paramilitary adj : of or relating to a group of civilians organized to function like (or in aid of) a military unit n : a group of civilians organized in a military fashion (especially to operate in place of or to assist regular army troops) [syn: paramilitary force, paramilitary unit, paramilitary organization, paramilitary organisation]
a group of civilians trained and organized in a military fashion
a member of a paramilitary group
- relating to a paramilitary
relating to a paramilitary
Paramilitary designates forces whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military force, but which are not regarded as having the same status. The term uses the Greek/Latin prefix para- ("beside"), also seen in words such as paramedic.
The term paramilitary is subjective, depending on what is considered similar to a military force, and what status a force is considered to have. The nature of paramilitary forces therefore varies greatly according to the speaker and the context. For instance, in Northern Ireland, paramilitary refers to any illegally armed group with a political purpose, but in Colombia, paramilitary refers specifically to illegally armed groups which are considered right-wing (e.g. AUC), while illegally armed groups considered left-wing, such as FARC, are referred to as guerrillas.
Depending on context, paramilitaries can include:
- Armed Forces outside the Military, e.g. gendarmeries and forces such as the Chinese People's Armed Police. The reason for paramilitary units' existence outside of the regular military can be for several reasons. For example, a paramilitary unit's role may differ from the military's, or offer a special service. Pakistan's Northern Light Infantry (now a part of the army) was trained and conditioned to fight at altitudes of 20,000 feet and greater.
- Some National Intelligence Services units that are composed of civilian agents tasked with covert action in areas that are difficult or sometimes illegal for Military Forces to operate, such as the Special Activities Division of the US Central Intelligence Agency.
- Some Internal Security, Border Protection and Law Enforcement organizations that are not considered part of the regular Military but are similar in training, equipment and/or organization, such as the Internal Troops of the Russian Interior Ministry (MVD), or the Egyptian Central Security Forces. There is some overlap between these and the first example mentioned, and indeed that is often one of the reasons why these may be administratively separate from the military, especially in countries where the military is forbidden or restricted in law enforcement.
- Illegal forces which consider themselves military but which governments consider terrorist, e.g. Provisional IRA, Ulster Volunteer Force, AUC, guerrillas.
- Private armies and militias.
- Militarized preexisting government agencies, such as SWAT teams and Black Cats.
- Auxiliary services of regular armed forces, such as the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Civil Air Patrol.
- Youth groups and movements that can be considered 'militarized' to various degrees, the Hitler Youth movement being perhaps the most notorious example. Modern examples include military cadet movements such as the British Army Cadet Force, Sea Cadets, Air Training Corps and the Combined Cadet Force. Other nations also have such organisations such as the Australian Defence Force Cadets, the Royal Canadian Army Cadets, the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets, the American Civil Air Patrol and the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps and India's National Cadet Corps.
paramilitary in Bengali: আধাসামরিক বাহিনী
paramilitary in Bulgarian: Паравоенни
paramilitary in Catalan: Paramilitar
paramilitary in Danish: Paramilitær
paramilitary in German: Paramilitär
paramilitary in Spanish: Paramilitar
paramilitary in Indonesian: Paramiliter
paramilitary in Dutch: Paramilitair
paramilitary in Japanese: 準軍事組織
paramilitary in Norwegian: Paramilitær
paramilitary in Norwegian Nynorsk: Paramilitær
paramilitary in Portuguese: Força paramilitar
paramilitary in Simple English: Paramilitary
paramilitary in Swedish: Paramilitär