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A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for
warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercenary, mercenaries, Insurgency, insurgents, and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violenc ...

warfare
. It is typically authorized and maintained by a
sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government ...
, with its members identifiable by their distinct
military uniform A military uniform is a standardised clothing, dress worn by members of the armed forces and Paramilitary, paramilitaries of various nations. Military dress and styles have gone through significant changes over the centuries, from colourful an ...
. It may consist of one or more
military branch Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard a subdivision of the national armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily int ...
es such as an
army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch, service branch ...

army
,
navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized a ...

navy
, air force,
space force A space force is a military branch Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard a subdivision of the national armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily arme ...
,
marines Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in Littoral Zone, littoral zones in support of naval operations. Historically, tasks undertaken by marines have included helping maintain discipline and order aboard th ...

marines
, or
coast guard A coast guard or coastguard is a organization of a particular country. The term embraces wide range of responsibilities in different countries, from being a heavily armed force with and security duties to being a volunteer organization t ...
. The main task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state and its interests against external armed threats. In broad usage, the terms ''armed forces'' and ''military'' are often treated as synonymous, although in technical usage a distinction is sometimes made in which a country's armed forces may include both its military and other
paramilitary Paramilitary forces usually tend to wear similar but different uniforms to the military, for instance gray " urban camouflage".A paramilitary organization is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, tactics, training, subcultur ...
forces. There are various forms of
irregular military Irregular military is any non-standard military component that is distinct from a country's national armed forces. Being defined by exclusion, there is significant variance in what comes under the term. It can refer to the type of military organi ...
forces, not belonging to a recognized state; though they share many attributes with regular military forces, they are less often referred to as simply ''military''. A nation's military may function as a discrete social
subculture A subculture is a group of people within a culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, ...
, with dedicated infrastructure such as military housing, schools, utilities,
logistics Logistics is generally the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation. In a general business sense, logistics is the management of the flow of things between the point of origin and the point of consumption to meet the requ ...

logistics
, hospitals, legal services, food production, finance, and banking services. Beyond warfare, the military may be employed in additional sanctioned and non-sanctioned functions within the state, including internal security threats,
population control Population control is the practice of artificially maintaining the size of any population. It simply refers to the act of limiting the size of an animal population so that it remains manageable, as opposed to the act of protecting a species from e ...
, the promotion of a
political agenda In politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The branch of social sci ...
,
emergency service Emergency services and rescue services are organizations which ensure public safety Public security is the function of governments which ensures the protection of citizens, persons in their territory, organizations, and institutions against thre ...
s and reconstruction, protecting
corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity In law, a legal person is any person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capa ...

corporate
economic interests, social ceremonies and national honour guards. The profession of
soldier A soldier is a person who is a member of a professional army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the ...

soldier
ing as part of a military is older than
recorded history Recorded history or written history is a historical narrative History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the History of writing ...
itself. Some of the most enduring images of
classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ...
portray the power and feats of its military
leaders Leadership, both as a research area and as a practical skill, encompasses the ability of an individual, group or organization to "lead", influence or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations. The word "leadership" often gets view ...

leaders
. The
Battle of Kadesh The Battle of Kadesh or Battle of Qadesh took place between the forces of the under and the under at the city of on the , just upstream of near the modern . The battle is generally dated to 1274 BC from the , and is the earliest battle i ...
in 1274 BC was one of the defining points of Pharaoh
Ramses II Ramesses II ( egy, wikt:rꜥ-ms-sw, rꜥ-ms-sw meaning "Ra is the one who bore him", ''Rīʿa-məsī-sū'', ; ) was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful ...
's reign, and his monuments commemorate it in
bas-relief Relief is a sculptural technique in which the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term ''relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background o ...
. A thousand years later, the first
emperor of unified China An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife (empress consort), m ...
,
Qin Shi Huang Qin Shi Huang (, ; 259–210 BCE), or Shihuangdi, was the founder of the Qin dynasty, and first Emperor of China, emperor of a unified China. Rather than maintain the title of "Chinese king, king" ( ''wáng'') borne by the previous Shang dyna ...
, was so determined to impress the gods with his military might that he had himself buried with an army of
terracotta soldiers The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE with the purpose of protecting the emperor in h ...

terracotta soldiers
.
Terra cotta of massed ranks of Qin Shi Huang's terra cotta soldiers Terra is the Latin/Italian/Portuguese term for Earth or land. Terra may also refer to: * Terra (mythology), primeval Roman goddess Geography Astronomy * An alternate name for Planet Earth, as well as the Latin name for the planet * Terra (sa ...
The
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
paid considerable attention to military matters, leaving to posterity many
treatise A treatise is a formal Formal, formality, informal or informality imply the complying with, or not complying with, some set theory, set of requirements (substantial form, forms, in Ancient Greek). They may refer to: Dress code and events * For ...
s and writings on the subject, as well as many lavishly carved
triumphal arch A triumphal arch is a free-standing monumental structure in the shape of an arch An arch is a vertical curved structure that Span (architecture), spans an elevated space and may or may not support the weight above it, or in case of a horizon ...

triumphal arch
es and
victory column A victory column, or monumental column or triumphal column, is a monument in the form of a column A column or pillar in architecture and structural engineering is a structural element that transmits, through compression (physical), compressio ...
s.


Etymology and definitions

The first recorded use of the word military in English, spelled , was in 1582. It comes from the Latin ''militaris'' (from Latin ''miles'', meaning "soldier") through French, but is of uncertain etymology, one suggestion being derived from ''*mil-it-'' – going in a body or mass. As a noun, the military usually refers generally to a country's armed forces, or sometimes, more specifically, to the senior officers who command them. In general, it refers to the physicality of armed forces, their
personnel Employment is the relationship between two party (law), parties, usually based on a employment contract, contract where work is paid for, where one party, which may be a corporation, for profit, not-for-profit organization, co-operative or ot ...
,
equipmentEquipment most commonly refers to a set of tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment. Although many animals use simple tools, only human beings, whose use of stone tool ...
, and the physical area which they occupy. As an adjective, military originally referred only to soldiers and soldiering, but it soon broadened to apply to land forces in general, and anything to do with their profession. The names of both the
Royal Military AcademyRoyal Military Academy may refer to: * Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, a British Army academy established in 1741 and closed in 1939 * Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, a British Army academy established in 1947 * Royal Military Academy (Belgium) ...
(1741) and
United States Military Academy The United States Military Academy (USMA), also known as West Point or simply Army is a four-year United States service academies, United States service academy in West Point, New York. It was originally established as a fort, as it si ...
(1802) reflect this. However, at about the time of the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
, 'military' began to be used in reference to armed forces as a whole, such as '
military service Military service is service by an individual or group in an army or other militia A militia () is generally an army or some other Military organization, fighting organization of non-professional soldiers, citizens of a country, or subject ...
', ' military intelligence', and '
military history Military history is a humanities Humanities are List of academic disciplines, academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture. In the Renaissance, the term contrasted with Divinity (academic discipline), divinity and r ...
'. As such, it now connotes any activity performed by armed force personnel.


History

Military history is often considered to be the history of all conflicts, not just the history of the state militaries. It differs somewhat from the
history of war Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity, and its impact on the societies, cultures and economies thereof, as well as the resulting changes to lo ...
, with military history focusing on the people and institutions of war-making, while the history of war focuses on the evolution of war itself in the face of changing technology, governments, and geography. Military history has a number of facets. One main facet is to learn from past accomplishments and mistakes, so as to more effectively wage war in the future. Another is to create a sense of
military tradition Military tradition is the practices associated with the military or soldiers such as the styles of military uniform, drill, or the music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of melody, ...
, which is used to create cohesive military forces. Still, another may be to learn to prevent wars more effectively. Human knowledge about the military is largely based on both recorded and
oral history Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interview Some interviews are recorded for televis ...
of military conflicts (war), their participating
armies An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch, service branch ...

armies
and
navies A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense a ...

navies
and, more recently, air forces.


Organization


Personnel and units

Despite the growing importance of
military technology Military technology is the application of technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of any Art techniques and materials, techn ...
, military activity depends above all on people. For example, in 2000 the British Army declared: "Man is still the first weapon of war."


Rank and role

The military organization is characterized by a strict
command hierarchy A command hierarchy is a group of people who carry out orders based on others' authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and cultu ...
divided by
military rank Military ranks are a system of hierarchical A hierarchy (from the Greek: , from , 'president of sacred rites') is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being "above", "below", ...
, with ranks normally grouped (in descending order of authority) as
officers An officer is a person who has a position of authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It ...
(e.g.
Colonel Colonel (; abbreviated as Col., Col or COL) is a senior military officer An officer is a person who has a position of authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social rel ...

Colonel
),
non-commissioned officer A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not pursued a Commission (document), commission. Non-commissioned officers usually earn their position of authority by promotion through the enlisted ranks. (Non-officers, which inclu ...
s (e.g.
Sergeant Sergeant ( ; abbreviation, abbreviated to Sgt. and capitalized when used as a named person's title) is a Military rank, rank in many uniformed organizations, principally military and policing forces. The alternative spelling, ''serjeant'', is ...

Sergeant
), and personnel at the lowest rank (e.g. Private Soldier). While senior officers make strategic decisions, subordinated military personnel (
soldier A soldier is a person who is a member of a professional army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the ...

soldier
s,
sailor A sailor, seaman, mariner, or seafarer is a person who works aboard a watercraft Watercraft, also known as water vessels or waterborne vessels, are vehicles used in water, including boats, ship A ship is a large watercraft that travel ...

sailor
s,
marines Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in Littoral Zone, littoral zones in support of naval operations. Historically, tasks undertaken by marines have included helping maintain discipline and order aboard th ...
, or
airmen An airman is a member of an air force or air arm of a nation's armed forces. In certain air forces, it can also refer to a specific enlisted rank. He can also be referred as soldier in other definition. In civilian aviation usage, the term air ...
) fulfil them. Although rank titles vary by
military branch Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard a subdivision of the national armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily int ...
and country, the rank hierarchy is common to all state armed forces worldwide. In addition to their rank, personnel occupy one of many trade roles, which are often grouped according to the nature of the role's military tasks on combat operations:
combat Combat (French language, French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violence, violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapons) or unarmed (Hand-to-hand combat, not using weapons). Combat is sometim ...

combat
roles (e.g.
infantry Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and armored warfare, armored forces. Also known as foot soldiers, infantrymen or infanteer, i ...

infantry
),
combat support In the United States Army, the term combat support refers to units that provide fire support and operational assistance to combat elements. Combat support units provide specialized support functions to combat units in the following areas * Chemica ...
roles (e.g.
combat engineer A combat engineer (also called pioneer or sapper) is a type of soldier who performs military engineering Military engineering is loosely defined as the art, science, and practice of designing and building military works and maintaining line ...
s), and
combat service support The term combat service support (or CSS) is utilized by numerous military organizations throughout the world to describe entities that provide direct and indirect sustainment services to the groups that engage (or are potentially to be engaged) ...
roles (e.g. logistical support). In the past, the armed forces of some Communist states, such as the Soviet Union, China and Albania, have attempted to abolish military ranks, but they were later reintroduced due to operational difficulties relating to
command and control Command and control is a "set of organizational and technical attributes and processes ...
hat A collection of 18th and 19th century men's beaver felt hats A hat is a head covering which is worn for various reasons, including protection against weather conditions, ceremonial reasons such as university graduation, religious reasons, safet ...

hat
employs human, physical, and information resources to solve problems and accomplish missions" to achieve the goals of an organization or enterpris ...
.


Recruitment

Personnel may be recruited or
conscripted Conscription, sometimes called the draft in the United States, is the mandatory enlistment of people in a national service, most often a military service. Conscription dates back to Ancient history, antiquity and it continues in some countries to ...

conscripted
, depending on the system chosen by the state. Most military personnel are males; the minority proportion of female personnel varies internationally (approximately 3% in India, 10% in the UK, 13% in Sweden, 16% in the US, and 27% in South Africa). While two-thirds of states now recruit or conscript only adults, as of 2017 50 states still relied partly on children under the age of 18 (usually aged 16 or 17) to staff their armed forces. Whereas recruits who join as
officers An officer is a person who has a position of authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It ...
tend to be upwardly-mobile, most enlisted personnel have a childhood background of relative socio-economic deprivation.Brett, Rachel, and Irma Specht. Young Soldiers: Why They Choose to Fight. Boulder:
Lynne Rienner Publishers Lynne Rienner Publishers is an independent scholarly and textbook publishing firm based in Boulder, CO. It was founded in 1984 and remains one of the few independent publishers in the US. It publishes primarily in the fields of international stud ...
, 2004.
 For example, after the US suspended conscription in 1973, "the military disproportionately attracted African American men, men from lower-status socioeconomic backgrounds, men who had been in nonacademic high school programs, and men whose high school grades tended to be low". However, a study released in 2020 on the socio-economic backgrounds of U.S. Armed Forces personnel suggests that they are at parity or slightly higher than the civilian population with respect to socio-economic indicators such as parental income, parental wealth and cognitive abilities. The study found that technological, tactical, operational and doctrinal changes have led to a change in the demand for personnel. Furthermore, the study suggests that the most disadvantaged socio-economic groups are less likely to meet the requirements of the modern U.S. military.


Obligations

The obligations of military employment are many. Full-time military employment normally requires a minimum period of service of several years; between two and six years is typical of armed forces in Australia, the UK and the US, for example, depending on role, branch, and rank. Some armed forces allow a short discharge window, normally during training, when recruits may leave the armed force as of right. Alternatively, part-time military employment, known as reserve service, allows a recruit to maintain a civilian job while training under military discipline at weekends; he or she may be called out to deploy on operations to supplement the full-time personnel complement. After leaving the armed forces, recruits may remain liable for compulsory return to full-time military employment in order to train or deploy on operations.
Military law Military justice (also military law) is the legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems: civil law (legal system), civil law, common law, statutory law, religious law or combinations o ...
introduces offences not recognised by civilian courts, such as absence without leave (AWOL), desertion, political acts,
malingering Malingering is the fabrication, feigning, or exaggeration of physical or psychological symptoms designed to achieve a desired outcome, such as relief from duty or work. Malingering is not a medical diagnosis, but may be recorded as a "focus of cl ...
, behaving disrespectfully, and disobedience (see, for example,
offences against military law in the United KingdomThe main Offences against military law in the United Kingdom are set out in the Armed Forces Act 2006 The Armed Forces Act 2006 (c 52) is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It came into force on 31 October 2006. It r ...
). Penalties range from a summary reprimand to imprisonment for several years following a
court martial A court-martial or court martial (plural ''courts-martial'' or ''courts martial'', as "martial" is a postpositive adjective) is a military court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority ...
. Certain fundamental rights are also restricted or suspended, including the freedom of association (e.g. union organizing) and freedom of speech (speaking to the media). Military personnel in some countries have a right of
conscientious objection A conscientious objector is an "individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service" on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, or religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated ...
if they believe an order is immoral or unlawful, or cannot in good conscience carry it out. Personnel may be posted to bases in their home country or overseas, according to operational need, and may be deployed from those bases on
exercises Exercise is any Human body, bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. It is performed for various reasons, to aid growth and improve strength, preventing senescence, aging, developing muscles ...
or
operations Operation or Operations may refer to: Science and technology * Surgical operation Surgery ''cheirourgikē'' (composed of χείρ, "hand", and ἔργον, "work"), via la, chirurgiae, meaning "hand work". is a medical or dental specialty that ...
anywhere in the world. During peacetime, when military personnel are generally stationed in
garrison Garrison (from the French ''garnison'', itself from the verb ''garnir'', "to equip") is the collective term for any body of troop A troop is a military sub-subunit Sub-subunit or sub-sub-unit is a subordinated element below platoon lev ...

garrison
s or other permanent military facilities, they mostly conduct administrative tasks,
training Training is teaching, or developing in oneself or others, any s and or that relate to specific . Training has specific goals of improving one's , capacity, and . It forms the core of s and provides the backbone of content at (also known as ...
and
education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion ...
activities, technology maintenance, and recruitment.


Training

Initial training conditions recruits for the demands of military life, including preparedness to injure and kill other people, and to face mortal danger without fleeing. It is a physically and psychologically intensive process which resocializes recruits for the unique nature of military demands. For example: * Individuality is suppressed (e.g. by shaving the head of new recruits, issuing uniforms, denying privacy, and prohibiting the use of first names); * Daily routine is tightly controlled (e.g. recruits must make their beds, polish boots, and stack their clothes in a certain way, and mistakes are punished); * Continuous
stressor A stressor is a chemical or biological agent, environment (biophysical), environmental condition, Stimulus (physiology) , external stimulus or an event seen as causing Stress (biology), stress to an biological organism, organism. Psychologically sp ...
s deplete psychological resistance to the demands of their instructors (e.g. depriving recruits of sleep, food, or shelter, shouting insults and giving orders intended to humiliate) * Frequent punishments serve to condition group conformity and discourage poor performance; * The disciplined drill instructor is presented as a role model of the ideal soldier.


Intelligence

The next requirement comes as a fairly basic need for the military to identify possible
threats A threat is a ''communicated'' intent to inflict harm or loss on another person. Intimidation is widely observed in animal behavior (particularly in a ritualized form) chiefly in order to avoid the unnecessary physical violence that can lead to ...
it may be called upon to face. For this purpose, some of the commanding forces and other military, as well as often civilian personnel participate in identification of these threats. This is at once an organization, a system and a process collectively called military intelligence (MI). The difficulty in using military intelligence concepts and military intelligence methods is in the nature of the
secrecy Secrecy is the practice of hiding information from certain individuals or groups who do not have the "need to know", perhaps while sharing it with other individuals. That which is kept hidden is known as the secret. Secrecy is often controve ...

secrecy
of the information they seek, and the
clandestine ''The ClanDestine'' (also known simply as ''ClanDestine'') is an appellation used to refer to the Destines, a fictional secret family of long-lived superhuman beings appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. They were created in ...
nature that intelligence operatives work in obtaining what may be plans for a
conflict escalation Conflict escalation is the process by which conflicts grow in severity over time. This may refer to conflicts between individuals or groups in interpersonal relationships, or it may refer to the escalation of hostilities in a political or military c ...
, initiation of combat, or an
invasion An invasion is a military offensive An offensive is a military operation A military operation is the coordinated military action War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or par ...
. An important part of the military intelligence role is the military analysis performed to assess
military capabilityMilitary capability is defined by the Australian Defence Force Australians, colloquially referred to as "Aussies", are the citizens Citizenship is the Status (law), status of a person recognized under the law of a country (and/or local ju ...
of potential future aggressors, and provide combat modelling that helps to understand factors on which comparison of forces can be made. This helps to quantify and qualify such statements as: "
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different countries, the in the world after . Covering an area of ap ...
and
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
maintain the largest armed forces in the World" or that "the
U.S. Military The United States Armed Forces are the military forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between ...
is considered to be the world's strongest". Although some groups engaged in combat, such as militants or
resistance movement A resistance movement is an organized effort by some portion of the civil population of a country to withstand the legally established government or an occupying power and to disrupt civil order and stability. It may seek to achieve its objectives t ...
s, refer to themselves using military terminology, notably 'Army' or 'Front', none have had the structure of a national military to justify the reference, and usually have had to rely on support of outside national militaries. They also use these terms to conceal from the MI their true capabilities, and to impress potential ideological recruits. Having military intelligence representatives participate in the execution of the national defence policy is important, because it becomes the first respondent and commentator on the policy expected strategic goal, compared to the realities of identified threats. When the intelligence reporting is compared to the policy, it becomes possible for the national leadership to consider allocating resources over and above the officers and their subordinates military pay, and the expense of maintaining military facilities and military support services for them.


Economics

Defense economics is the financial and monetary efforts made to resource and sustain militaries, and to finance
military operation A military operation is the coordinated military action War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercenary, mercenaries, Insurgency, insurgents, and m ...
s, including war. The process of allocating resources is conducted by determining a
military budget A military budget (or military expenditure), also known as a defense budget A budget is a financial plan for a defined accounting period, period, often one year. It may also include planned sales volumes and revenues, resource quantities, costs ...
, which is administered by a military finance organization within the military. Military procurement is then authorized to purchase or contract provision of goods and services to the military, whether in peacetime at a permanent base, or in a combat zone from local population.


Capability development

Capability development, which is often referred to as the military 'strength', is arguably one of the most complex activities known to humanity; because it requires determining: strategic, operational, and tactical capability requirements to counter the identified threats; strategic,
operational An operational definition specifies concrete, replicable procedures that reliably produce a differentiated, measurable outcome. For example, an operational definition of fear often includes measurable physiologic responses such as tachycardia, galva ...
, and tactical doctrines by which the acquired capabilities will be used; identifying concepts, methods, and systems involved in executing the doctrines; creating design specifications for the manufacturers who would produce these in adequate quantity and quality for their use in combat; purchase the concepts, methods, and systems; create a forces structure that would use the concepts, methods, and systems most effectively and efficiently; integrate these concepts, methods, and systems into the force structure by providing
military education Military education and training is a process which intends to establish and improve the capabilities of military personnel Military personnel are members of the state's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is ...
,
training Training is teaching, or developing in oneself or others, any s and or that relate to specific . Training has specific goals of improving one's , capacity, and . It forms the core of s and provides the backbone of content at (also known as ...
, and practice that preferably resembles combat environment of intended use; create
military logistics Military logistics is the discipline of planning and carrying out the movement, supply, and maintenance of military forces. In its most comprehensive sense, it is those aspects or military operations that deal with: * Design, development, , stora ...
systems to allow continued and uninterrupted performance of
military organization Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a State (polity), state so as to offer such military capability as a military policy, national defense policy may require. In some countries paramilitary f ...
s under combat conditions, including provision of health services to the personnel, and maintenance for the equipment; the services to assist recovery of wounded personnel, and repair of damaged equipment; and finally, post-conflict
demobilization Back page of demob papers issued to a South African sailor in February 1946 Demobilization or demobilisation (see spelling differences Despite the various English dialects Dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek ...
, and disposal of war stocks surplus to peacetime requirements. Development of
military doctrine Military doctrine is the expression of how military force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between Sta ...
is perhaps the more important of all capability development activities, because it determines how military forces are used in conflicts, the concepts and methods used by the command to employ appropriately military skilled,
armed Armed (May, 1941–1964) was an United States, American Thoroughbred gelding horse racing, race horse who was the American Horse of the Year in 1947 and Eclipse Award for Outstanding Older Male Horse, Champion Older Male Horse in both 1946 and 1 ...

armed
and equipped personnel in achievement of the tangible goals and objectives of the
war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...

war
,
campaign Campaign or The Campaign may refer to: Types of campaigns * Campaign, in agriculture, the period during which sugar beets are harvested and processed *Advertising campaign, a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme *Blit ...
,
battle A battle is an occurrence of combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or devic ...

battle
, engagement, and action.Dupuy, T.N. (1990) ''Understanding war: History and Theory of combat'', Leo Cooper, London, p. 67 The line between strategy and tactics is not easily blurred, although deciding which is being discussed had sometimes been a matter of personal judgement by some commentators, and military historians. The use of forces at the level of organization between strategic and tactical is called
operational mobility In the field of military theory, the operational level of war (also called operational art, as derived from russian: оперативное искусство, or operational warfare) represents the level of command that connects the details of ...
.


Science

Because most of the concepts and methods used by the military, and many of its systems are not found in commercial branches, much of the material is researched, designed, developed, and offered for inclusion in
arsenal The Royal Armoury, Leeds An arsenal is a place where arms and ammunition Ammunition (informally ammo) is the material fired, scattered, dropped or detonated from any weapon or weapon system. Ammunition is both expendable weapons (e ...

arsenal
s by
military science Military science is the study of military processes, institutions, and behavior, along with the study of warfare, and the theory and application of organized coercive force. It is mainly focused on theory A theory is a reason, rational type of ...
organizations within the overall structure of the military. Military scientists are therefore found to interact with all Arms and Services of the armed forces, and at all levels of the military hierarchy of command. Although concerned with research into
military psychology Military psychology is a specialization within psychology that applies psychological science to promote the readiness of military members, organizations, and operations. Military psychologists provide support to the military in many ways, includin ...
, particularly combat stress and how it affect troop morale, often the bulk of military science activities is directed at military intelligence technology, military communications, and improving
military capabilityMilitary capability is defined by the Australian Defence Force Australians, colloquially referred to as "Aussies", are the citizens Citizenship is the Status (law), status of a person recognized under the law of a country (and/or local ju ...
through research. The design, development, and prototyping of weapons, military support equipment, and
military technology Military technology is the application of technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of any Art techniques and materials, techn ...
in general, is also an area in which much effort is invested – it includes everything from global communication networks and aircraft carriers to paint and food.


Logistics

Possessing military capability is not sufficient if this capability cannot be deployed for, and employed in combat operations. To achieve this,
military logistics Military logistics is the discipline of planning and carrying out the movement, supply, and maintenance of military forces. In its most comprehensive sense, it is those aspects or military operations that deal with: * Design, development, , stora ...
are used for the logistics management and logistics planning of the forces military supply chain management, the consumables, and capital equipment of the troops. Although mostly concerned with the military transport, as a means of delivery using different modes of transport; from military trucks, to container ships operating from permanent military base, it also involves creating field supply dumps at the rear of the
combat Combat (French language, French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violence, violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapons) or unarmed (Hand-to-hand combat, not using weapons). Combat is sometim ...

combat
zone, and even forward supply points in specific unit's Tactical Area of Responsibility. These supply points are also used to provide military engineering services, such as the recovery of defective and derelict vehicles and weapons, maintenance of weapons in the field, the repair and field modification of weapons and equipment; and in peacetime, the life-extension programmes undertaken to allow continued use of equipment. One of the most important role of logistics is the supply of munitions as a primary type of consumable, their storage, and Ordnance disposal, disposal.


In combat

The primary reason for the existence of the military is to engage in
combat Combat (French language, French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violence, violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapons) or unarmed (Hand-to-hand combat, not using weapons). Combat is sometim ...

combat
, should it be required to do so by the national defence policy, and to win. This represents an organisational goal of any military, and the primary focus for military thought through
military history Military history is a humanities Humanities are List of academic disciplines, academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture. In the Renaissance, the term contrasted with Divinity (academic discipline), divinity and r ...
. How victory is achieved, and what shape it assumes, is studied by most, if not all, military groups on three levels.


Strategic victory

Military strategy is the management of forces in
war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...

war
s and military campaigns by a commander-in-chief, employing large military forces, either national and allied as a whole, or the component elements of Army, armies, Navy, navies and air forces; such as army groups, naval fleets, and large numbers of aircraft. Military strategy is a long-term projection of belligerents' policy, with a broad view of outcome implications, including outside the concerns of military command. Military strategy is more concerned with the logistics, supply of war and planning, than management of field forces and combat between them. The scope of strategic military planning can span weeks, but is more often months or even years.


Operational victory

Operational mobility is, within
war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...

war
fare and
military doctrine Military doctrine is the expression of how military force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between Sta ...
, the level of command which coordinates the minute details of military tactics, tactics with the overarching goals of strategy. A common synonym is operational art. The operational level is at a scale bigger than one where line of sight and the time of day are important, and smaller than the strategic level, where production and politics are considerations. Formations are of the operational level if they are able to conduct operations on their own, and are of sufficient size to be directly handled or have a significant impact at the strategic level. This concept was pioneered by the Germany, German army prior to and during the World War II, Second World War. At this level, planning and duration of activities takes from one week to a month, and are executed by Field Army, Field Armies and Army Corps and their naval and air equivalents.


Tactical victory

Military tactics concerns itself with the methods for engaging and defeating the enemy in direct combat. Military tactics are usually used by units over hours or days, and are focused on the specific, close proximity tasks and objectives of squadron (army), squadrons, Company (military unit), companies, battalions, regiments, brigades, and Division (military), divisions, and their naval and air force equivalents. One of the oldest military publications is ''The Art of War'', by the List of Chinese philosophers, Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu. Written in the 6th century BCE, the 13-chapter book is intended as military instruction, and not as military theory, but has had a huge influence on Asian military doctrine, and from the late 19th century, on European and United States military planning. It has even been used to formulate business tactics, and can even be applied in social and political areas. The Classical Greeks and the Romans wrote prolifically on military campaigning. Among the best-known Roman works are Julius Caesar's commentaries on the Gallic Wars, and the Caesar's civil war, Roman Civil war – written about 50 BC. Two major works on tactics come from the late Roman period: ''Taktike Theoria'' by Aelianus Tacticus, and ''De Re Militari'' ('On military matters') by Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, Vegetius. ''Taktike Theoria'' examined Greek military tactics, and was most influential in the Byzantine world and during the Islamic Golden Age, Golden Age of Islam. ''De Re Militari'' formed the basis of European military tactics until the late 17th century. Perhaps its most enduring maxim is Si vis pacem, para bellum, ''Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum'' (let he who desires peace prepare for war). Due to the changing nature of combat with the introduction of artillery in the European Middle Ages, and infantry firearms in the Renaissance, attempts were made to define and identify those strategies, grand tactics, and tactics that would produce a victory more often than that achieved by the Romans in praying to the gods before the battle. Later this became known as
military science Military science is the study of military processes, institutions, and behavior, along with the study of warfare, and the theory and application of organized coercive force. It is mainly focused on theory A theory is a reason, rational type of ...
, and later still, would adopt the scientific method approach to the conduct of military operations under the influence of the Industrial Revolution thinking. In his seminal book ''On War'', the Prussian Major-General and leading expert on modern military strategy, Carl von Clausewitz defined military strategy as 'the employment of battles to gain the end of war'. According to Clausewitz:
strategy forms the plan of the War, and to this end it links together the series of acts which are to lead to the final decision, that is to say, it makes the plans for the separate campaigns and regulates the combats to be fought in each.
Hence, Clausewitz placed political aims above Strategic goal (military), military goals, ensuring civilian control of the military. Military strategy was one of a triumvirate of 'Military art (Military science), arts' or 'sciences' that governed the conduct of warfare, the others being: military tactics, the execution of plans and Operational mobility, manoeuvring of forces in battle, and maintenance of an army. The meaning of military tactics has changed over time; from the deployment and manoeuvring of entire land armies on the fields of ancient battles, and galley fleets; to modern use of small unit ambushes, encirclements, bombardment attacks, frontal assaults, air assaults, hit-and-run tactics used mainly by guerrilla forces, and, in some cases, suicide attacks on land and at sea. Evolution of aerial warfare introduced its own Air combat manoeuvring, air combat tactics. Often, military deception, in the form of military camouflage or misdirection using decoys, is used to confuse the enemy as a tactic. A major development in infantry tactics came with the increased use of trench warfare in the 19th and 20th centuries. This was mainly employed in World War I in the Battle of Gallipoli, Gallipoli campaign, and the Western Front (World War I), Western Front. Trench warfare often turned to a stalemate, only broken by a large loss of life, because, in order to attack an enemy entrenchment, soldiers had to run through an exposed 'no man's land' under heavy fire from their opposing entrenched enemy.


Technology

As with any occupation, since the ancient times, the military has been distinguished from other members of the society by their tools, the military weapons, and military equipment used in combat. When Stone Age humans first took a sliver of flint to tip the spear, it was the first example of applied research, applying technology to improve the weapon. Since then, the advances made by human societies, and that of weapons, has been irretrievably linked. Stone weapons gave way to Bronze Age weapons, and later, the Iron Age weapons. With each technological change, was realized some tangible increase in military capability, such as through greater effectiveness of a sharper edge in defeating leather armour, or Mechanics of materials, improved density of materials used in manufacture of weapons. On Land warfare, land, the first really significant technological advance in warfare was the development of the ranged weapons, and notably, the Sling (weapon), sling. The next significant advance came with the domestication of the horses and mastering of equestrianism. Arguably, the greatest invention that affected not just the military, but all society, after adoption of fire, was the wheel, and its use in the construction of the chariot. There were no advances in military technology, until, from the mechanical arm action of a slinger, the Ancient Greece, Greeks, Egyptians, Roman Empire, Romans, Persians, History of China#Ancient China, Chinese, etc., developed the siege engines. The Bow (weapon), bow was manufactured in increasingly larger and more powerful versions, to increase both the weapon range, and armour penetration performance. These developed into the powerful composite and recurve bows, and crossbows of History of China#Ancient China, Ancient China. These proved particularly useful during the rise of cavalry, as horsemen encased in ever-more sophisticated armour came to dominate the battlefield. Somewhat earlier, in medieval China, gunpowder had been invented, and was increasingly used by the military in combat. The use of gunpowder in the early mortar (weapon), vase-like mortars in Europe, and advanced versions of the long bow and cross bow, which all had armour-piercing arrowheads, that put an end to the dominance of the armoured knight. After the long bow, which required great skill and strength to use, the next most significant technological advance was the musket, which could be used effectively, with little training. In time, the successors to muskets and cannon, in the form of rifles and artillery, would become core battlefield technology. As the speed of technological advances accelerated in civilian applications, so too warfare became more Industrial warfare, industrialized. The newly invented machine gun and repeating rifle redefined firepower on the battlefield, and, in part, explains the high casualty rates of the American Civil War. The next breakthrough was the conversion of artillery parks from the Muzzleloader, muzzle loading guns, to the quicker loading Breech-loading weapon, breech loading guns with recoiling barrel that allowed quicker aimed fire and use of a shield. The widespread introduction of low smoke (smokeless) propellant powders since the 1880s also allowed for a great improvement of artillery ranges. The development of breech loading had the greatest effect on naval warfare, for the first time since the Middle Ages, altering the way weapons are mounted on warships, and therefore naval tactics, now divorced from the reliance on Age of Sail, sails with the invention of the internal combustion. A further advance in military naval technology was the design of the submarine, and its weapon, the torpedo. Main battle tanks, and other heavy equipment such as armoured fighting vehicles, military aircraft, and ships, are characteristic to organized military forces. During World War I, the need to break the deadlock of trench warfare saw the rapid development of many new technologies, particularly tanks. Military aviation was extensively used, and bombers became decisive in many battles of World War II, which marked the most frantic period of weapons development in history. Many new designs, and concepts were used in combat, and all existing technologies of warfare were improved between 1939 and 1945. During the war, significant advances were made in military communications through increased use of radio, military intelligence through use of the radar, and in military medicine through use of penicillin, while in the air, the guided missile, jet aircraft, and helicopters were seen for the first time. Perhaps the most infamous of all military technologies was the creation of the atomic bomb, although the exact effects of its radiation were unknown until the early 1950s. Far greater use of military vehicles had finally eliminated the cavalry from the military force structure. After World War II, with the onset of the Cold War, the constant technological development of new weapons was institutionalized, as participants engaged in a constant 'arms race' in capability development. This constant state of weapons development continues into the present, and remains a constant drain on national resources, which some blame on the military–industrial complex. The most significant technological developments that influenced combat have been the guided missiles, which can be used by all branches of the armed services. More recently, information technology, and its use in surveillance, including space-based reconnaissance systems, have played an increasing role in military operations. The impact of information warfare that focuses on attacking command communication systems, and military databases, has been coupled with the new development in military technology, has been the use of robotic systems in intelligence combat, both in hardware and software applications. Recently, there has also been a particular focus towards the use of renewable fuels for running military vehicles on. Unlike fossil fuels, renewable fuels can be produced in any country, creating a strategic advantage. The US military has committed itself to have 50% of its energy consumption come from alternative sources.


As part of society

For much of
military history Military history is a humanities Humanities are List of academic disciplines, academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture. In the Renaissance, the term contrasted with Divinity (academic discipline), divinity and r ...
, the armed forces were considered to be for use by the heads of their societies, until recently, the crowned heads of states. In a democracy or other political system run in the public interest, it is a public force. The relationship between the military and the society it serves is a complicated and ever-evolving one. Much depends on the nature of the society itself, and whether it sees the military as important, as for example in time of threat or war, or a burdensome expense typified by defence cuts in time of peace. One difficult matter in the relation between military and society is control and transparency. In some countries, limited information on military operations and budgeting is accessible for the public. However transparency in the military sector is crucial to fight corruption. This showed the Government Defence Anti-corruption Index Transparency International, Transparency International UK published in 2013. Militaries often function as society, societies within societies, by having their own military communities, military–industrial complex, economies, Military education and training, education, military medicine, medicine, and other aspects of a functioning civil society, civilian society. Although a 'military' is not limited to nations in of itself as many private military companies (or PMC's) can be used or 'hired' by organizations and figures as security, escort, or other means of protection; where police, agencies, or militaries are absent or not trusted.


Ideology and ethics

Militarist ideology is the society's social attitude of being best served, or being a beneficiary of a government, or guided by concepts embodied in the military ''culture, doctrine, system'', or ''leaders''. Either because of the cultural memory, national history, or the potentiality of a military threat, the militarist argument asserts that a civilian population is dependent upon, and thereby subservient to the needs and goals of its military for continued independence. Militarism is sometimes contrasted with the concepts of comprehensive national power, soft power and hard power. Most nations have separate military laws which regulate conduct in war and during peacetime. An early exponent was Hugo Grotius, whose ''De jure belli ac pacis, On the Law of War and Peace'' (1625) had a major impact of the humanitarian approach to warfare development. His theme was echoed by Gustavus Adolphus. Ethics of warfare have developed since 1945, to create constraints on the military treatment of prisoners and civilians, primarily by the Geneva Conventions; but rarely apply to use of the military forces as internal security troops during times of political conflict that results in popular protests and incitement to popular uprising. International protocols restrict the use, or have even created international bans on some types of weapons, notably weapons of mass destruction (WMD). International conventions define what constitutes a war crime, and provides for war crimes prosecution. Individual countries also have elaborate codes of military justice, an example being the United States' Uniform Code of Military Justice that can lead to court martial for military personnel found guilty of war crimes. Military actions are sometimes argued to be justified by furthering a humanitarian cause, such as disaster relief operations, or in defence of refugees. The term military humanism is used to refer to such actions.


See also

* Arms industry * Civil defense * Civilian control of the military * Command and control * Conscription * Court-martial * Deterrence theory * Martial arts * Martial law * Mercenary * Militaria * Military academy * Military advisor * Military aid * Military aid to the civil community (MACC) * Military aid to the civil power (MACP) * Military alliance * Military dictatorship * Military district * Military engineering * Military exercise * Military fiat * Military incompetence * Military junta * Military meteorology * Military operations other than war * Military police * Military prison * Military Revolution * Military sociology * Military terminology * Military–industrial complex * Militarization of police * Militia * Ministry of defence * Mobilization * Police * Private military company * Recruit training * Staff (military) * Standing army * Weapon ; Armed forces of the world * List of countries by number of military and paramilitary personnel * List of countries by Military Strength Index * List of countries by level of military equipment * List of countries by Global Militarization Index * List of countries without armed forces * List of countries by military expenditures * List of countries by past military expenditure * List of countries by military expenditure per capita * List of air forces * List of armies * List of navies


References


External links


Military Expenditure % of GDP
hosted by Lebanese economy forum, extracted from the World Bank public data. * {{Authority control Military, Defense Government institutions International security National security Main topic articles