Paramilitary
Overview
 
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military
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...

, but which is not considered part of a state's
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

 formal armed forces
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

.

The term paramilitary is subjective, depending on what is considered similar to a military force, and what status a force is considered to have. The nature of paramilitary forces therefore varies greatly according to the speaker and the context.

For instance, in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, paramilitary refers to any illegal armed group with a political purpose, but in Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, paramilitary refers only to illegal armed right-wing groups (such as the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia
United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia
The United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia was created as an umbrella organization of regional far-right...

) that are not in direct opposition to the government, while illegal armed left-wing groups rebelling against the government (such as Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People's Army is a Marxist–Leninist revolutionary guerrilla organization based in Colombia which is involved in the ongoing Colombian armed conflict, currently involved in drug dealing and crimes against the civilians..FARC-EP is a peasant army which...

) are referred to as guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

s.
Depending on context, paramilitaries can include:
  • Police forces
  • Gendarmerie
    Gendarmerie
    A gendarmerie or gendarmery is a military force charged with police duties among civilian populations. Members of such a force are typically called "gendarmes". The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary describes a gendarme as "a soldier who is employed on police duties" and a "gendarmery, -erie" as...

    s, e.g.
Encyclopedia
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military
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...

, but which is not considered part of a state's
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

 formal armed forces
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

.

The term paramilitary is subjective, depending on what is considered similar to a military force, and what status a force is considered to have. The nature of paramilitary forces therefore varies greatly according to the speaker and the context.

For instance, in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, paramilitary refers to any illegal armed group with a political purpose, but in Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, paramilitary refers only to illegal armed right-wing groups (such as the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia
United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia
The United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia was created as an umbrella organization of regional far-right...

) that are not in direct opposition to the government, while illegal armed left-wing groups rebelling against the government (such as Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People's Army is a Marxist–Leninist revolutionary guerrilla organization based in Colombia which is involved in the ongoing Colombian armed conflict, currently involved in drug dealing and crimes against the civilians..FARC-EP is a peasant army which...

) are referred to as guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

s.

Examples of paramilitaries

Depending on context, paramilitaries can include:
  • Police forces
  • Gendarmerie
    Gendarmerie
    A gendarmerie or gendarmery is a military force charged with police duties among civilian populations. Members of such a force are typically called "gendarmes". The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary describes a gendarme as "a soldier who is employed on police duties" and a "gendarmery, -erie" as...

    s, e.g. Egyptian Central Security Forces
    Central Security Forces
    The 350,000 strong Central Security Forces CSF organization is an Egyptian Paramilitary force which is responsible for assisting the Egyptian National Police for the security of governmental fixed sites, foreign embassies & missions, riots & crowds control, publicly crowded events, high risk...

     and India's Central Reserve Police Force
    Central Reserve Police Force
    The Central Reserve Police Force also known as CRPF is the largest of India's Central Armed Police Forces. It functions under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India. The CRPF's primary role lies in assisting the State/Union Territories in police operations to maintain...

    .
  • Security forces of ambiguous military status, e.g. Russia's Internal Troops
    Internal Troops
    The Internal Troops, full name Internal Troops of the Ministry for Internal Affairs ; alternatively translated as "Interior " is a paramilitary gendarmerie-like force in the now-defunct Soviet Union and its successor countries, particularly, in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan...

  • Border guard
    Border guard
    The border guard, frontier guard, border patrol, border police, or frontier police of a country is a national security agency that performs border control, i.e., enforces the security of the country's national borders....

    s, e.g. India's Border Security Force
    Border Security Force
    The Border Security Force is a border patrol agency of the Government of India. Established on December 1, 1965, it is one of the Central Armed Police Forces. Its primary role is to guard India's international borders during peacetime and also prevent transnational crime...

  • Militia
    Militia
    The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

    s
  • Fire Departments and Fire Brigades
    Fire department
    A fire department or fire brigade is a public or private organization that provides fire protection for a certain jurisdiction, which typically is a municipality, county, or fire protection district...

    .
  • Insurgent
    Insurgency
    An insurgency is an armed rebellion against a constituted authority when those taking part in the rebellion are not recognized as belligerents...

     militia
    Militia
    The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

    , irregular military
    Irregular military
    Irregular military refers to any non-standard military. Being defined by exclusion, there is significant variance in what comes under the term. It can refer to the type of military organization, or to the type of tactics used....

    , armed resistance movement
    Resistance movement
    A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

    s and guerrilla forces which consider themselves military but which governments may consider terrorist, for example Provisional IRA, Ulster Volunteer Force, or United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia
    United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia
    The United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia was created as an umbrella organization of regional far-right...

     (AUC).
  • Armed units of US national intelligence services units such as the Special Activities Division
    Special Activities Division
    The Special Activities Division is a division in the United States Central Intelligence Agency's National Clandestine Service responsible for covert operations known as "special activities"...

     of the Central Intelligence Agency
    Central Intelligence Agency
    The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

     (CIA), or the Hostage Rescue Team
    Hostage Rescue Team
    The FBI Hostage Rescue Team is the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation's counter-terrorism paramilitary tactical team. The HRT is trained to rescue U.S. citizens and allies who are held by a hostile force, either terrorist or criminal...

     of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

     (FBI).
  • Auxiliary services of armed forces.
  • Private armies
    Private military company
    A private military company or provides military and security services. These combatants are commonly known as mercenaries, though modern-day PMCs refer to their staff as security contractors, private military contractors or private security contractors, and refer to themselves as private military...

  • Mercenaries
  • Youth
    Youth
    Youth is the time of life between childhood and adulthood . Definitions of the specific age range that constitutes youth vary. An individual's actual maturity may not correspond to their chronological age, as immature individuals could exist at all ages.-Usage:Around the world, the terms "youth",...

     cadet organizations with no wartime role, e.g. India's National Cadet Corps
    National Cadet Corps (India)
    The National Cadet Corps is the Indian military cadet corps with its Headquarters at New Delhi. It is open to school and college students on voluntary basis....

  • The Schutzstaffel
    Schutzstaffel
    The Schutzstaffel |Sig runes]]) was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS under Heinrich Himmler's command was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during World War II...

    (SS) and Sturmabteilung
    Sturmabteilung
    The Sturmabteilung functioned as a paramilitary organization of the National Socialist German Workers' Party . It played a key role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s...

    (SA) in Nazi Germany
    Nazi Germany
    Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...


See also

  • Constabulary
    Constabulary
    Constabulary may have several definitions.*A civil, non-paramilitary force consisting of police officers called constables. This is the usual definition in Britain, in which all county police forces once bore the title...

  • Gendarmerie
    Gendarmerie
    A gendarmerie or gendarmery is a military force charged with police duties among civilian populations. Members of such a force are typically called "gendarmes". The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary describes a gendarme as "a soldier who is employed on police duties" and a "gendarmery, -erie" as...

  • Private military company
    Private military company
    A private military company or provides military and security services. These combatants are commonly known as mercenaries, though modern-day PMCs refer to their staff as security contractors, private military contractors or private security contractors, and refer to themselves as private military...

  • Fourth-generation warfare
    Fourth generation warfare
    Fourth generation warfare is conflict characterized by a blurring of the lines between war and politics, soldier and civilian.The term was first used in 1989 by a team of United States analysts, including William S. Lind, to describe warfare's return to a decentralized form...

  • Guerilla warfare


Specific:
  • Order of Flemish Militants
  • Weimar paramilitary groups
    Weimar paramilitary groups
    Paramilitary groups were formed throughout the Weimar Republic in the wake of Germany's defeat in World War I and the ensuing German Revolution. Some were created by political parties to help in recruiting, discipline and in preparation for seizing power. Some were created before World War I....

  • Paramilitary forces of India

Paramilitary organizations
Rebel militia groups
  • Atholl Highlanders
    Atholl Highlanders
    The Atholl Highlanders is a Scottish infantry regiment. Based in Blair Atholl, the regiment is not part of the British Army. Instead, the regiment is in the private employ of the Duke of Atholl, making it the United Kingdom's, and indeed Europe's, only legal private army.-77th Foot:The name Atholl...

  • Special Weapons and Tactics
    SWAT
    A SWAT team is an elite tactical unit in various national law enforcement departments. They are trained to perform high-risk operations that fall outside of the abilities of regular officers...

  • Territorial Defense Forces (Yugoslavia)
    Territorial Defense Forces (Yugoslavia)
    The Territorial Defense Forces were a separate part of the armed forces of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The forces acted as a Home Guard which roughly corresponded to a military reserve force or an official governmental paramilitary...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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