A paramilitary is an organization whose structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not part of a country's official or legitimate armed forces. Paramilitary units carry out duties that a country's military or police forces are unable or unwilling to handle. Other organizations may be considered paramilitaries by structure alone, despite being unarmed or lacking a combat role.
Though a paramilitary is, by definition, not a military, it is usually equivalent to a special forces or commando in terms of strength, firepower, and organizational structure. Paramilitaries use "military" equipment (such as long guns and armored personnel carriers; usually military surplus resources), skills (such as battlefield medicine and bomb disposal), and tactics (such as urban warfare and close-quarters combat) that are compatible with their purpose, often combining them with skills from other relevant