Even though the military could find that its claim to be the ‘world’s oldest profession’ has been pre-empted by an altogether different type of occupation, it must surely rank as one of the most ancient of social institutions. Indeed, history attests to the fact that every nation, society or culture has possessed some form of institutionalised arrangement whereby resources may be mobilised for the purpose of perpetrating and resisting aggression. In earliest times, the military institution was clearly informal and, in the context of tribal living, it might have consisted of nothing more than a tacit understanding on the part of the members that they were required to take up arms should the interests of the tribe be threatened.


Armed Force Gross National Product Military Expenditure North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Military Institution 
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© David Whynes 1979

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  • David K. Whynes

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