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What is meant by a "period of military conflict"?

Answer: 

Period of military conflict means (1) a period of war declared by Congress, or (2) a period of national emergency declared by the Congress or the President, or (3) a period of contingency operation. A contingency operation is designated by the Secretary of Defense as an operation in which our military may become involved in military action, operations, or hostilities (e.g., peace keeping operations).
 

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