• Yet Japan's self-defence forces find themselves as hopelessly ill-equipped to protect the homeland as they do to wage war abroad.

    ECONOMIST: Koizumi reassures Bush

  • Fujitsu, a big electronics firm, announced that blackmailers had got hold of intelligence on a network it designed for the self-defence forces.

    ECONOMIST: Japan

  • Mr Ozawa wants to clarify the relationship between the Self-Defence Forces and Article 9—so that Japanese security forces can make a contribution to international peacekeeping.

    ECONOMIST: Japan

  • The Mai Mai militias began as self-defence forces, but are now simply roving bands of thieves and thugs, often under the control of warlords of no particular politics or loyalty.

    ECONOMIST: Eastern Congo

  • In reaction, other forces started up, local self-defence groups known as the Kamajors.

    ECONOMIST: Sierra Leone

  • Because many Filipinos object to the return of troops from the former colonial power, American forces have not been allowed to do any fighting, except in self-defence.

    ECONOMIST: The terrorists who got away

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