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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 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'' (news ...

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 An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and Br ...

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 Image:Arc by night, Paris 27 June 2012.jpg, 300px, The Arc de Triomphe, Paris A triumphal arch is a free-standing monumental structure in the shape of an archway with one or more arched passageways, often designed to span a road. In its simplest fo ...

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 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!'' ...
,
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 academy in West Point, New York West Point is the oldest continuously occupied military post in the United States ...
(1802) reflect this. However, at about the time of the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major global conflicts pitting the French Empire#REDIRECT French Empire {{Redirect shell , {{R from ambiguous page {{R from other capitalisation ... and its allies, led by Napoleon I ...
, '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 re ...
'. 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 principally designated for naval warfare, naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake-borne, riverine, littoral zone, littoral, or ocean-borne combat operations and ...

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 rank used in many countries. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations. Historically, in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, a colonel was typica ...

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 at the Battle of the Somme The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British Empire and French Third Republic against the German Empire. It took place bet ...

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 language, French ''garnison'', itself from the verb ''garnir'', "to equip") is the collective term for any body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it. The term now often applies to cert ...

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 , or the acquisition of , s, , morals, s, s, and personal development. Educational methods include , , , and directed . Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators; however, lea ...
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 controver ...

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 (: ), is a country in . It is the by area, the country, and the most populous in the world. Bounded by the on the south, the on the southwest, and the on the southeast, it shares land borders wit ...
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 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 s of a so as to offer such as a may require. In some countries forces are included in a nation's armed forces, though not considered military. Armed forces that are no ...
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 forces contribute to campaigns, major operations, battle A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of mu ...
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'' (news ...

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 Morale, also known as esprit de corps (), is the capacity of a group's members to maintain belief in an institution or goal, particularly in the face of opposition or hardship. Morale is often referenced by authority figures as a generic value j ...
, often the bulk of military science activities is directed at military intelligence technology,
military communications Military communications or military signals involve all aspects of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin wa ...
, 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
weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting Hunting is the practice of see ...
s, 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 carrier An aircraft carrier is a that serves as a seagoing , equipped with a full-length and facilities for . Typically, it is the of a fleet, as it allows a naval force to worldwide without depending on . Carriers have evolved since their incepti ...
s 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 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 requi ...
and logistics planning of the forces
military supply chain management Military supply-chain management is a cross-functional approach to , and s and s for military applications. The broad scope includes sub-suppliers, suppliers, internal information and . Supply A supply is the procurement, , while in and sa ...
, the consumables, and capital equipment of the troops. Although mostly concerned with the
military transport Military supply-chain management is a cross-functional approach to procuring, producing and delivering products and services for military materiel Materiel or matériel (pronounced , from french: matériel, lit=equipment, hardware) refers t ...
, as a means of delivery using different modes of transport; from
military truck A military vehicle is a type of vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine that transport Transport (commonly used in the U.K.), or transportation (used in the U.S.), is the Motion, movement of humans, animals and cargo, good ...
s, to
container ship A container ship (also called boxship or spelled containership) is a cargo ship 300px, The ''Colombo Express'', one of the largest container ships in the world (when it was built in 2005), owned and operated by Hapag-Lloyd of Germany A cargo shi ...

container ship
s operating from permanent
military base A military base is a facility directly owned and operated by or for the military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense arm ...
, 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 A tactical area of responsibility (TAOR) is a prescribed area in a theatre of combat which has been assigned to a unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Do ...
. These supply points are also used to provide
military engineering Military engineering is loosely defined as the art, science, and practice of designing and building military works and maintaining lines of military transport Military supply-chain management is a cross-functional approach to procuring, produc ...
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
munition Ammunition (informally ammo) is the material fired, scattered, dropped or detonated from any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons are use ...

munition
s as a primary type of consumable, their storage, and 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 re ...
. How
victory The term victory (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of ...

victory
is achieved, and what shape it assumes, is studied by most, if not all, military groups on three levels.


Strategic victory

Military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by 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 poli ...
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'' (news ...

war
s and
military campaign A military campaign is large-scale long-duration significant military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organization Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a ...
s by a
commander-in-chief A commander-in-chief or supreme commander is the person who exercises supreme command and control Image:CIC-USS-CarlVinson-2001.jpg, A watchstander at her station in the combat information center of USS Carl Vinson, USS ''Carl Vinson'' in the ...
, employing large military forces, either national and allied as a whole, or the component elements of
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
,
navies A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a Nation's armed forces principally designated for naval warfare, naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake-borne, riverine, littoral zone, littoral, or ocean-borne combat operations and ...

navies
and air forces; such as
army group 200px, Standard NATO symbol for an army group (or Soviet front) An army group is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War i ...
s,
naval fleet 300px, A rare occurrence of a 5-country multinational fleet, during ''Operation Enduring Freedom'' in the Oman Sea. In four descending columns, from left to right: Maestrale class frigate, ITS ''Maestrale'' (F 570), FS De Grasse, FS ''De Grasse'' ...
s, and large numbers of
aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle or machine that is able to fly Flies are insect Insects or Insecta (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Lat ...

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 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 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 ...
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'' (news ...

war
fare and
military doctrine Military doctrine is the expression of how military forces contribute to campaigns, major operations, battle A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of mu ...
, the level of command which coordinates the minute details of
tactics Tactic(s) or Tactical may refer to: * Tactic (method), a conceptual action implemented as one or more specific tasks ** Military tactics, the disposition and maneuver of units on a particular sea or battlefield ** Chess tactics ** Political tactic ...
with the overarching goals of
strategy Strategy (from Greek στρατηγία ''stratēgia'', "art of troop leader; office of general, command, generalship") is a general plan to achieve one or more long-term or overall goals under conditions of uncertainty. In the sense of the "art ...

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
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
army prior to and during the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
. At this level, planning and duration of activities takes from one week to a month, and are executed by Field Armies and
Army Corps Corps (; plural ''corps'' ; from French , from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as ...

Army Corps
and their naval and air equivalents.


Tactical victory

Military tactics Military tactics encompasses the art of organizing and employing fighting forces on or near the battlefield A battlefield, battleground, or field of battle is the location of a present or historic battle A battle is an occurrence of comb ...
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 squadrons,
companies 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 capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness ...
,
battalion A battalion is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intend ...

battalion
s,
regiment A regiment is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a state so as to offer such military capability as a national defense policy may require. In some countries param ...
s,
brigade A brigade is a major tactical military formation Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a state so as to offer such military capability as a national defense policy may require. In some ...

brigade
s, and
divisions Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics) Division is one of the four basic operations of arithmetic, the ways that numbers are combined to make new numbers. The other operations are addition, subtraction, and multi ...
, and their naval and air force equivalents. One of the oldest military publications is ''
The Art of War ''The Art of War'' () is an ancient List of Chinese military texts, Chinese military treatise dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period (roughly 5th century BC). The work, which is attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Su ...
'', by the
Chinese philosopher Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", which was characterized by significant intellectual and cultural development ...
Sun Tzu Sun Tzu ( ; zh, t=孫子, p=Sūnzǐ) was a Chinese general, military strategist A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially a ...
. Written in the 6th century BCE, the 13-chapter book is intended as military instruction, and not as
military theory Military theory is the analysis of Norm (sociology), normative behavior and trends in military affairs and military history, beyond simply describing events in war. Theories and conceptions of warfare have varied in different places throughout hu ...
, but has had a huge influence on Asian military doctrine, and from the late 19th century, on European and United States
military plan A military operation plan (also called a war plan before World War II) is a formal plan for military, military armed forces, their military organizations and units to conduct operations, as drawn up by commanders within the combat operations process ...
ning. 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 campaign A military campaign is large-scale long-duration significant military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organization Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a ...
ing. Among the best-known Roman works are
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of anc ...

Julius Caesar
's commentaries on the
Gallic Wars The Gallic Wars were waged between 58 BC and 50 BC by the Roman general against the peoples of (present-day , , along with parts of ). , , and tribes fought to defend their homelands against an aggressive Roman . The Wars culmi ...
, and the
Roman Civil war This is a list of civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same state or country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. I ...
– written about 50 BC. Two major works on tactics come from the late Roman period: ''Taktike Theoria'' by
Aelianus Tacticus Aelianus Tacticus ( grc-gre, Αἰλιανὸς ὀ Τακτικός; fl. 2nd century AD), also known as Aelian (), was a Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially t ...
, and ''
De Re Militari#REDIRECT De re militari ''De re militari'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. T ...
'' ('On military matters') by
Vegetius Publius (or Flavius) Vegetius Renatus, known as Vegetius (), was a writer of the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, Later Roman Empire (late 4th century). Nothing is known of his life or station beyond what is contained in his two surviving works: ' ...
. ''Taktike Theoria'' examined Greek military tactics, and was most influential in the
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It surviv ...
world and during the
Golden Age of Islam The Islamic Golden Age ( ar, العصر الذهبي للإسلام , al-'asr al-dhahabi lil-islam), was a period of cultural, economic, and scientific flourishing in the history of Islam The history of Islam concerns the political, social, ...
. ''De Re Militari'' formed the basis of European military tactics until the late 17th century. Perhaps its most enduring maxim is (let he who desires peace prepare for war). Due to the changing nature of combat with the introduction of
artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fortifications dur ...

artillery
in the European
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of w ...
, and infantry firearms in the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...

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 The scientific method is an empirical Empirical evidence for a proposition is evidence, i.e. what supports or counters this proposition, that is constituted by or accessible to sense experience or experimental procedure. Empirical evidence ...

scientific method
approach to the conduct of military operations under the influence of the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
thinking. In his seminal book ''
On War ''Vom Kriege'' () is a book on war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case ...
'', the
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...

Prussia
n
Major-General Major general (abbreviated MG, maj. gen. and similar) is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. The disappearance of the "sergeant" in the title explains the apparent confusion of a lieu ...
and leading
expert An expert is somebody who has a broad and deep competence in terms of knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (procedural knowledge), or obj ...

expert
on modern
military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by 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 poli ...
,
Carl von Clausewitz Carl Philipp Gottfried (or Gottlieb) von Clausewitz (; – ) was a Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the "moral" (meaning, in modern terms, psychological Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology incl ...

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 military goals, ensuring
civilian control of the military File:050218-N-3333H-011 Admiral John B. Nathman, far right, and Admiral William J. Fallon salute during honors arrival of Secretary of the Navy, Gordon R. England.jpg, 300px, Admiral John B. Nathman (far right) and Admiral William J. Fallon salut ...
. Military strategy was one of a triumvirate of '
arts The arts refers to the theory, human application and physical expression of creativity Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something somehow new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scienti ...
' or 'sciences' that governed the conduct of warfare, the others being:
military tactics Military tactics encompasses the art of organizing and employing fighting forces on or near the battlefield A battlefield, battleground, or field of battle is the location of a present or historic battle A battle is an occurrence of comb ...
, the execution of plans and 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
ambush An ambush is a long-established military tactics, military tactic in which combatants take advantage of concealment or the element of surprise to attack unsuspecting enemy combatants from concealed positions, such as among dense underbrush o ...

ambush
es,
encirclement Encirclement of Stalingrad Encirclement is a military term for the situation when a force or target is isolated and surrounded by enemy forces. The situation is highly dangerous for the encircled force. At the military strategy, strategic leve ...

encirclement
s,
bombardment A bombardment is an attack by artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to ...
attacks,
frontal assault The military tactic Military tactics encompasses the art of organizing and employing fighting forces on or near the battlefield A battlefield, battleground, or field of battle is the location of a present or historic battle A battle is ...

frontal assault
s,
air assault Air assault is the movement of ground-based military forces by vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft—such as the helicopter—to seize and hold key terrain which has not been fully secured, and to directly engage enemy forces behind ene ...
s,
hit-and-run tactics Hit-and-run tactics are a tactical doctrine of using short surprise attacks, withdrawing before the enemy can respond in force, and constantly maneuvering to avoid full engagement with the enemy. The purpose is not a decisive victory against ...
used mainly by forces, and, in some cases,
suicide attack A suicide attack is any violent attack Attack may refer to: Warfare and combat * Offensive (military) * Charge (warfare) * Attack (fencing) * Strike (attack) * Attack (computing) * Attack aircraft Books and publishing * The Attack (novel) ...
s on land and at sea. Evolution of
aerial warfare Aerial warfare is the use of military aircraft A military aircraft is any fixed-wing A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air flying machine, such as an airplane An airplane or aeroplane (informally plane) is a fixed-wing airc ...
introduced its own air combat tactics. Often,
military deception Military deception (MILDEC) is an attempt by a military unit to gain an advantage during warfare by misleading adversary decision makers into taking actions detrimental to the adversary. This is usually achieved by creating or amplifying an artif ...
, in the form of
military camouflage Military camouflage is the use of camouflage Camouflage is the use of any combination of materials, coloration, or illumination for concealment, either by making animals or objects hard to see, or by disguising them as something else. Exa ...
or misdirection using
decoy s A decoy (derived from the Dutch ''de'' ''kooi'', literally "the cage" or possibly ''ende kooi'', " Duck decoy (structure), duck cage") is usually a person, device, or event which resembles what an individual or a group might be looking for, but ...

decoy
s, is used to confuse the enemy as a tactic. A major development in
infantry tactics Infantry tactics are the combination of military concepts and methods used by infantry at the Battle of the Somme (July–November 1916) during the First World War Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel e ...
came with the increased use of
trench warfare Trench warfare is a type of using occupied fighting lines largely comprising , in which troops are well-protected from the enemy's small arms fire and are substantially sheltered from . Trench warfare became archetypically associated with (19 ...

trench warfare
in the 19th and 20th centuries. This was mainly employed in
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
in the
Gallipoli campaign#REDIRECT Gallipoli campaign The Gallipoli campaign, or ). was a military campaign in the First World War World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28& ...

Gallipoli campaign
, and the
Western FrontWestern Front or West Front may refer to: Military frontiers *Western Front (World War I), a military frontier to the west of Germany *Western Front (World War II), a military frontier to the west of Germany *Western Front (Russian Empire), a major ...

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 No man's land is waste or unowned land or an uninhabited or desolate area that may be under dispute between parties who leave it unoccupied out of fear or uncertainty. The term was originally used to define a contested territory or a dumpin ...
' 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 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 para ...
used in combat. When
Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology ...

Stone Age
humans first took a sliver of flint to tip the
spear A spear is a pole weapon A pole weapon or pole arm is a close combat Close combat means a violent physical confrontation between two or more opponents at short range.''MCRP 3-02B: Close Combat'', Washington, D.C.: Department Of The Navy, H ...

spear
, it was the first example of 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 The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the , as proposed in modern times by , for classifying and studying a ...
weapons, and later, the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history between the use of the first stone tools by hominins 3.3 million years ago and the ...
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 improved density of materials used in manufacture of weapons. On
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 time frames) and consists mainly of Earth's crust, crustal components such a ...
, the first really significant technological advance in warfare was the development of the
ranged weapon A ranged weapon is any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting ...
s, and notably, the sling. The next significant advance came with the
domestication of the horse A number of hypotheses exist on many of the key issues regarding the domestication of the horse. Although horses appeared in Paleolithic cave art as early as 30,000 BCE, these were wild horses and were probably hunted for meat. How and when horses ...
s and mastering of
equestrianism Equestrian tour on traditional local breed, Icelandic horses in Skaftafell mountains of Iceland">Skaftafell.html" ;"title="Icelandic horses in Skaftafell">Icelandic horses in Skaftafell mountains of Iceland Equestrianism (from Latin , , , 'ho ...

equestrianism
. Arguably, the greatest invention that affected not just the military, but all society, after adoption of fire, was the
wheel File:Roue primitive.png, An early wheel made of a solid piece of wood A wheel is a circular component that is intended to rotate on an axle An axle or axletree is a central shaft for a rotating wheel or gear. On wheeled vehicles, the ...

wheel
, and its use in the construction of the
chariot A chariot is a type of carriage A carriage is a private four-wheeled vehicle for people and is most commonly horse-drawn A horse-drawn vehicle is a mechanized piece of equipment pulled by one horse or by a team of horses. These vehicles ...

chariot
. There were no advances in military technology, until, from the mechanical arm action of a slinger, the
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an and native to the and the regions, namely , , , , , and, to a lesser extent, other countries surrounding the . They also form a significant , with Greek communities esta ...
,
Egyptians Egyptians ( arz, المصريين, ; cop, ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, remenkhēmi) are an ethnic group of people originating from the country of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinen ...
,
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, ...

Romans
,
Persia Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in . It is bordered to the northwest by and , to the north by the , to the northeast by , to the east by , to the southeast by , t ...

Persia
ns,
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
, etc., developed the
siege engine A siege engine is a device that is designed to break or circumvent heavy castle doors, thick city wall A defensive wall is a fortification A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories i ...
s. The
bow Bow often refers to: * Bow and arrow, a weapon * Bowing, bending the upper body as a social gesture * An ornamental knot made of ribbon Bow may also refer to: Boats * Bow (ship), the foremost part * Bow (rowing), the foremost part of a boat Knot ...
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
Ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was mentioned as the twenty-first Shang king by the same. Ancient his ...
. These proved particularly useful during the rise of cavalry, as horsemen encased in ever-more sophisticated
armour Armour (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and usage a ...
came to dominate the battlefield. Somewhat earlier, in medieval China,
gunpowder Gunpowder, also commonly known as black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder Smokeless powder is a type of propellant used in firearms and artillery that produces lower amounts of smoke when fired, unlike black powder. The ter ...
had been invented, and was increasingly used by the military in combat. The use of gunpowder in the early vase-like mortars in Europe, and advanced versions of the
long bow A longbow is a type of bow that is tall – roughly equal to the height of the user – allowing the archer a fairly long draw. A longbow is not significantly recurved. Its limbs are relatively narrow so that they are circular or D-shaped in cross ...
and cross bow, which all had armour-piercing
arrowhead An arrowhead or point is the usually sharpened and hardened tip of an arrow s and nock. An arrow is a fin-stabilized projectile launched by a bow and arrow, bow. A typical arrow usually consists of a long, stiff, straight ''shaft'' with a weig ...

arrowhead
s, 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 s aboard the frigate A frigate () is a type of warship, having various sizes and roles over time. In the 17th century, a frigate was any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description often used being "frigate-built". These co ...
, which could be used effectively, with little training. In time, the successors to muskets and
cannon A cannon is a large-caliber A 45 ACP hollowpoint (Federal Cartridge, Federal HST) with two .22 Long Rifle, 22 LR cartridges for comparison In gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launc ...

cannon
, in the form of
rifle A rifle is a long-barrelled firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water gun ...

rifle
s and
artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fortifications dur ...

artillery
, would become core battlefield technology. As the speed of technological advances accelerated in civilian applications, so too warfare became more
industrialized Industrialisation Industrialisation (or industrialization) is the period of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society An agrarian society, or agricultural society, is any community whose economy is based ...
. The newly invented
machine gun A machine gun is an auto-firing, rifled tank gun. In firearms, rifling is machining Helix, helical grooves into the internal (bore) surface of a gun's Gun barrel, barrel for the purpose of exerting torque and thus imparting a Rotation, s ...

machine gun
and
repeating rifleA repeating rifle is a single-barrel A barrel or cask is a hollow cylindrical A cylinder (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, ...
redefined
firepower Firepower is the military capability to direct force at an enemy. (It is not to be confused with the concept of rate of fire, which describes the cycling of the firing mechanism in a weapon system.) Firepower involves the whole range of potenti ...
on the battlefield, and, in part, explains the high casualty rates of the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by Names of the American Civil War, other names) was a civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865, fought between northern U.S. state, states loyal to the Union (American Civil War), Union and south ...
. The next breakthrough was the conversion of artillery parks from the , to the quicker loading 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 Naval warfare is 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 device that can be u ...
, for the first time since the Middle Ages, altering the way weapons are mounted on
warship A warship or combatant ship is a that is built and primarily intended for . Usually they belong to the of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuverable than . Unlike a ...
s, and therefore
naval tactics Naval tactics and doctrine is the collective name for methods of engaging and defeating an enemy ship A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying goods or passengers, ...
, now divorced from the reliance on
sails A sail is a —made from fabric or other membrane materials—that uses wind power to propel sailing craft, including s, s, , s, and even . Sails may be made from a combination of woven materials—including canvas or polyester cloth, laminate ...

sails
with the invention of the
internal combustion An internal combustion engine (ICE or IC engine) is a heat engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer (usually air) in a combustion chamber that is an integral part of the working fluid flow circuit. In an internal combus ...
. A further advance in military naval technology was the design of the
submarine A submarine (or sub) is 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 system with ordered structural and functional p ...

submarine
, and its weapon, the
torpedo A modern torpedo is an underwater ranged weapon launched above or below the water surface, self-propelled towards a target, and with an explosive warhead designed to detonate either on contact with or in proximity to the target. Historically, suc ...

torpedo
.
Main battle tank A main battle tank (MBT), also known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the armor-protected direct fire and maneuver role of many modern armies. Cold War-era development of more powerful engines, better suspension system ...
s, and other heavy equipment such as
armoured fighting vehicle An armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) is an armed protected by , generally combining with and capabilities. AFVs can be wheeled or . s, , armoured s, s and s are all examples of AFVs. Armoured fighting vehicles are classified according to th ...

armoured fighting vehicle
s,
military aircraft A military aircraft is any Fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing or rotorcraft, rotary-wing aircraft that is operated by a legal or insurrectionary armed service of any type. Military aircraft can be either combat or non-combat: * Combat aircraft are ...
, and
ship A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying goods or passengers, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, research, and fishing. Ships are generally disti ...

ship
s, are characteristic to organized military forces. During
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, the need to break the deadlock of trench warfare saw the rapid development of many new technologies, particularly
tank A tank is an armored fighting vehicle An armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) is an armed combat vehicle protected by armour, generally combining operational mobility with offensive and defensive capabilities. AFVs can be wheeled or tra ...

tank
s.
Military aviation Military aviation comprises military aircraft A military aircraft is any fixed-wing A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air flying machine, such as an airplane An airplane or aeroplane (informally plane) is a fixed-wing airc ...
was extensively used, and
bomber A bomber is a combat aircraft A military aircraft is any fixed-wing or rotary-wing aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to flight, fly by gaining support from the Atmosphere of Earth, air. It counters the force of gravity by ...
s became decisive in many battles of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
, 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 Military communications or military signals involve all aspects of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin wa ...
through increased use of radio, military intelligence through use of the
radar Radar (radio detection and ranging) is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the distance (''ranging''), angle, or velocity of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, Marine radar, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor ...

radar
, and in
military medicine re-created operating tent using puppets, Diekirch Military Museum, Luxembourg personnel during the Korean War The Korean War (South Korean: ; North Korean: , "Fatherland Liberation War"; 25 June 1950–27 July 1953) was a war between No ...
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 re ...
, 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