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Militarization, or militarisation, is the process by which a society organizes itself for military conflict and violence. It is related to militarism, which is an ideology that reflects the level of militarization of a state, and which is associated with the glorification of the military, armed forces and weapons and of military power, including through symbolic displays (e.g., parades of tanks and soldiers) and actual use of force, such as through warfare. The process of militarization involves many interrelated aspects that encompass many levels of society.
The perceived level of threat influences what potential for violence or warfare the state must achieve to assure itself an acceptable level of security. When the perceived level of threat is low, as with Canada, a country may have a relatively small military and level of armament. However, in Israel, the threat of attack from neighbouring countries means that the armed forces and defense have a high profile and are given significant funding and personnel.
This threat may involve the:
Militaristic ideas are referred to within civilian contexts. The War on Poverty declared by President Lyndon B. Johnson, and the War on drugs declared by President Richard Nixon, are rhetorical wars. They are not declared against a concrete, military enemy which can be defeated, but are symbolic of the amount of effort, sacrifice, and dedication which needs to be applied to the issue. They may also be a means of consolidating executive power, because war implies emergency powers for the executive branch which are normally reserved for the legislature. As well, politicians have invoked militaristic ideas with rhetorical wars on other social issues. Some governments draw on militaristic imagery when they appoint "task forces" of bureaucrats to address pressing political or social issues.
Militarization has been used as a strategy for boosting a state's economy, by creating jobs and increasing industrial production. This was part of Adolf Hitler's plan to revive the German economy after the devastation it suffered after the First World War.
Increasingly, Christian evangelical prayer has taken on militaristic forms and language. Spiritual warfare is a form of prayer spoken in militarized discourse. Its adherents, sometimes referring to themselves as "prayer warriors", wage "spiritual battle" on the "prayer battlefield." Spiritual warfare is the latest iteration in a long-standing partnership between religious organization and militarization, two spheres that are rarely considered together, although aggressive forms of prayer have long been used to further the aims of expanding Christian influence through a variety of conversion tactics. These tactics have begun being articulated in militaristic imagery, using terms such as "enlist, rally, advance and blitz". Major moments of increased political militarization have occurred concurrently with the growth of prominence of militaristic imagery in many evangelical communities, such as the evangelical engagement in a militarized project of aggressive missionary expansion conducted against the backdrop of the Vietnam War in the 1970s.
The military also has a role in defining gender identities. War-movies (i.e. Rambo) reflect the cultural identities of masculinity with the warrior. (See Gibson, 1994.) Representations of Vietnam in popular culture display the male body as a weapon of war and contribute to ideals of masculinity in American culture. Military prowess has been crucial to understandings of contemporary masculinity in European and American culture. During World War I soldiers who experienced shell-shock were seen as failures of masculinity, unable to withstand war as the ultimate task of manliness. The maintenance of military life relies on the ideas about men and manliness as well as ideas about women and femininity, included notions of the fallen women and patriotic motherhood.
Women have been mobilized during times of war to perform tasks seen as incompatible with men's roles in combat, including cooking, laundry, and nursing. Women have also been seen as necessary for servicing male soldiers' sexual needs through prostitution. For example, during the Vietnam War, Vietnamese women who worked as prostitutes were allowed on US bases as local national Jabaits.
The role and image of the military within a society is another aspect of militarization. At differing times and places in history, soldiers have been viewed as respectable, honoured individuals (for example, this was the view of Allied soldiers who liberated Nazi-occupied Netherlands in WW II, or the view of Americans and Canadians who place support our troops car magnets on their vehicles during the war on terror) or even as heroes (for example, the Finnish people's view of the Finnish sniper nicknamed "White Death", who killed many Russian invaders); as "baby killers" by U.S. anti-war activists during and after the Vietnam war; or as war criminals (the Nazi leaders and SS units responsible for the Holocaust).
Structural organization is another process of militarization. Before World War II, the United States experienced a post-war reduction of forces after major conflicts, reflecting American suspicion of large standing armies. After World War II, not only was the army maintained, but the National Security Act of 1947 restructured both civilian and military leadership structures, establishing the Department of Defense and the National Security Council. The Act also created permanent intelligence structures (the CIA et al.) within the United States government for the first time, reflecting the civilian government's perception of a need for previously military based intelligence to be incorporated into the structure of the civilian state.
How citizenship is tied to military service plays an important role in establishing civil-military relations. Countries with volunteer-based military service versus universal conscription have a different mindset. In some countries, men must have served with the military to be considered a citizen. Compare historical Prussia, where every male was required to serve, and service was a requirement of citizenship, to post-Vietnam America's all-volunteer army. In 2016 in Israel, military service is mandatory. This creates a society where almost all people have served in the armed forces. 
Racial interactions between society and the military:
Eleanor Roosevelt said "civil rights [is] an international question. . . [that] may decide whether Democracy or Communism wins out in the world." (Sherry, 1995, p. 146) and this sort of false dichotomy was continued further throughout the McCarthy era and the Cold War in general.
The military also serves as a means of social restructuring. Lower classes could gain status and mobility within the military, at least after levée en masse after the French Revolution. Also, the officer corps became open to the middle class, although it was once reserved only for nobility. In Britain, becoming a military officer was an expectation for 'second sons' who were to gain no inheritance; the role of officer was assumed to maintain their noble class. In the United States, military service has been/is advertised as a means for lower-class people to receive training and experience that they would not normally receive, propelling them to higher incomes and higher positions in society. Joining the military has enabled many people from lower socioeconomic demographics to receive college education and training. As well, a number of positions in the military involve transferable skills that can be used in the regular labor market after an individual is discharged (e.g., pilot, air traffic controller, mechanic).
The militarization of police involves the use of military equipment and tactics by law enforcement officers. This includes the use of armored personnel carriers, assault rifles, submachine guns, flashbang grenades,grenade launchers,sniper rifles, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams. The militarization of law enforcement is also associated with intelligence agency-style information gathering aimed at the public and political activists, and a more aggressive style of law enforcement. Criminal justice professor Peter Kraska has defined militarization of law enforcement as "the process whereby civilian police increasingly draw from, and pattern themselves around, the tenets of militarism and the military model."
Observers have noted the militarizing of the policing of protests. Since the 1970s, riot police have fired at protesters using guns with rubber bullets or plastic bullets.Tear gas, which was developed for riot control in 1919, is widely used against protesters in the 2000s. The use of tear gas in warfare is prohibited by various international treaties that most states have signed; however, its law enforcement or military use for domestic or non-combat situations is permitted.
Concerns about the militarization of police have been raised by both ends of the political spectrum in the United States, with both the right-of-center/libertarian Cato Institute and the left-of-center American Civil Liberties Union voicing criticisms of the practice. The Fraternal Order of Police has spoken out in favor of equipping law enforcement officers with military equipment, on the grounds that it increases the officers' safety and enables them to protect civilians.