A military dictatorship (also known as a military junta) is a form of government where in a military force exerts complete or substantial control over political authority.
A military dictatorship is different from civilian dictatorship for a number of reasons: their motivations for seizing power, the institutions through which they organize their rule and the ways in which they leave power. Often viewing itself as saving the nation from the corrupt or myopic civilian politicians, a military dictatorship justifies its position as "neutral" arbiters on the basis of their membership within the armed forces. For example, many juntas adopt titles such as "Committee of National Restoration", or "National Liberation Committee". Military leaders often rule as a junta, selecting one of themselves as a head.
In the past, military juntas have justified their rule as a way of bringing political stability for the nation or rescuing it from the threat of "dangerous ideologies". For example in Latin America, Africa, and Asia the threat of communism was often used. Military regimes tend to portray themselves as non-partisan, as a "neutral" party that can provide interim leadership in times of turmoil, and also tend to portray civilian politicians as corrupt and ineffective. One of the almost universal characteristics of a military government is the institution of martial law or a permanent state of emergency.