Conscription in today's world

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

Conscription, also called a draft, is a system of compulsory national service, usually in the military. Some kind of draft has been set in most countries in the history, but nowadays it's lost its popularity. There are many variations of a draft. The most common are the conscription for all males, or a small selected part of a certain age group. The latter one is used in for example Mexico, Sweden, Russia and Thailand. The former takes place in countries like Greece, Cuba, Finland and Switzerland. Israel is currently the only country that requires females to sign up for the draft as well. Most countries in the world however, rely on paid professional armed forces for defense.

It's hard to say wheter a draft is a good thing, or useless, as it works for some countries, and to some, it'd be a waste of money. The US, for example, is one of the largest military forces in the world. They are the main influences in Nato, but their current military relies on voluntarily service, as no one is drafted. Drafting all people, or even all males, in the US would be useless, because they don't really need that much people. Even training a large amount of people to keep in the reserves, wouldn't be smart, as the threat of a war on American soil is very unlike, as it's only bordered by Mexico and Canada. 

For Israel, their strong military has relied on conscription of most people for decades. It has been necessary for the small country, as it's located in the middle of Arabic countries that Israel sees as enemies. Of course the small country is backed up by the US, but its widely ranged draft is the basis for Israel's defense. 

The conscription in Finland is for males, but women can serve in all combat roles just like men. For Finland, conscription is vital as well, because the country is the only counrty in the EU bordering Russia, that's not in Nato. Finland was also different from the East Block countries, as it maintained its independence after the Second World War. It's been important to have good relationships with Russia, but also with the West. Finland isn't in Nato, but it works closely with other European countries, and Americans as well. There are literally American soldiers in Lapland training for arctic warfare, but somehow the politicians try to convince everyone Finland is a neutral country. 

Conscription for males had become an issue lately, especially in Finland. A few years ago when the war in Ukraine started, a lot of people were discussing the possibility of making women enlist, since the possibilty of Russia attacking Finland was increased. A lot of women feel to support the idea. The draft in Finland is usually seen as unequal, since only males have to serve. Funnily enough, it's the women who feel that way.

I personally would see draft for females too, as a great thing, even if it's not necessary right now. Military service is usually done after high school/vocational school, around the age of 18 or 19. It takes 6, 9 or 12 months and afterwards people are in the reserves until they're 50.  For many males, the time is a good break from studing, as some will go to university after, or try to find a job. It's good experience in teamwork and for many people, it's the first time you get out of your home and do something by yourself. A few decades ago, it was seen as a rite of passage of kind for men, but nowadays that's not as relevant. Each year more women enlist, and that's seen as a positive thing by most people. I personally only know a few officers who are ative duty, but they all support females in the military. My student councelor is also ver supportive of all the girls in our school that want to enlist, and he's tried to get me to do so as well. After all, it's good experince and it'll look god on your CV.


Submitted: March 18, 2019

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Red Hunter

Interesting read!

As for myself, I'm mostly in a minority out of the people I've discussed this issue with, but I can see no justification of a military draft on any moral or logical grounds. It's entirely immoral to force anyone to fight in conflicts or wars in which they would not otherwise voluntarily take part in. Even if it is to protect innocent people or nations, I can't, in good conscience, agree with the concept of forcing others to potentially lay down their lives entirely against their will.

Anyway, this was thought provoking and interesting to read!

Mon, March 18th, 2019 9:17pm


Thanks. I agree with you at some level, I personally don't think forcing someone to fight in a war is right. I think that's why most countries with a draft have a civil service option as well, which is good. Although, I think that at least in Finland, people tend to have a rather high sense of duty when it comes to defending our country, so most people are okay with the draft.

Mon, March 18th, 2019 2:44pm

Bert Broomberg

Good essay. In the Netherlands, we abolished conscription something like twenty years ago, but there is a growing number of people in favour of reintroducing it again. Not for strictly military reasons, but in order to teach young people the value of discipline again. I am against the draft, because I believe a professional army is more cost-effective and on an operational level it is probably more efficient as a fighting force, as our army is involved in those so-called peace keeping operations.

Tue, March 19th, 2019 7:02am


As an Ex serviceman I can say that the general consensus is that the military don't want a bunch of youths who don't want to be there, to waste their time trying to train them. plus today's budgets could not cope with conscription numbers.
It would all be a waste of time, money and resources.
Mind you saying that, I personally believe a lot of todays disrespectful and cocky youth could do with a good kick up the backside and have some military discipline instilled into them.

Tue, March 19th, 2019 8:53am


I agree, in most countries it would be a waste, especially if the kids don't want to be there. In some countries it works, as people mostly don't mind serving for some time.

Tue, March 19th, 2019 1:59am

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