A paramilitary (sometimes listed as quasi-military) is a militarised force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces. Under the Law of Armed Conflict, a state may incorporate a paramilitary organization or armed agency (charged with police functions) into its armed forces. The other parties to a conflict have to be notified thereof.
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.
Depending on context, "paramilitaries" may include:
- The auxiliary forces of a state's military
- State Defense Forces of individual US States
- The Rangers of Pakistan
- Some kinds of police forces, e.g. auxiliary police
- The GSG-9 of Germany
- Gendarmeries, e.g. Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Gendarmerie royale du Canada), Egyptian Central Security Forces and India's Central Reserve Police Force
- The National Security Guards of India
- The Carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza of Italy
- Border guards, e.g. Russia's Border Guard Service
- Security forces of ambiguous military status, e.g. Russia's Internal Troops
- The Russian Spetsnaz
- Militarized police forces, e.g. Law enforcement officers and SWAT Teams of the United States
- The Mobile Brigade (Indonesia) of Indonesia
- The Special Task Force of Sri Lanka
- Weimar paramilitary groups
- The Patriotic Guards of Communist Romania
- The Waffen, Schutzstaffel (SS), Sturmabteilung (SA) and Hitler Youth (HJ) (From 1940 onwards) of Nazi Germany
- The Red Guards of Maoist China
- In the United Kingdom, the term is often restricted to armed groups involved in the Northern Ireland Troubles, such as the Ulster Volunteer Force or the Provisional Irish Republican Army. Also the Irish National Liberation Army and the Irish Republican Army
- The Basij of Iran
- The Fedayeen Saddam of Ba'athist Iraq
- CIA Special Activities Center.
- DEA Special Response Team.
- Volunteer Defence Corps, such as Volunteer Defence Corps in Thailand, Volunteer Defence Corps in Australia, Shanghai Volunteer Corps, and Royal Hong Kong Regiment.
- The Village Guards of Turkey
- The fire departments of many countries and locales, although unarmed, are often organized in a manner similar to military or police forces.
- The Belgian Civiele Bescherming and Singapore Civil Defence Force.
- The Australian State Emergency Service.
- Category:Paramilitary organizations
- Category:Rebel militia groups
- Paramilitary forces of India
- The Self-Defense Forces of Colombia
- Fourth-generation warfare
- Private army
- Death squad
- Violent non-state actor
- "paramilitary". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. June 2005; online version June 2011. http://oed.com/search?searchType=dictionary&q=paramilitary. 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."
- "Customary IHL - Section B. Incorporation of paramilitary or armed law enforcement agencies into armed forces". Icrc.org. http://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v2_cou_nl_rule4_sectionb. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
- Golkar, Saeid. (2012) Paramilitarization of the Economy: the Case of Iran's Basij Militia, Armed Forces & Society, Vol. 38, No. 4
- Golkar, Saeid. (2012). Organization of the Oppressed or Organization for Oppressing: Analysing the Role of the Basij Militia of Iran. Politics, Religion & Ideology, Dec., 37–41. doi:10.1080/21567689.2012.725661
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- Human Rights Watch, Colombia and Military-Paramilitary Links
- Global Security
- List of Terrorist Groups
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