Iceland is governed under a constitution that became effective when
the country achieved full independence in 1944. Iceland has no armed
forces of its own except for 120 coast guard personnel, but is a
member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
In 1997 some 1,520 United States military personnel were stationed
at Keflavνk air base. The basic local unit is the commune, governed
by an elected council. In 1991 Iceland had 201 communes, of which
31 were towns.