Paramilitary


A paramilitary organization 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]

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

Although similar, a quasi military organisation has more near identical to military aspects (IE: Militia, Private Army etc) whereas a paramilitary is its own (IE: Internal Security, SWAT etc).[2]

Legality


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.[3]

Military compared to paramilitary

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


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

Irregular military

Auxiliary forces

Political

Law enforcement

Government agencies

Home guards

Civil defense

Examples of paramilitary units


See also


References


  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. https://wikidiff.com/quasimilitary/paramilitary#:~:text=As%20adjectives%20the%20difference%20between,is%20relating%20to%20a%20paramilitary.
  3. "Customary IHL - Section B. Incorporation of paramilitary or armed law enforcement agencies into armed forces". Icrc.org. Retrieved 2013-07-27.

Further reading