Military installations of the United States in Panama
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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, governments, societies, or paramilitary groups such as mercenaries, insurgents, and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, destruction, and mortality, using regula ...
. It is typically authorized and maintained by a
sovereign state A sovereign state or sovereign country, is a political entity represented by one central government that has supreme legitimate authority over territory. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined terr ...
, with its members identifiable by their distinct
military uniform A military uniform is a standardised dress worn by members of the armed forces and paramilitaries of various nations. Military dress and styles have gone through significant changes over the centuries, from colourful and elaborate, ornamented ...
. It may consist of one or more military branches such as an
army An army (from Old French ''armee'', itself derived from the Latin verb ''armāre'', meaning "to arm", and related to the Latin noun ''arma'', meaning "arms" or "weapons"), ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on ...
,
navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake-borne, riverine, littoral, or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions. It inc ...
,
air force An air force – in the broadest sense – is the national military branch that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an ...
,
space force A space force is a military branch of a nation's armed forces that conducts military operations in outer space and space warfare. The world's first space force was the Russian Space Forces, established in 1992 as an independent military service. ...
,
marines Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in littoral zones in support of naval operations. Historically, tasks undertaken by marines have included helping maintain discipline and order aboard the ship (refle ...
, or
coast guard A coast guard or coastguard is a maritime security organization of a particular country. The term embraces wide range of responsibilities in different countries, from being a heavily armed military force with customs and security duties to ...
. The main task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state and its interests against external armed threats. In broad usage, the terms ''armed forces'' and ''military'' are often treated as synonymous, although in technical usage a distinction is sometimes made in which a country's armed forces may include both its military and other
paramilitary A paramilitary is an organization whose structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military, but is not part of a country's official or legitimate armed forces. Paramilitary units carr ...
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 orga ...
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, 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 manages the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of consumption to meet the requirements of ...
, 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, the promotion of a political agenda,
emergency service Emergency services and rescue services are organizations that ensure public safety and health by addressing and resolving different emergencies. Some of these agencies exist solely for addressing certain types of emergencies, while others deal wit ...
s and reconstruction, protecting
corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law "born out of statute"; a legal person in legal context) and r ...
economic interests, social ceremonies and national honour guards. The profession of soldiering as part of a military is older than recorded history itself. Some of the most enduring images of classical antiquity portray the power and feats of its military
leaders Leadership, both as a research area and as a practical skill, encompasses the ability of an individual, group or organization to "lead", influence or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations. The word "leadership" often gets view ...
. The Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC was one of the defining points of Pharaoh
Ramses II Ramesses II ( egy, rꜥ-ms-sw ''Rīʿa-məsī-sū'', , meaning "Ra is the one who bore him"; ), commonly known as Ramesses the Great, was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Along with Thutmose III he is often regarded as t ...
's reign, and his monuments commemorate it in bas-relief. A thousand years later, the first emperor of unified China, Qin Shi Huang, was so determined to impress the gods with his military might that he had himself buried with an army of terracotta soldiers. Terra cotta of massed ranks of Qin Shi Huang's terra cotta soldiers The Romans paid considerable attention to military matters, leaving to posterity many treatises and writings on the subject, as well as many lavishly carved triumphal arches and
victory column A victory column, or monumental column or triumphal column, is a monument in the form of a column, erected in memory of a victorious battle, war, or revolution. The column typically stands on a base and is crowned with a victory symbol, such a ...
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 a relationship between two parties regulating the provision of paid labour services. Usually based on a contract, one party, the employer, which might be a corporation, a not-for-profit organization, a co-operative, or any ot ...
, equipment, 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 Academy (1741) and United States Military Academy (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 and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European states formed into various coalitions. It produced a period of Fren ...
, '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, air forces, and naval forces, whether as a chosen job (volunteer) or as a result of an involuntary draft (conscription). Some nations (e.g., Mexico) require ...
', '
military intelligence Military intelligence is a military discipline that uses information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to assist commanders in their decisions. This aim is achieved by providing an assessment of data from ...
', and '
military history Military history is the study 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 local and international relationships. Professional historians norm ...
'. 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, 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, 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 interviews. These interviews are conducted with people wh ...
of military conflicts (war), their participating armies and navies and, more recently,
air force An air force – in the broadest sense – is the national military branch that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an ...
s.


Organization


Personnel and units

Despite the growing importance of
military technology Military technology is the application of technology for use in warfare. It comprises the kinds of technology that are distinctly military in nature and not civilian in application, usually because they lack useful or legal civilian application ...
, 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 within the group. It can be viewed as part of a power structure, in which it is usually seen as the most vulnerable and also the most powerful part. Milit ...
divided by
military rank Military ranks are a system of hierarchical relationships, within armed forces, police, intelligence agencies or other institutions organized along military lines. The military rank system defines dominance, authority, and responsibility in a m ...
, with ranks normally grouped (in descending order of authority) as officers (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. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, a colonel was typically in charge o ...
),
non-commissioned officer A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not pursued a commission. Non-commissioned officers usually earn their position of authority by promotion through the enlisted ranks. (Non-officers, which includes most or all enli ...
s (e.g.
Sergeant Sergeant (abbreviated to Sgt. and capitalized when used as a named person's title) is a rank in many uniformed organizations, principally military and policing forces. The alternative spelling, ''serjeant'', is used in The Rifles and other uni ...
), and personnel at the lowest rank (e.g.
Private Soldier A private is a soldier, usually with the lowest rank in many armies. Soldiers with the rank of Private may be conscripts or they may be professional (career) soldiers. The term derives from the medieval term "private soldiers" (a term still us ...
). While senior officers make strategic decisions, subordinated military personnel ( soldiers,
sailor A sailor, seaman, mariner, or seafarer is a person who works aboard a watercraft as part of its crew, and may work in any one of a number of different fields that are related to the operation and maintenance of a ship. The profession of the s ...
s,
marines Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in littoral zones in support of naval operations. Historically, tasks undertaken by marines have included helping maintain discipline and order aboard the ship (refle ...
, 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. An airman can also be referred as a soldier in other definitions. In civilian aviation usage, t ...
) fulfil them. Although rank titles vary by military branch 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 for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapons) or unarmed ( not using weapons). Combat is sometimes resorted to as a method of self-defense, ...
roles (e.g.
infantry Infantry is a military specialization which engages in ground combat on foot. Infantry generally consists of light infantry, mountain infantry, motorized infantry & mechanized infantry, airborne infantry, air assault infantry, and marine i ...
),
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 * Chem ...
roles (e.g.
combat engineer A combat engineer (also called pioneer or sapper) is a type of soldier who performs military engineering tasks in support of land forces combat operations. Combat engineers perform a variety of military engineering, tunnel and mine warfare task ...
s), and combat service support 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 (abbr. C2) is a "set of organizational and technical attributes and processes ... hatemploys human, physical, and information resources to solve problems and accomplish missions" to achieve the goals of an organization or en ...
.


Recruitment

Personnel may be recruited or 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 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 stu ...
, 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 (bodies of law and procedure) that governs the conduct of the active-duty personnel of the armed forces of a country. In some nation-states, civil law and military law are distinct bodi ...
introduces offences not recognised by civilian courts, such as absence without leave (AWOL), desertion, political acts, malingering, behaving disrespectfully, and disobedience (see, for example, offences against military law in the United Kingdom). Penalties range from a summary reprimand to imprisonment for several years following a court martial. 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 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 a body activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. It is performed for various reasons, to aid growth and improve strength, develop muscles and the cardiovascular system, hone athletic s ...
or operations anywhere in the world. During peacetime, when military personnel are generally stationed in
garrison A garrison (from the French ''garnison'', itself from the verb ''garnir'', "to equip") is any body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it. The term now often applies to certain facilities that constitute a mil ...
s or other permanent military facilities, they mostly conduct administrative tasks,
training Training is teaching, or developing in oneself or others, any skills and knowledge or fitness that relate to specific useful competencies. Training has specific goals of improving one's capability, capacity, productivity and performance. It ...
and
education Education is a purposeful activity directed at achieving certain aims, such as transmitting knowledge or fostering skills and character traits. These aims may include the development of understanding, rationality, kindness, and honesty. Var ...
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, environmental condition, external stimulus or an event seen as causing stress to an organism. Psychologically speaking, a stressor can be events or environments that individuals might consider demand ...
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 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 Military intelligence is a military discipline that uses information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to assist commanders in their decisions. This aim is achieved by providing an assessment of data from ...
(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 controvers ...
of the information they seek, and the clandestine 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 or scale over time. That may refer to conflicts between individuals or groups in interpersonal relationships, or it may refer to the escalation of hostilities in a political or ...
, initiation of combat, or an
invasion An invasion is a military offensive in which large numbers of combatants of one geopolitical entity aggressively enter territory owned by another such entity, generally with the objective of either: conquering; liberating or re-establishing ...
. An important part of the military intelligence role is the military analysis performed to assess
military capability Military capability is defined by the Australian Defence Force as "the ability to achieve a desired effect in a specific operating environment". It is defined by three interdependent factors: combat readiness, sustainable capability and force str ...
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 East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population exceeding 1.4 billion, slightly ahead of India. China spans the equivalent of five time zones and ...
and
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the so ...
maintain the largest armed forces in the World" or that "the
U.S. Military The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. The armed forces consists of six service branches: the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard. The president of the United States is the ...
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 objective ...
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 actions of a state, or a non-state actor, in response to a developing situation. These actions are designed as a military plan to resolve the situation in the state or actor's favor. Operations ...
s, including war. The process of allocating resources is conducted by determining a military budget, which is administered by a military finance organization within the military. Military procurement is then authorized to purchase or contract provision of goods and services to the military, whether in peacetime at a permanent base, or in a combat zone from local population. File:Military Expenditures by Country 2019.svg, A pie chart showing global military expenditures by country for 2019, in US$ billions, according to SIPRI File:Military Expenditures as percent of GDP 2017.png, Map of military expenditures as a percentage of GDP by country, 2017. File:2014 militrary expenditures absolute.svg, Military expenditure of 2014 in USD


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, 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,
training Training is teaching, or developing in oneself or others, any skills and knowledge or fitness that relate to specific useful competencies. Training has specific goals of improving one's capability, capacity, productivity and performance. It ...
, 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, acqui ...
systems to allow continued and uninterrupted performance of military organizations under combat conditions, including provision of health services to the personnel, and maintenance for the equipment; the services to assist recovery of wounded personnel, and repair of damaged equipment; and finally, post-conflict
demobilization Demobilization or demobilisation (see spelling differences) is the process of standing down a nation's armed forces from combat-ready status. This may be as a result of victory in war, or because a crisis has been peacefully resolved and militar ...
, and disposal of war stocks surplus to peacetime requirements. Development of military doctrine is perhaps the most 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 American Thoroughbred gelding race horse who was the American Horse of the Year in 1947 and Champion Older Male Horse in both 1946 and 1947. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame i ...
and equipped personnel in achievement of the tangible goals and objectives of the war, campaign,
battle A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force ...
, 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 o ...
.


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 An arsenal is a place where arms and ammunition are made, maintained and repaired, stored, or issued, in any combination, whether privately or publicly owned. Arsenal and armoury (British English) or armory (American English) are mostl ...
s by military science organizations within the overall structure of the military. Military scientists are therefore found to interact with all Arms and Services of the armed forces, and at all levels of the military hierarchy of command. Although concerned with research into
military psychology 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, includ ...
, 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 ...
, often the bulk of military science activities is directed at military intelligence technology,
military communications Military communications or military signals involve all aspects of communications, or conveyance of information, by armed forces. Military communications span from pre-history to the present. The earliest military communications were delivered b ...
, and improving
military capability Military capability is defined by the Australian Defence Force as "the ability to achieve a desired effect in a specific operating environment". It is defined by three interdependent factors: combat readiness, sustainable capability and force str ...
through research. The design, development, and prototyping of
weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used to deter, threaten, inflict physical damage, harm, or kill. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting, crime, law enforcement, ...
s, military support equipment, and
military technology Military technology is the application of technology for use in warfare. It comprises the kinds of technology that are distinctly military in nature and not civilian in application, usually because they lack useful or legal civilian application ...
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 warship that serves as a seagoing airbase, equipped with a full-length flight deck and facilities for carrying, arming, deploying, and recovering aircraft. Typically, it is the capital ship of a fleet, as it allows a ...
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, acqui ...
are used for the
logistics management Logistics is generally the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation. In a general business sense, logistics manages the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of consumption to meet the requirements of ...
and logistics planning of the forces
military supply chain management Military supply-chain management is a cross-functional approach to procuring, producing and delivering products and services for military materiel applications. Military supply chain management includes sub-suppliers, suppliers, internal info ...
, the consumables, and capital equipment of the troops. Although mostly concerned with the military transport, as a means of delivery using different modes of transport; from military trucks, to
container ship A container ship (also called boxship or spelled containership) is a cargo ship that carries all of its load in truck-size intermodal containers, in a technique called containerization. Container ships are a common means of commercial intermodal ...
s operating from permanent
military base A military base is a facility directly owned and operated by or for the military or one of its branches that shelters military equipment and personnel, and facilitates training and operations. A military base always provides accommodations for ...
, it also involves creating field supply dumps at the rear of the
combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapons) or unarmed ( not using weapons). Combat is sometimes resorted to as a method of self-defense, ...
zone, and even forward supply points in specific unit's Tactical Area of Responsibility. 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 and military communications. Military engineers are also responsible for logistics b ...
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 or weapon system. Ammunition is both expendable weapons (e.g., bombs, missiles, grenades, land mines) and the component parts of other wea ...
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 for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapons) or unarmed ( not using weapons). Combat is sometimes resorted to as a method of self-defense, ...
, 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 the study 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 local and international relationships. Professional historians norm ...
. How
victory The term victory (from Latin ''victoria'') originally applied to warfare, and denotes success achieved in personal combat, after military operations in general or, by extension, in any competition. Success in a military campaign constitutes a ...
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 organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek word ''strategos'', the term strategy, when it appeared in use during the 18th century, was seen in its narrow sen ...
is the management of forces in wars and
military campaign A military campaign is large-scale long-duration significant military strategy plan incorporating a series of interrelated military operations or battles forming a distinct part of a larger conflict often called a war. The term derives from the ...
s by a commander-in-chief, employing large military forces, either national and allied as a whole, or the component elements of armies, navies and
air force An air force – in the broadest sense – is the national military branch that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an ...
s; such as
army group An army group is a military organization consisting of several field armies, which is self-sufficient for indefinite periods. It is usually responsible for a particular geographic area. An army group is the largest field organization handled ...
s,
naval fleet A fleet or naval fleet is a large formation of warships – the largest formation in any navy – controlled by one leader. A fleet at sea is the direct equivalent of an army on land. Purpose In the modern sense, fleets are usually, but not ne ...
s, and large numbers of
aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air. It counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engin ...
. 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 supply of war and planning, than management of field forces and combat between them. The scope of strategic military planning can span weeks, but is more often months or even years.


Operational victory

Operational mobility 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 o ...
is, within warfare and military doctrine, 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 Military tactics encompasses the art of organizing and employing fighting forces on or near the battlefiel ...
with the overarching goals of strategy. A common synonym is operational art. The operational level is at a scale bigger than one where line of sight and the time of day are important, and smaller than the strategic level, where production and politics are considerations. Formations are of the operational level if they are able to conduct operations on their own, and are of sufficient size to be directly handled or have a significant impact at the strategic level. This concept was pioneered by the
German German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law **Ge ...
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 world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—forming two opposing ...
. 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 "body") is a term used for several different kinds of organization. A military innovation by Napoleon I, the formation was first named as such in 1805. The size of a corps varies great ...
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. They involve the application of four battlefield functions which are closely related – kinetic or firepower, mobility, protection or se ...
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 tasks and objectives of squadrons,
companies A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity representing an association of people, whether natural, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objective. Company members share a common purpose and unite to achieve specific, declared g ...
,
battalion A battalion is a military unit, typically consisting of 300 to 1,200 soldiers commanded by a lieutenant colonel, and subdivided into a number of companies (usually each commanded by a major or a captain). In some countries, battalions are ...
s,
regiment A regiment is a military unit. Its role and size varies markedly, depending on the country, service and/or a specialisation. In Medieval Europe, the term "regiment" denoted any large body of front-line soldiers, recruited or conscripted ...
s,
brigade A brigade is a major tactical military formation that typically comprises three to six battalions plus supporting elements. It is roughly equivalent to an enlarged or reinforced regiment. Two or more brigades may constitute a division. B ...
s, and divisions, 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 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 Sun Tzu ("Master Sun"), is com ...
'', 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 developmen ...
Sun Tzu Sun Tzu ( ; zh, t=孫子, s=孙子, first= t, p=Sūnzǐ) was a Chinese military general, strategist, philosopher, and writer who lived during the Eastern Zhou period of 771 to 256 BCE. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of ''The ...
. 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 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 human history. T ...
, but has had a huge influence on Asian military doctrine, and from the late 19th century, on European and United States military planning. It has even been used to formulate business tactics, and can even be applied in social and political areas. The Classical Greeks and the Romans wrote prolifically on
military campaign A military campaign is large-scale long-duration significant military strategy plan incorporating a series of interrelated military operations or battles forming a distinct part of a larger conflict often called a war. The term derives from the ...
ing. Among the best-known Roman works are
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; ; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC), was a Roman general and statesman. A member of the First Triumvirate, Caesar led the Roman armies in the Gallic Wars before defeating his political rival Pompey in a civil war, an ...
's commentaries on the
Gallic Wars The Gallic Wars were waged between 58 and 50 BC by the Roman general Julius Caesar against the peoples of Gaul (present-day France, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland). Gallic, Germanic, and British tribes fought to defend their homela ...
, and the Roman Civil war – written about 50 BC. Two major works on tactics come from the late Roman period: ''Taktike Theoria'' by Aelianus Tacticus, and ''
De Re Militari ''De re militari'' ( Latin "Concerning Military Matters"), also ''Epitoma rei militaris'', is a treatise by the Late Latin writer Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus about Roman warfare and military principles as a presentation of the methods an ...
'' ('On military matters') by
Vegetius Publius (or Flavius) Vegetius Renatus, known as Vegetius (), was a writer of the Later Roman Empire (late 4th century). Nothing is known of his life or station beyond what is contained in his two surviving works: ''Epitoma rei militaris'' (also re ...
. ''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 primarily in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinopl ...
world and during the Golden Age of Islam. ''De Re Militari'' formed the basis of European military tactics until the late 17th century. Perhaps its most enduring maxim is ''Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum'' (let he who desires peace prepare for war). Due to the changing nature of combat with the introduction of
artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons that launch munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fortifications during siege ...
in the European
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire ...
, and infantry firearms in the Renaissance, attempts were made to define and identify those strategies, grand tactics, and tactics that would produce a victory more often than that achieved by the Romans in praying to the gods before the battle. Later this became known as military science, and later still, would adopt the
scientific method The scientific method is an empirical method for acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century (with notable practitioners in previous centuries; see the article history of scientific m ...
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, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going f ...
thinking. In his seminal book ''
On War ''Vom Kriege'' () is a book on war and military strategy by Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz (1780–1831), written mostly after the Napoleonic wars, between 1816 and 1830, and published posthumously by his wife Marie von Brühl in 1832. I ...
'', the
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It formed the German Empire under Prussian rule when it united the German states in 1871. It was '' de facto'' dissolved by an ...
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 ...
and leading
expert An expert is somebody who has a broad and deep understanding and competence in terms of knowledge, skill and experience through practice and education in a particular field. Informally, an expert is someone widely recognized as a reliable s ...
on modern
military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek word ''strategos'', the term strategy, when it appeared in use during the 18th century, was seen in its narrow sen ...
,
Carl von Clausewitz Carl Philipp Gottfried (or Gottlieb) von Clausewitz (; 1 June 1780 – 16 November 1831) was a Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the "moral", in modern terms meaning psychological, and political aspects of waging war. His mos ...
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 Civilian control of the military is a doctrine in military and political science that places ultimate responsibility for a country's strategic decision-making in the hands of the civilian political leadership, rather than professional militar ...
. Military strategy was one of a triumvirate of '
arts The arts are a very wide range of human practices of creative expression, storytelling and cultural participation. They encompass multiple diverse and plural modes of thinking, doing and being, in an extremely broad range of media. Both hi ...
' 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. They involve the application of four battlefield functions which are closely related – kinetic or firepower, mobility, protection or se ...
, 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 tactic in which a combatant uses an advantage of concealment or the element of surprise to attack unsuspecting enemy combatants from concealed positions, such as among dense underbrush or behind moun ...
es,
encirclement 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 strategic level, it cannot receive supplies or reinforceme ...
s,
bombardment A bombardment is an attack by artillery fire or by dropping bombs from aircraft on fortifications, combatants, or towns and buildings. Prior to World War I, the term was only applied to the bombardment of defenseless or undefended objects, ...
attacks,
frontal assault The military tactic of frontal assault is a direct, full-force attack on the front line of an enemy force, rather than to the flanks or rear of the enemy. It allows for a quick and decisive victory, but at the cost of subjecting the attackers to ...
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 e ...
s, hit-and-run tactics used mainly by guerrilla forces, and, in some cases, suicide attacks on land and at sea. Evolution of
aerial warfare Aerial warfare is the use of military aircraft and other flying machines in warfare. Aerial warfare includes bombers attacking enemy installations or a concentration of enemy troops or strategic targets; fighter aircraft battling for control ...
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 action or inaction that creates favorable conditions for the deceiving force. This is usually ac ...
, in the form of
military camouflage Military camouflage is the use of camouflage by an armed force to protect personnel and equipment from observation by enemy forces. In practice, this means applying colour and materials to military equipment of all kinds, including vehicles, ...
or misdirection using
decoy A decoy (derived from the Dutch ''de'' ''kooi'', literally "the cage" or possibly ''ende kooi'', " duck cage") is usually a person, device, or event which resembles what an individual or a group might be looking for, but it is only meant to lur ...
s, is used to confuse the enemy as a tactic. A major development in infantry tactics came with the increased use of
trench warfare Trench warfare is a type of land warfare using occupied lines largely comprising Trench#Military engineering, military trenches, in which troops are well-protected from the enemy's small arms fire and are substantially sheltered from artille ...
in the 19th and 20th centuries. This was mainly employed in
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, the United States, and the Ottoman Empire, with fightin ...
in the Gallipoli campaign, and the 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 dump ...
' 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. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct ...
used in combat. When
Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric period during which stone was widely used to make tools with an edge, a point, or a percussion surface. The period lasted for roughly 3.4 million years, and ended between 4,000 BC and 2,000 BC, with th ...
humans first took a sliver of flint to tip the 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 historic period, lasting approximately from 3300 BC to 1200 BC, characterized by the use of bronze, the presence of writing in some areas, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second pri ...
weapons, and later, the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age ( Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic) and the Bronze Age ( Chalcolithic). The concept has been mostly ...
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, also known as dry land, ground, or earth, is the solid terrestrial surface of the planet Earth that is not submerged by the ocean or other bodies of water. It makes up 29% of Earth's surface and includes the continents and various isla ...
, the first really significant technological advance in warfare was the development of the
ranged weapon A ranged weapon is any weapon that can engage targets beyond hand-to-hand distance, i.e. at distances greater than the physical reach of the user holding the weapon itself. The act of using such a weapon is also known as shooting. It is someti ...
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 hor ...
s and mastering of
equestrianism Equestrianism (from Latin , , , 'horseman', 'horse'), commonly known as horse riding (Commonwealth English) or horseback riding (American English), includes the disciplines of riding, driving, and vaulting. This broad description includes the ...
. Arguably, the greatest invention that affected not just the military, but all society, after adoption of fire, was the
wheel A wheel is a circular component that is intended to rotate on an axle bearing. The wheel is one of the key components of the wheel and axle which is one of the six simple machines. Wheels, in conjunction with axles, allow heavy objects to be ...
, and its use in the construction of the
chariot A chariot is a type of cart driven by a charioteer, usually using horses to provide rapid motive power. The oldest known chariots have been found in burials of the Sintashta culture in modern-day Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia, dated to c. 2000&nbs ...
. 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 ethnic group and nation indigenous to the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea regions, namely Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, and, to a lesser extent, other ...
,
Egyptians Egyptians ( arz, المَصرِيُون, translit=al-Maṣriyyūn, ; arz, المَصرِيِين, translit=al-Maṣriyyīn, ; cop, ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, remenkhēmi) are an ethnic group native to the Nile, Nile Valley in Egypt. Egyptian ...
, Romans,
Persia Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
ns,
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China * Chinese people, people of Chinese nationality, citizenship, and/or ethnicity **''Zhonghua minzu'', the supra-ethnic concept of the Chinese nation ** List of ethnic groups in China, people of ...
, etc., developed the
siege engine A siege engine is a device that is designed to break or circumvent heavy castle doors, thick city walls and other fortifications in siege warfare. Some are immobile, constructed in place to attack enemy fortifications from a distance, while othe ...
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: * Bow (watercraft), the foremost part of a ship or boat * Bow (position), the rower ...
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 reign of king Wu Ding. Ancient historical texts such as the ''Book of Documents'' (early chapte ...
. These proved particularly useful during the rise of cavalry, as horsemen encased in ever-more sophisticated armour came to dominate the battlefield. Somewhat earlier, in medieval China, gunpowder had been invented, and was increasingly used by the military in combat. The use of gunpowder in the early mortar (weapon), vase-like mortars in Europe, and advanced versions of the long bow and cross bow, which all had armour-piercing arrowheads, that put an end to the dominance of the armoured knight. After the long bow, which required great skill and strength to use, the next most significant technological advance was the musket, which could be used effectively, with little training. In time, the successors to muskets and cannon, in the form of rifles and
artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons that launch munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fortifications during siege ...
, would become core battlefield technology. As the speed of technological advances accelerated in civilian applications, so too warfare became more Industrial warfare, industrialized. The newly invented machine gun and repeating rifle redefined firepower on the battlefield, and, in part, explains the high casualty rates of the American Civil War. The next breakthrough was the conversion of artillery parks from the Muzzleloader, muzzle loading guns, to the quicker loading Breech-loading weapon, breech loading guns with recoiling barrel that allowed quicker aimed fire and use of a shield. The widespread introduction of low smoke (smokeless) propellant powders since the 1880s also allowed for a great improvement of artillery ranges. The development of breech loading had the greatest effect on naval warfare, for the first time since the Middle Ages, altering the way weapons are mounted on warships, and therefore naval tactics, now divorced from the reliance on Age of Sail, sails with the invention of the internal combustion. A further advance in military naval technology was the design of the submarine, and its weapon, the torpedo. Main battle tanks, and other heavy equipment such as armoured fighting vehicles, military aircraft, and ships, are characteristic to organized military forces. During
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, the United States, and the Ottoman Empire, with fightin ...
, the need to break the deadlock of trench warfare saw the rapid development of many new technologies, particularly tanks. Military aviation was extensively used, and bombers became decisive in many battles of World War II, which marked the most frantic period of weapons development in history. Many new designs, and concepts were used in combat, and all existing technologies of warfare were improved between 1939 and 1945. During the war, significant advances were made in
military communications Military communications or military signals involve all aspects of communications, or conveyance of information, by armed forces. Military communications span from pre-history to the present. The earliest military communications were delivered b ...
through increased use of radio, military intelligence through use of the radar, and in military medicine through use of penicillin, while in the air, the guided missile, jet aircraft, and helicopters were seen for the first time. Perhaps the most infamous of all military technologies was the creation of the atomic bomb, although the exact effects of its radiation were unknown until the early 1950s. Far greater use of military vehicles had finally eliminated the cavalry from the military force structure. After World War II, with the onset of the Cold War, the constant technological development of new weapons was institutionalized, as participants engaged in a constant 'arms race' in capability development. This constant state of weapons development continues into the present, and remains a constant drain on national resources, which some blame on the military–industrial complex. The most significant technological developments that influenced combat have been the guided missiles, which can be used by all branches of the armed services. More recently, information technology, and its use in surveillance, including space-based reconnaissance systems, have played an increasing role in military operations. The impact of information warfare that focuses on attacking command communication systems, and military databases, has been coupled with the new development in military technology, has been the use of robotic systems in intelligence combat, both in hardware and software applications. Recently, there has also been a particular focus towards the use of renewable fuels for running military vehicles on. Unlike fossil fuels, renewable fuels can be produced in any country, creating a strategic advantage. The US military has committed itself to have 50% of its energy consumption come from alternative sources.


As part of society

For much of
military history Military history is the study 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 local and international relationships. Professional historians norm ...
, 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–industrial complex * Military junta * Military meteorology * Military operations other than war * Military police * Military prison * Military Revolution * Military sociology * Military terminology * Militarization of police * Militia * Ministry of defence * Mobilization * Police * Private military company * 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