Army

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ARMY (ME. armye, armeye; OFr. armee; It. armata; L. armata, army, fleet; f. of armatus, pp. of armare, to arm; arma, arms. The body of military forces of a state, especially the land forces.) One of the military institutions of the State, which contributes to the external function of defense. However, national states utilize the a. not only for the defense of the country but also to attack and subjugate other countries and peoples, i.e., to expand their borders; this is considered a violation of international law (aggression). Another improper use of the a. consists of employing it to resolve internal conflicts through armed force. There are national states that do not have armed forces and fulfill their defense needs through other methods. In some countries, the a. is professional and behaves like a corporation; its members are hired by contract, their duties and rights spelled out in a contract with the State. In other countries, citizens of certain ages are required to perform compulsory military service. There are also mixed systems. N.H. condemns the use of violence in all its forms, including armed force. However, to achieve the full realization of the principle of non-violence requires appropriate external and internal conditions for eliminating violence from daily life and social practice, national as well as international. In the meantime, to make progress in this direction it is necessary to increasingly limit the use of the a., to democratize its operation and relations with civil society, to ensure that it is under public control, and to discuss fully in the communications media its internal life, its relations, the military budget, and the military doctrine of the State. From the humanist point of view, any intervention by the a. in political life is inadmissible, and military personnel on active duty should not have electoral rights or make public statements concerning state policy. They recover this right upon leaving the military service and becoming ordinary citizens.