Paramilitary

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Legion of Frontiersmen, Edmonton Command, 1915 -- a nationalist paramilitary group not officially affiliated with the Canadian Army
Generaloberst von Falkenhorst with the sisters of the Lotta Svärd, a Finnish voluntary auxiliary paramilitary organisation for women, in the summer of 1941 during the Continuation War
Paramilitary forces usually tend to wear similar but different uniforms to the military, for instance gray "urban camouflage".
Oregon Sheriff's Department SWAT team in full tactical gear, 2009

A paramilitary organization (also listed as quasi military) is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military, but is not formally part of a country's armed forces.[1]

Legality[edit]

Under the law of war, a state may incorporate a paramilitary organization or armed agency (such as a national police or a private volunteer militia) into its combatant armed forces. The other parties to a conflict have to be notified thereof.[2]

Military compared to paramilitary[edit]

Though a paramilitary is not a military force, it is usually equivalent to a military's light infantry force in terms of intensity, firepower, and organizational structure. A paramilitary may also commonly fall under the command of a military, even despite not being part of the military or play an assisting role for the military in times of war. Paramilitary forces can also include private military company missions.

Types[edit]

Depending on the definition adopted, "paramilitaries" may include:

Irregular military[edit]

Auxiliary forces[edit]

Political[edit]

Law enforcement[edit]

Government agencies[edit]

Home guards[edit]

Civil defence[edit]

Examples of paramilitary units[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "paramilitary". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. June 2011 [online edition; original published in June 2005]. Retrieved 2011-09-13. Designating, of, or relating to a force or unit whose function and organization are analogous or ancillary to those of a professional military force, but which is not D regarded as having professional or legitimate status.
  2. ^ "Customary IHL - Section B. Incorporation of paramilitary or armed law enforcement agencies into armed forces". Icrc.org. Retrieved 2013-07-27.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]