The armed forces of a state are its government-sponsored defence, fighting forces, and organizations. A state is a political association with effective Sovereignty over a geographic Area and representing a Population. 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 and internal aggressors. In some countries paramilitary forces are included in a nation's armed forces. A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military force but which are not regarded as having the same status Armed force is the use of armed forces to achieve political objectives.
The study of the use of armed forces is called military science. Military Science is the process of translating National defence policy to produce Military capability by employing Military scientists including Broadly speaking, this involves considering offense and defense at three "levels": strategy, operational art, and tactics. A Strategy is a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal, most often "winning Military tactics ( Greek: Taktikē, the art of organizing an army are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating All three levels study the application of the use of force in order to achieve a desired objective.
In most countries the armed forces are divided into three or four forces: an army, a navy, an air force, and often a gendarmerie or a paramilitary police force. An army (from Latin Armata "act of arming" via Old French armée) in the broadest sense is the land-based Armed forces An air force, also known in some countries as an air army or historically an army air corps, is in the broadest sense the national military or armed service A gendarmerie or gendarmery (dʒɛnˈdɑrməriː or /ˌʒɑndɑrməˈriː/ after the French is a Military body charged with Police duties among civilian Gendarmeries (including equivalents such as Internal Troops, Paramilitary Forces, etc. Internal Troops, full name Internal Troops of the Ministry for Internal Affairs (MVD ( Russian: Внутренние войска Министерства A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military force but which are not regarded as having the same status ) are common in most of the world but are uncommon in Anglo-Saxon countries. A number of countries have no navy, for geographical reasons.
Many countries have a variation on the standard model of three or four basic forces. Variations include China (army, navy, air force, strategic missile force), South Africa (army, navy, air force, military health service), and Egypt (army, navy, air force, air defense). China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National The Republic of South Africa (also known by other official names) is a country located at the southern tip of the continent of Africa The South African Military Health Service is the branch of the South African National Defence Force responsible for medical facilities and the training and deployment of all This article is about the country of Egypt For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Egypt topics. The United States has five (army, navy, air force, marines, coast guard). The United States of America —commonly referred to as the
In larger armed forces the culture between the different branches of a countries armed forces can be quite different.
Most smaller countries have a single organization that encompasses all armed forces employed by the country in question. Third-world armies tend consist primarily of infantry, while first-world armies tend to have larger units manning expensive equipment and only a fraction of personnel in infantry units.
The state of readiness of a military organisation may be indicated by its alert state. An alert state is an indication of the state of readiness of the Armed forces for military action or a State against Terrorism or military attack
Armed forces may be organized as standing forces (e. g. regular army), which describes a professional army that is engaged in no other profession than preparing for and engaging in warfare. The Regular Army is a name given to the permanent force of a country's army that is maintained during peacetime In contrast, there is the very rare citizen army as used in Switzerland. A citizen army (also known as a militia or reserve army) is only mobilized as needed. 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 A military reserve force is a military organization Its advantage lies in the fact that it is dramatically less expensive (in terms of wealth, manpower, and opportunity cost) for the organizing society to support. A society is a Population of Humans characterized by patterns of relationships between individuals that share a distinctive Culture and Institutions The disadvantage is that such a "citizen's army" is less well trained and organized.
A compromise between the two has a small cadre of professional non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and officers who act as a skeleton for a much larger force. A non-commissioned officer (sometimes noncommissioned officer) also known as an NCO or Noncom, is an enlisted member of an Armed force When war comes, this skeleton is filled out with conscripts or reservists (former full-time soldiers who volunteer for a small stipend to occasionally train with the cadre to keep their military skills intact), who form the wartime unit. This balances the pros and cons of each basic organization, and allows the formation of huge armies (in terms of millions of combatants), necessary in modern large scale warfare. War is an international relations Dispute, characterized by organized Violence between National Military units
The obvious benefit to a country in maintaining armed forces, is in providing protection from foreign threats, and from internal conflict. In recent decades armed forces personnel have also been used as emergency civil support roles in post-disaster situations. On the other hand they may also harm a society by engaging in counter-productive (or merely unsuccessful) warfare.
Expenditure on science and technology to develop weapons and systems sometimes produces side benefits, although some claim that greater benefits could come from targeting the money directly.
See also: Category:Military by country