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Defense or defence is protecting something from attack.
A country's government may form an army a navy and/or an air force to protect the country and its people from attacks. The army, navy, and air force can also be used to attack other countries. A country can also use the military to kill or arrest people, or members of groups, from other countries who have hurt or killed their own citizens.
In these groups, people are specially trained to use weapons such as rifles and artillery, that can be used to kill other soldiers and destroy their equipment. Together, these groups form a country's military. Some governments, like the United States' government, spend large amounts of money every year to buy and keep weapons and to pay people to defend their countries. These trained people are called soldiers.
A country's armed forces can also be used for non-military jobs, such as delivering food aid to hungry people, filling sandbags during a flood, bringing doctors and nurses to poor people in foreign countries to help them when they are sick, or helping put out forest fires.
Sometimes, when a country's army is doing a lot of work in different places, and there are not enough soldiers to do more work, a country can hire civilians who are not members of the military to do some of the army's jobs, like protecting buildings and important people and groups of trucks travelling from one place to another. This lets the country use their military for other jobs. Usually, they hire Veterans who used to be members of the military before leaving and working for other people, companies and countries.
In legal matters, the defense is the person or people who are charged with a crime in a court case, along with their lawyer. The arguments and evidence that they provide to prove they did not commit the crime is also called their defense.
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