Military dictatorship
A military dictatorship is a form of government
Form of government
A form of government, or form of state governance, refers to the set of political institutions by which a government of a state is organized. Synonyms include "regime type" and "system of government".-Empirical and conceptual problems:...

 where in the political power resides with the military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

. It is similar but not identical to a stratocracy
A stratocracy is a form of government headed by military chiefs; the term is derived from two Greek terms signifying army and power. It is not the same as a military dictatorship where the military's political power is not enforced or even supported by other laws...

, a state ruled directly by the military.
Like any dictatorship
A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator. It has three possible meanings:...

, a military dictatorship may be official or unofficial, and as a result may not actually qualify as stratocratic. Mixed forms also exist, where the military exerts a very strong influence without being entirely dominant.
Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East have been common areas for military dictatorships.