Exèrcit

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Països per nombre de soldats actius (2009)

L'exèrcit (llatí exercitus, "exercici", i després "exercici militar") és un grup d'individus armats i organitzats destinats fer la guerra o altres tasques de caràcter bèl·lic, generalment al servei d'un estat.[1] La funció principal de l'exèrcit sol ser la defensa directa del territori de l'Estat que serveix, i en alguns casos la intervenció a l'exterior. Quan l'exèrcit d'un país es considera de manera conjunta amb la policia del mateix territori, el conjunt es coneix com a forces armades.

Etimologia i definicions[modifica]

Soldats de l'Exèrcit Argentí en formació
Incertesa: Possiblement relacionat amb Mil, cf. arrel llatina i romànica de la paraula "mil-")

El primer ús registrat de la paraula militar en anglès, escrit militarie, va ser el 1585.[2] Prové del llatí militaris (del llatí miles, que significa "soldat") a través del francès, però és d'etimologia incerta, com a proposta *mil-it- – entrant en un cos o en una massa.[3][4]La paraula s'identifica ara com denotar algú que és expert en l'ús de les armes, o que es dedica al servei militar o a la guerra.[5][6]

Divisions[modifica]

Tradicionalment, l'exèrcit s'ha dividit en tres branques: l'exèrcit de terra, l'armada (component naval) i l'exèrcit de l'aire.

Tot i així, cada un dels exèrcits sol tenir petits components dels altres. Alguns cossos, com la infanteria de marina, combinen elements dels tres exèrcits, mentre que altres, per raons estratègiques, se situen a part de qualsevol de les tres grans branques de les forces armades i sota control directe del ministre de Defensa o del cap d'Estat, com la defensa antiaèria a l'antiga URSS o algunes guàrdies reials o presidencials en diferents estats.

Tradicionalment la pertinença a un cos o arma venia indicada a l'uniforme pel color contrastant de coll, solapes, bocamànigues, etc. En la segona meitat del segle XIX aquest sistema fou simplificat en vius de color, o, alternativament, per aplicacions de coll. Des d'inicis del segle XX predomina el sistema més simple d'indicar-ho mitjançant emblemes.

Component humà[modifica]

Soldats romanesos fent el servei militar obligatori.

Segons les circumstàncies històriques i l'entorn cultural i social, cada estat organitza el component humà de les seves forces armades, i entre elles l'exèrcit, de diferent forma:

En la majoria d'estats es compon a partir dels ciutadans que són allistats a base d'un servei militar obligatori de diferent durada; tanmateix, en la majoria dels estats occidentals la participació en l'exèrcit és voluntària, actualment. En molts estats on vigeix, el servei militar obligatori pot ser substituït per un servei civil per raons de consciència.

Els exèrcits tenen una estructura jeràrquica estricta, basada en unitats militars sota un comandament. El comandant suprem sol ser el cap de l'Estat o la persona en qui delegui; a partir d'allà els comandaments són responsables d'unitats d'entitat cada vegada menor, i amb menor nombre de persones.

Els militars professionals es formen en diferents acadèmies militars; se'n surt amb el grau de sotstinent o equivalent, en cas de tractar-se d'una acadèmia d'oficials, o de caporal en cas que es tracti d'una acadèmia de sotsoficials. Les acadèmies navals militars generalment inclouen un periple en un vaixell escola, i se'n surt amb la graduació d'alferes de navili o guardiamarina.

Història[modifica]

Recreació de l'aspecte d'un legionari romà amb pilum, lorica i escut (s. II).
Article principal: Història militar

El primer exèrcit professional estable fou l'exèrcit romà, que es va constituir a l'Antiga Roma; fins aquell moment, els exèrcits eren inestables, es formaven per a campanyes particulars, i no hi havia militars professionals, sinó persones reclutades voluntàriament o per força, que després del final de la campanya eren retingudes o eren deixades anar.

Unitats[modifica]

Article principal: Unitats militars

L'exèrcit s'articula operativament en una estructura jeràrquica d'unitats militars. Per exemple, hi ha unitats com els regiments que s'agrupen en brigades, i aquestes en divisions, i així successivament. Les unitats poden pertànyer a una arma, cos o servei, i així hi ha unitats d'infanteria, d'artilleria, de sanitat, etc.; també hi ha unitats que combinen diverses armes.

Cada unitat, almenys d'una certa envergadura (per exemple, de regiment en amunt), compta amb emblema propi; generalment els membres de la unitat duen aquest emblema a la part superior del braç.

Tecnologia[modifica]

Punta de fletxa de bronze, segle IV aC, trobada a Olint (Grècia).

As with any occupation, since the ancient times, the military has been distinguished from other members of the society by their tools, the military weapons, and military equipment used in combat. When Stone Age humans first took a sliver of flint to tip the spear, it was the first example of applying technology to improve the weapon.

Since then, the advances made by human societies, and that of weapons, has been irretrievably linked. Stone weapons gave way to Bronze Age weapons, and later, the Iron Age weapons. With each technological change, was realised some tangible increase in military capability, such as through greater effectiveness of a sharper edge in defeating leather armour, or improved density of materials used in manufacture of weapons.

On land, the first really significant technological advance in warfare was the development of the ranged weapons, and notably, the sling. The next significant advance came with the domestication of the horses and mastering of equestrianism.

Recreació d'un cavaller amb armadura completa. La cavallaria va dominar el camp de batalla fins al desenvolupament de les armes de foc.

Arguably, the greatest invention that affected not just the military, but all society, after adoption of fire, was the wheel, and its use in the construction of the chariot. There were no advances in military technology, until, from the mechanical arm action of a slinger, the Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Persians, Chinese, etc., development the siege engines. The bow was manufactured in increasingly larger and more powerful versions, to increase both the weapon range, and armour penetration performance. These developed into the powerful composite and recurve bows, and crossbows of Ancient China. These proved particularly useful during the rise of cavalry, as horsemen encased in ever-more sophisticated armour came to dominate the battlefield.

Somewhat earlier, in medieval China, gunpowder had been invented, and was increasingly used by the military in combat. The use of gunpowder in the early vase-like mortars in Europe, and advanced versions of the long bow and cross bow, which all had armour-piercing arrowheads, that put an end to the dominance of the armoured knight. After the long bow, which required great skill and strength to use, the next most significant technological advance was the musket, which could be used effectively, with little training. In time, the successors to muskets and cannon, in the form of rifles and artillery, would become core battlefield technology.

As the speed of technological advances accelerated in civilian applications, so too warfare became more industralised. The newly invented machine gun and repeating rifle redefined firepower on the battlefield, and, in part, explains the high casualty rates of the American Civil War. The next breakthrough was the conversion of artillery parks from the muzzle loading guns, to the quicker loading breech loading guns with recoiling barrel that allowed quicker aimed fire and use of a shield. The widespread introduction of low smoke (smokeless) propellant powders since the 1880s also allowed for a great improvement of artillery ranges.

The development of breech loading had the greatest effect on naval warfare, for the first time since the Middle Ages, altering the way weapons are mounted on warships, and therefore naval tactics, now divorced from the reliance on sails with the invention of the internal combustion. A further advance in military naval technology was the design of the submarine, and its weapon, the torpedo.

Main battle tanks, and other heavy equipment such as armoured fighting vehicles, military aircraft, and ships, are characteristic to organised military forces.

During World War I, the need to break the deadlock of trench warfare saw the rapid development of many new technologies, particularly tanks. Military aviation was extensively used, and bombers became decisive in many battles of World War II, which marked the most frantic period of weapons development in history. Many new designs, and concepts were used in combat, and all existing technologies of warfare were improved between 1939 and 1945.

During the war, significant advances were made in military communications through increased use of radio, military intelligence through use of the radar, and in military medicine through use of penicillin, while in the air, the guided missile, jet aircraft, and helicopters were seen for the first time. Perhaps the most infamous of all military technologies was the creation of the atomic bomb, although the exact effects of its radiation were unknown until the early 1950s. Far greater use of military vehicles had finally eliminated the cavalry from the military force structure.

Míssil aire-aire AIM-7 Sparrow disparat per un avió de combat F-15 Eagle.

After World War II, with the onset of the Cold War, the constant technological development of new weapons was institutionalised, as participants engaged in a constant 'arms race' in capability development. This constant state of weapons development continues into the present, and remains a constant drain on national resources, which some blame on the military-industrial complex.

The most significant technological developments that influenced combat have been the guided missiles, which can be used by all branches of the armed services. More recently, information technology, and its use in surveillance, including space-based reconnaissance systems, have played an increasing role in military operations.

The impact of information warfare that focuses on attacking command communication systems, and military databases, has been coupled with the new development in military technology, has been the use of robotic systems in intelligence combat, both in hardware and software applications.

Recently, there has also been a particular focus towards the use of renewable fuels for running military vehicles on. Unlike fossil fuels, renewable fuels can be produced in any country, creating a strategic advantage. The US military has already committed itself to have 50% of its energy consumption come from alternative sources.[7]

Ciència[modifica]

Because most of the concepts and methods used by the military, and many of its systems are not found in commercial branches, much of the material is researched, designed, developed, and offered for inclusion in arsenals by military science organisations within the overall structure of the military. Military scientists are therefore found to interact with all Arms and Services of the armed forces, and at all levels of the military hierarchy of command.

Although concerned with research into military psychology, and particularly combat stress, and how it affect troop morale, often the bulk of military science activities is directed at military intelligence technology, military communications, and improving military capability through research. The design, development, and prototyping of weapons, military support equipment, and military technology in general, is also an area in which lots of effort is invested – it includes everything from global communication networks and aircraft carriers to paint and food.

Economia[modifica]

Article principal: Despesa militar
Mapa de països per despesa militar en percentatge del PIB, 2015.[8]
Mapa de països per despesa militar en dòlars, 2014.

Defense economics is the financial and monetary efforts made to resource and sustain militaries, and to finance military operations, including war.

The process of allocating resources is conducted by determining a military budget, which is administered by a military finance organisation within the military. Military procurement is then authorised to purchase or contract provision of goods and services to the military, whether in peacetime at a permanent base, or in a combat zone from local population.

Logística[modifica]

Article principal: Logística militar
The Kawasaki C-1 is a tactical military transport of the Japan Air Self-Defence Force

Possessing military capability is not sufficient if this capability cannot be deployed for, and employed in combat operations. To achieve this, military logistics are used for the logistics management and logistics planning of the forces military supply chain management, the consumables, and capital equipment of the troops.

Although mostly concerned with the military transport, as a means of delivery using different modes of transport; from military trucks, to container ships operating from permanent military base, it also involves creating field supply dumps at the rear of the combat zone, and even forward supply points in specific unit's Tactical Area of Responsibility.

These supply points are also used to provide military engineering services, such as the recovery of defective and derelict vehicles and weapons, maintenance of weapons in the field, the repair and field modification of weapons and equipment; and in peacetime, the life-extension programmes undertaken to allow continued use of equipment. One of the most important role of logistics is the supply of munitions as a primary type of consumable, their storage, and disposal.

Operacions[modifica]

Articles principals: Estratègia militar i Tàctica militar

While capability development is about enabling the military to perform its functions and roles in executing the defence policy, how personnel and their equipment are used in engaging the enemy, winning battles, successfully concluding campaigns, and eventually the war – is the responsibility of military operations. Military operations oversees the policy interpretation into military plans, allocation of capability to specific strategic, operational and tactical goals and objectives, change in posture of the armed forces, the interaction of Combat Arms, Combat Support Arms, and Combat Support Services during combat operations, defining of military missions and tasks during the conduct of combat, management of military prisoners and military civil affairs, and the military occupation of enemy territory, seizure of captured equipment, and maintenance of civil order in the territory under its responsibility. Throughout the combat operations process, and during the lulls in combat, combat military intelligence provides reporting on the status of plan completion, and its correlation with desired, expected and achieved satisfaction of policy fulfilment.

Estats sense exèrcit[modifica]

Per diferents raons, alguns estats manquen d'exèrcit permanent, i es limiten a tenir una força de policia amb armes lleugeres que, en cas necessari, pot augmentar-se amb armes pesants. Un d'aquests estats és Costa Rica, que per evitar els intents colpistes que han caracteritzat l'istme centreamericà el va abolir totalment el 1948. A Haití, els tres exèrcits han estat desmobilitzats, encara que constitucionalment, i sobre el paper, encara existeixen. Al contrari del que sovint es pensa, Suïssa sí que té un exèrcit permanent.

Crítiques[modifica]

Massacre de civils iranians per part de tropes iraquianes a l'inici de la guerra Iran-Iraq
Els militars estatunidencs Charles Graner i Sabrina Harman amb presos maltractats durant l'escàndol d'Abu-Ghraib

En alguns països, com Alemanya o els Estats Units, els exèrcits tenen un gran reconeixement popular,[9] però també són àmpliament criticats per moviments pacifistes, que consideren que els exèrcits promouen l'assassinat de persones, i que la guerra i la destruccions són moralment reprobables. Els moviments pacifistes busquen substituir les forces armades per les accions diplomàtiques a l'hora de resoldre conflictes.

A causa del rearmament creixent (especialment durant la cursa armamentista que es donà a la Guerra Freda), es creu que el desenvolupament tècnic militar ha traspassat una frontera, que consisteix en el fet que una guerra entre dues superpotències portaria, de fet, a una guerra mundial, ja que el poder de les armes de destrucció massiva és immens. És per això que alguns països han signat tractats multilaterals com el Tractat de No Proliferació Nuclear o acords de desarmament com el START I, el Tractat INF o el Tractat de las Forces Armades Convencionals en Europa, amb l'objectiu de mitigar parcialment aquesta amenaça. Altres tractats remarcables són el Tractat d'Ottawa, la Convenció sobre Armes Químiques o el Tractat sobre Míssils Antibalístics.

A nivell internacional, les forces armades estan subjectes a acords internacionals que busquen regular i prevenir els conflictes armats. Hom pot destacar les Conferències de La Haia de 1899 i 1907 i les Convencions de Ginebra. Segons l'article 2 (4) de la Carta de les Nacions Unides, existeix una prohibició general de l'ús de la força que només té com a excepció la defensa legítima d'una resolució del Consell de Seguretat de les Nacions Unides.

Vegeu també[modifica]

Portal

Portal: Història Militar de Catalunya

Referències[modifica]

  1. «Exèrcit». L'Enciclopèdia.cat. Barcelona: Grup Enciclopèdia Catalana.
  2. Oxford English Dictionary (2nd edition) Oxford: 1994
  3. Harper, Douglas. «military». Online Etymology Dictionary.
  4. Tucker, T.G. (1985) Etymological dictionary of Latin, Ares publishers Inc., Chicago. p. 156
  5. Oxford dictionary
  6. «Merriam Webster Dictionary online». [Consulta: 1r agost 2011].
  7. Craig Hooper. «Ray Mabus greening the military». [Consulta: 22 maig 2012].
  8. 2015 data from: «Military expenditure (% of GDP). Stockholm International Peace Research Institute ( SIPRI ), Yearbook: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security.». [Consulta: 4 maig 2017].
  9. Meyer, Simone «Bundeswehr: Das widersprüchliche Image deutscher Soldaten». Die Welt, 01-11-2013.

Enllaços externs[modifica]

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