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The title Defence Minister, Minister for Defence, Minister of National Defense, Secretary of Defence, Secretary of State for Defense or some similar variation, is assigned to the person in a cabinet position in charge of a Ministry of Defence, which regulates the armed forces in sovereign states. The role of a defence minister varies considerably from country to country; in some the minister is only in charge of general budget matters and procurement of equipment; while in others the minister is also, in addition, an integral part of the operational military chain of command. Prior to the 20th century, there were in most countries separate ministerial posts for the land forces (often called "minister for war") and the naval forces. In the interwar period, some countries created a separate ministerial post in charge of the air forces. After the end of World War II, the trend in most countries was to merge the several separate ministerial posts into a single defence minister in charge of all the armed forces.[1] Another common reform which occurred at the end of World War II
World War II
was to place the defence minister in a national security council, war cabinet, or a "Kitchen Cabinet", which allows the head of government or head of state to coordinate military, diplomatic and economic activities.[2][3] The Defence Ministry in some countries is a very important ministry, sometimes considered more important than the foreign ministry. If war is common for a country, the defence minister's position is often assumed by the head of government. (For example, five Prime Ministers of Israel
Israel
have held the Defense (Security) Ministry during their Premiership). In many nations it is a strong convention that the defence minister be a civilian, in order to highlight civilian control over the military, though it's not uncommon for the defence minister to have some (or even extensive) military experience. In less democratic countries, the minister is often an active military official. The People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
is very unusual in that the Ministry of National Defence (MND) is relatively powerless; it does not have command over the People's Liberation Army. Command of the military belongs in the party and in the state Central Military Commission; the MND exists primarily as a liaison and protocol office to communicate with foreign militaries. Essentially, the MND exists only because most other nations have defence ministries, and for protocol and liaison purposes, the PRC needs to have an institution corresponding with those of other governments. However, the Minister of National Defence (who is usually a senior, although not always the highest ranking, military officer) is always a CMC member and usually a Vice Chairman and State Councillor, is an authoritative position. List of defence ministers[edit] See also: Category:Defence ministers

 Albania: Ministry of Defence  Armenia: Defence Ministry  Australia: Minister for Defence  Austria: Ministry of National Defence and Sport  Azerbaijan: Ministry of Defense  Bangladesh: Ministry of Defence  Belarus: Ministry of Defense  Belgium: Ministry of Defence  Bosnia and Herzegovina: Ministry of Defence  Brazil: Ministry of Defence  Brunei: Ministry of Defence  Bulgaria: Ministry of Defence  Cambodia: Ministry of National Defence  Chile: Ministry of National Defense China: Two governments use "China" in their name:

 People's Republic of China: Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China  Republic of China: Ministry of National Defense

 Colombia: Ministry of National Defense  Croatia: Ministry of Defence  Cyprus: Minister of Defence  Czech Republic: Ministry of Defence  Democratic Republic of Congo: Minister of Defence (Democratic Republic of Congo)  Egypt: Minister of Defence and Military Production (list)  Estonia: Minister of Defence  Finland: Minister of Defence  France: Minister of Defence  Germany: Federal Ministry of Defence (list)

 Prussia: Minister of War (1808–1918) GDR: Minister of National Defence

 Greece: Minister for National Defence

 Greece: Minister for Military Affairs (1822–1950)  Greece: Minister for Naval Affairs (1822–1950)  Greece: Minister for Aviation (1930–1950)

 Hong Kong: Secretary for Defence, renamed Secretary for Security in 1973  Hungary: Minister of Defence  Indonesia: Ministry of Defence  India: Minister of Defence  Iran: Minister of Defence and Armed Forces Logistics  Ireland: Minister for Defence  Israel: Ministry of Defense (in Hebrew: Sar Ha-Bitakhon)  Italy: Minister of Defence  Japan: Minister of Defense  Kazakhstan:Defence Minister of Kazakhstan  Kuwait: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Kyrgyzstan: Ministry of Defense  Libya: Supreme Defense Council[4]  Lithuania: Ministry of National Defence  Macedonia: Minister of Defense  Malaysia: Ministry of Defence  Mexico: Secretariat of National Defense (Mexico)  Moldova: Ministry of Defense (Moldova) Mongolia: Ministry of Defense    Nepal: Ministry of Defence  Netherlands: Ministry of Defence  New Zealand: Minister of Defence  Pakistan: Defence Minister  People's Republic of China: Ministry of National Defense  Peru: Ministry of Defense  Philippines: Department of National Defense  Poland: Ministry of National Defence  Portugal: Ministry of National Defence  Republic of China: Ministry of National Defense  Romania: Ministry of National Defense  Russia: Ministry of Defence

 Soviet Union: Minister of Defence Russian Empire: List of heads of the military of Imperial Russia

 Serbia: Minister of Defence  Singapore: Ministry for Defence  Somalia: Ministry of Defence  South Africa: Minister of Defence and Military Veterans  South Korea: Ministry of National Defense  Spain: Ministry of Defence  Sri Lanka: Ministry of Defence   Switzerland: Head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (with list)  Tajikistan: Ministry of Defence[5]  Thailand: Ministry of Defence  Tonga: Minister of Defence  Turkey: Ministry of National Defence (Turkey) Turkmenistan: Ministry of Defense  Ukraine: Ministry of Defence (Ukraine)  Vietnam: Ministry of Defence

Country Name of organization Senior political executive

 Canada Department of National Defence (French: Ministère de la Défense nationale) Minister of National Defence (French: Ministre de la Défense nationale)

 Denmark Ministry of Defence (Danish: Forsvarsministeriet) Minister of Defence (Danish: Forsvarsminister)

 Norway: Ministry of Defence (Norwegian: Forsvarsdepartement) Minister of Defence (Norwegian: Forsvarsminister)

 Sweden Ministry of Defence (Swedish: Försvarsdepartementet) Minister for Defence (Swedish: Försvarsminister)

 United Kingdom Ministry of Defence Secretary of State for Defence

 United States Department of Defense Secretary of Defense

See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ministers of Defence.

Chief of Defence Commander-in-chief Ministry of Defence

List of current defence ministers References[edit]

^ "National Security Act of 1947". Office of the Historian in the United States
United States
Department of State. Retrieved 2015-03-06. The 1947 law also caused far-reaching changes in the military establishment. The War Department and Navy Department merged into a single Department of Defense under the Secretary of Defense, who also directed the newly created Department of the Air Force. However, each of the three branches maintained their own service secretaries. In 1949 the act was amended to give the Secretary of Defense more power over the individual services and their secretaries.  ^ "National Security Act of 1947". Office of the Historian in the United States
United States
Department of State. Retrieved 2015-03-06. The Council itself included the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and other members (such as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency), who met at the White House to discuss both long-term problems and more immediate national security crises. A small NSC staff was hired to coordinate foreign policy materials from other agencies for the President. Beginning in 1953 the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs directed this staff. Each President
President
has accorded the NSC with different degrees of importance and has given the NSC staff varying levels of autonomy and influence over other agencies such as the Departments of State and Defense. President
President
Dwight D. Eisenhower, for example, used the NSC meetings to make key foreign policy decisions, while John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson preferred to work more informally through trusted associates. Under President
President
Richard M. Nixon, the NSC staff, then headed by Henry A. Kissinger, was transformed from a coordinating body into an organization that actively engaged in negotiations with foreign leaders and implementing the President’s decisions. The NSC meetings themselves, however, were infrequent and merely confirmed decisions already agreed upon by Nixon and Kissinger.  ^ "National Security Council". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2015-03-06. The National Security Council (NSC) is the main forum for collective discussion of the government’s objectives for national security and about how best to deliver them in the current financial climate. A key purpose of the Council is to ensure that ministers consider national security in the round and in a strategic way.  ^ http://lana-news.ly/eng/news/view/66241/Supreme_Defense_Council_sends_condolences_to_families_of_betrayed_Third_force_members_and_promises_to_arrest_assailants_Tripoli_25 ^ "Defense Minister of Tajikistan
Tajikistan
to Meet with CIS Colleagues in Moscow". Avesta. Retrieved 26 July 2014. 

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