides additional manpower in times of war. As of 2013, the Army maintains a force of 14,004,000 active and 5,625,000 reserve soldiers on a budget of $6.79 trillion.

Expeditionary Command

Template:Further2 The Expeditionary Command is responsible for maintaining Carthage's ability to efficiently deploy forces abroad and to this end is tasked with the training of units for deployment during peacetime and logistical command of operations during war time. In addition, it develops doctrines and plans for rapid strategic deployment, and is responsible for overseeing the maintenance of divisions assigned to the Rapid Deployment Corps, although tactical command of the divisions is left to the commander of each corps.

Carthage Air Forces

The youngest and smallest branch by manpower, the Carthage Air Forces are responsible for maintaining land-based strategic deterrence capabilities as well as tactical air support and space infrastructure. The Air Forces were established in 1922 when they were formally separated from the Army. With a fleet of over 40,000 aircraft, the Air Forces are responsible for providing battlefield support to Army operations with tactical aircraft as well as strategic support via a fleet of strategic bombers. The launch and control of military satellites also falls under the purview of the Air Forces along with the maintenance of the Republic's silo-, road-, and rail-based nuclear ballistic missiles, and in recent years an expanding cyberwarfare mission has also been assumed. As of 2013 the Air Forces account for 7,780,000 active and 3,820,000 reserve personnel with a budget of $5.82 trillion.

Cyberwarfare Command

The Cyberwarfare Command is responsible for developing and maintaining Carthage's defenses against hostile cyberattack, as well as developing the means to carry out such attacks on foreign powers. It is also responsible for developing new techniques in information gathering to support conventional IMINT, SIGINT, MASINT, and ELINT techniques in the field. Some controversy has surrounded the command in recent years regarding its possible role in a number of highly-publicized surveillance cases, leading to concerns about respect for civilian privacy.

Space Command

Template:Further2 The Space Command of the Carthage Air Forces is responsible for maintaining the Defense Forces' network of satellites, including the Carthage Global Navigation System and the intelligence Strategic Satellite Network. It is also responsible for operating satellites on behalf of other government departments such as the National Intelligence Agency and the Republic Analysis Office, even if these satellites are procured through other budgets. The exception is the Carthage Space Research Agency, which operates its satellite networks independently for political reasons, although ground control infrastructure is often shared between CSRA and CAF.


The Defense Forces budget for FY2013 is ₪10.3 trillion (NSD$14.7 trillion), approximately 20% of the federal government's total budget including non-discretionary spending. As a proportion of GDP, defense spending accounts for 4%, an increase over the previous decade but below the peak peacetime rate of 9% in the early 1970s and the maximum wartime rate of 28% during the Northern War. Defense spending reached a low point of 2.7% in 1986, before rebounding significantly in the early 1990s. Since then, the desire to balance defense spending with economic pressures has kept the budget at a relatively stable 4%.

In addition to funding directly allocated to the Defense Department in the regular budget, a supplement of ₪45.3 billion was provided via a Foreign Deployment Grant to fund missions abroad, including the San Domingo Incident and the Kilovosk War. Care for veterans is normally provided through the existing national healthcare system, with insurance provided by the government and soldiers eligible to receive care at military hospitals. An additional ₪250 billion was provided was provided to support military-related research by private institutions, as well as to operate nuclear facilities with defense purposes by the Department of Energy.

Major acquisition programs include construction of the new Leptis Magna-class aircraft carrier for the Punic Navy.

Major projects in the budget include:

  • Ongoing procurement of the RFM-202 Shaheen fighter for the Navy and Air Forces.
  • Ongoing procurement of NP21 warships for the Punic Navy and the retirement of older ships.
  • Ongoing procurement of Medium Multipurpose Tracked Vehicles for the Army, to develop the new light cavalry brigades.
  • Expansion of ballistic missile defense capability.
  • Development of additional cyberwarfare facilities and specializations.


Since the early 2000s the Defense Forces have become more involved in international missions, in keeping with the government's ongoing policy of building international partnerships to counter the potential expansion of the Pretoria Bloc. Most of these deployments have been non-combat operations with limited scope, but a few have involved active intervention.

Currently Defense Forces personnel are stationed in:

Fifth-generation RFM-202 Shaheen multirole fighter, being introduced to the Carthage Air Forces and the Punic Navy.
  • Kilovosk
    • Aels Expeditionary Support Force
    • 56,000 personnel, expected to be reduced to 5,000 by 2015 and withdrawn by 2017
  • Oceanian Archipelago
    • Forward Deployment Force
    • 2,500 personnel, expected to be withdrawn by 2016



Since the signing of the Pretoria Agreement between the European Liberation Treaty Organization and the Asian Security Agreement, Carthage's primary geopolitical rivals, the Defense Forces have invested significant capital into the design and procurement of more modern equipment, following over a decade of reduced spending in the late 1970s through the 1980s. New warships under the NP21 program such as the Type-061N submarine and Johann A. Revil-class destroyer have begun replacing legacy designs in the Punic Navy, while the development and acquisition of new ground vehicles such as the HTA-02 Jaguar II to support the Army's transition to a modular brigade organization is underway. The Air Forces are also in the process of transitioning to fifth generation fighters with the RFM-202 and -203 and is modernizing its bomber force to remain competitive in the 21st century.


As of October 1, 2015, the current strength of the Carthage Defense Forces is 31,120,000 active soldiers supplemented by a 13,100,350 strong reserve, excluding militia. All personnel formally part of the Defense Forces are volunteers, although reserve personnel often serve as officers for militia formations, which are conscripted. The National Service System is responsible for handling the draft in wartime and peacetime, although those reaching service age are given a choice of militia or other community service outside of major conflicts. All males are required to register for the system between the ages of 18 and 25, although legislation has been proposed to expand this requirement to women.

Types of Personnel

As in most militaries, personnel in the Defense Forces hold a rank of some sort, either enlisted, warrant, or officer, to determine seniority, chain of command, and promotion. Rank titles in Punic are standardized across all branches but are commonly delineated in other languages to aid in comprehension. All ranks regardless of language and branch operate on a unified paygrade, and officers holding the same rank are distinguished by their date of rank for the purposes of seniority. The Defense Force allows the enlistment of foreign nationals and offers fast-tracks to citizenship for those who serve.


TO&E of a Carthaginian light cavalry division.

Prospective enlistees are generally recruited at the end of their militia service, but some choose to enlist outright following graduation from secondary school or university. The minimum age for recruitment is 18, although prospective enlistees can enter via the Delayed Entry Program at the age of 17 with parental or guardian consent. Target recruitment ages for the Defense Force are 18 to 30.

Following enlistment, new recruits undergo the Unified Basic Training Program, which replaced the individual branch-specific training programs in 1993. Militia recruits undergo the same training following their selection of the militia for their national service requirement. The UBTP is a 13-week training program held at a number of recruit training depots across the country, and focuses on instilling discipline, knowledge of military protocol, drill, basic field and survival skills, and basic combat techniques.

UBTP is followed by the four-week Specialized Branch Training, in which enlistees learn skills relevant to their service branch. Army SBT includes more advanced field and combat skills, including more advanced marksmanship courses, the operation of various vehicles and crew-served weapons, land navigation, and basic infantry tactics. Navy SBT includes training in aquatic survival, shipboard damage control and firefighting, sea navigation, and basic seamanship. Air Force SBT includes basic training in logistics, air base procedures, the maintenance principles of aircraft, and force protection.

The last stage of training is Advanced Skills Training, where recruits are trained in their Armed Forces Occupational Specialty. This period varies and is dependent on the skill in question from two months to nearly two years based on the complexity of the skill set and training required. Those serving in the militia are generally restricted to shorter-term AFOS options due to the short length of their service, with those desiring more advanced training required to formally enlist in order to have access to these programs.

Non-commissioned officers

Non-commissioned officers are promoted from the enlisted ranks following an extended period of service. Unlike normal promotion within the enlisted ranks, promotion to a non-commissioned rank is competitive and usually occurs after three to six years of service. NCO ranks begin at E-4 and junior NCOs generally serve as front line supervisors and squad leaders, guiding the enlisted ranks while senior NCOs focus on leadership and advising higher-ranking officers through staff assignments. Senior NCO ranks range from E-6 to E-9, with the highest two ranks being subject to legislative caps on proportionate size.

Each branch employs a senior enlisted advisor, the highest ranking enlisted soldier in his branch. This advisor normally chairs a selected panel of other NCOs to advise department command of issues from the enlisted perspective and is often responsible for conducting public appearances on behalf of his service branch. Together, these senior enlisted advisors form their own committee to advise the Defense Committee Chair and the Chair of the Defense Forces Council.

Commissioned officers

TO&E of a Carthaginian armored division.

Civilians looking to receive a commission can do so through one of several ways, including attendance at a campus or member of the Service Academy System, participation in the Higher Education Officer Training Program, and direct commission for those with specific critical skills. Enlisted personnel may be given a commission following completion of Officer Training School, assignment as a Limited Duty Officer with the potential to receive a full commission, and battlefield commissions, which are historically exceptionally rare.

The Defense Forces operate a number of service academies, four-year colleges awarding a bachelor's degree in a selected field with graduates expected to serve a minimum tour of five years in active service. These academies were initially affiliated with specific branches but in 1964, graduation policies were changed to permit commissioning in any of the active or reserve components of the Defense Forces. Due to the increasing size of the armed forces, a number of satellite campuses have been established, and several existing military colleges have been included within the system. Alternatively, candidates may elect to participate in branch-specific HEOTP at a private or public university, receiving a scholarship while completing their training alongside their academic studies, with the same service commitment expected. Enlisted men and college graduates seeking a commission may be recommended to OTS, receiving the same rank at graduation as graduates of other commissioning programs. Further education is offered through a number of staff colleges, as well as military universities awarding postgraduate degrees.

Promotion through the ranks is increasingly competitive at higher levels, with legislative caps on the number of active general officers. While the legislature and the suffetes are the commissioning authority for all officers, only those being considered for promotion to general officer ranks, or higher levels within the range of general officers, will receive any discussion or a vote of confirmation. Lower-level promotions are handled by personnel management agencies on behalf of the commissioning authorities.

Higher ranks

While ranks above O-10 have been issued in the past, no standing officers of the Carthage Defense Forces may be awarded such rank in peace time. The last such ranks awarded were for service in the Northern War, and no general officers from that period remain on active service. In addition, the legislature may award the honorary rank of Marshall of the Republic to general officers for battlefield accomplishments. Holders of this rank do not take precedence over others and the officer retains their existing seniority, although they have historically always received a promotion accompanying the title to the next-highest rank.

See also

Related lists