The Carabinieri (formally Arma dei carabinieri, "arm of carabineers" or "corps of carabiniers") is the national military police of Italy, policing both military and civilian populations. It was originally founded as the police force of the Kingdom of Sardinia. During the process of Italian unification, it was appointed the "First Force" of the new national military organization. Although the Carabinieri assisted in the suppression of opposition during the rule of Benito Mussolini, they were also responsible for his downfall and many units were disbanded by Nazi Germany, which resulted in large numbers of Carabinieri joining the Italian resistance movement. Since 2001, it has been one of the four Italian Armed Forces.