Paramilitary

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Not to be confused with Paratrooper or Private army.
A fighter of Hezbollah, a Lebanese paramilitary group, during the Syrian Civil War.

A paramilitary is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military, and which is not included as part of a state's formal armed forces.[1]

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

The use of the term paramilitary can be debated, but the general consensus being of a combatant force or organization, more military-like than civilian. Organizations that have been described as paramilitary are as diverse as the Minutemen, Black Panthers, SS, youth groups (from scouting to the Pioneer movement), and even military-themed boarding schools.

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.

Types[edit]

Depending on the standards used, "paramilitaries" may include:

Examples of paramilitary units:

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 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]