HOME

TheInfoList




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 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 ...

warfare
. It is typically authorized and maintained by a
sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relatio ...
, with its members identifiable by their distinct
military uniform A military uniform is a standardised dress A dress (also known as a frock Frock has been used since Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, N ...
. 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 of a sovereign nation or state. __TOC__ Types of branches Unified armed forces The Canadian Armed Forces is ...
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 Military 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 War is an intense ...

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 zones The littoral zone or nearshore is the part of a sea, lake, or river that is close to the shore. In coastal environments, the littoral zone exten ...

marines
, or
coast guard A coast guard or coastguard is a maritime security Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Maritimes ...

coast guard
. 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 A paramilitary organization is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military A military, also known collectively as armed f ...
forces. There are various forms of
irregular military Irregular military is any non-standard military 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 (polit ...
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 Population typically refers the number of people in a single area whether it be a city or town, region, country, or the world. Governments typically q ...
, the promotion of a
political agenda In politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognitive process resulting in ...
,
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 thr ...
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 personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal person, legal ...

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 writin ...
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#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, ...
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 An organization, or organisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English ...

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 most often 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 Laz ...
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 is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek ...
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 parties Image:'Hip, Hip, Hurrah! Artist Festival at Skagen', by Peder Severin Krøyer (1888) Demisted with DXO PhotoLab Clearview; cropped away black border edge.jpg, 300px, ''Hip, Hip, Hurrah!'' ...
,
equipment Equipment 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 tool use by animals, simple tools, only human beings, whos ...
, 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 academy in West Point, New York West Point is the oldest continuously occupied military post in the United Stat ...
(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 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 th ...
', ' 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 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 ...
, 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 conducted with a member of the public F ...
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 Military 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 ...

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 cult ...
divided by
military rank Military ranks are a system of hierarchy, hierarchical relationships, within an armed forces, police, intelligence agencies or other institutions organized along military lines. The military rank system defines dominance, authority, and respon ...
, with ranks normally grouped (in descending order of authority) as
officers An officer is a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth ...
(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 Commission or commissioning may refer to: Business and contracting * Commission (remuneration), a form of payment to an agent for services rendered ** Commi ...
s (e.g.
Sergeant Sergeant ( ; abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or phrase; ...

Sergeant
), and personnel at the lowest rank (e.g.
Private Soldier A private is a soldier of the lowest military rank (equivalent to Ranks and insignia of NATO Armies Enlisted, NATO Rank Grades OR-1 to OR-3 depending on the force served in). In modern military writing, "private" is abridged to "Pte" in the Uni ...
). 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 A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is any physical sys ...

sailor
s,
marines Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in littoral zones The littoral zone or nearshore is the part of a sea, lake, or river that is close to the shore. In coastal environments, the littoral zone exten ...
, or
airmen An airman is a member of an air force or air arm 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 ar ...
) 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 of a sovereign nation or state. __TOC__ Types of branches Unified armed forces The Canadian Armed Forces is ...
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 United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic ...
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 National service is a system of either compulsory or voluntary government service, usually military service Mili ...

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 A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth ...
tend to be Upwardly mobile, upwardly-mobile, most enlisted personnel have a childhood background of relative Socio-economic gap, socio-economic deprivation.Brett, Rachel, and Irma Specht. Young Soldiers: Why They Choose to Fight. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 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 Military discharge, discharge window, normally during training, when recruits may leave the armed force as of right. Alternatively, part-time military employment, known as Military reserve force, 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 Military operation, 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 Military operation, deploy on operations. Military Law, Military law introduces offences not recognised by civilian courts, such as Desertion, absence without leave (AWOL), desertion, political acts, malingering, behaving disrespectfully, and disobedience (see, for example, offences against military law in the United Kingdom). Penalties range from a summary reprimand to imprisonment for several years following a Court-martial, court martial. 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 objector, conscientious objection 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 Military exercise, exercises or Military operation, operations anywhere in the world. During peacetime, when military personnel are generally stationed in garrisons or other permanent military facilities, they mostly conduct administrative tasks, military training, training and military education, education activities, Maintenance, repair and operations, technology maintenance, military recruitment, and recruitment.


Training

Recruit 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 Resocialization, 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 stressors 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 military threat, threats 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 Information security, secrecy of the information they seek, and the clandestine operation, clandestine nature that intelligence operatives work in obtaining what may be plans for a conflict escalation, Phase (combat), initiation of combat, or an invasion. An important part of the military intelligence role is the military analysis performed to assess military capability 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: "People's Liberation Army, China and Military of India, India maintain the largest armed forces in the World" or that "the U.S. Military is considered to be the world's strongest". Although some groups engaged in combat, such as militants or resistance movements, 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 (military), strategic goal, compared to the realities of Intelligence (information gathering), 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

Economics of defense, Defense economics is the financial and monetary efforts made to resource and sustain militaries, and to finance military operations, including war. The process of allocating resources is conducted by determining a military budget, 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 doctrine, operational, 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 training, training, and Military exercise, practice that preferably resembles combat environment of intended use; create military logistics systems to allow continued and uninterrupted performance of military organizations 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, and disposal of war stocks surplus to peacetime requirements. Development of military doctrine 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, soldier, armed and military equipment, equipped personnel in achievement of the tangible goals and objectives of the war, military campaign, campaign, 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.


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 arsenals by military science 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, particularly Combat stress reaction, 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 capability 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 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 wars 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 warfare and military doctrine, 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, 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