According to the “Euro News” network, the ongoing war in Ukraine has strengthened the process of reviewing military conscription policies in the “old continent”, as the Dutch Ministry of Defense announced the start of a study on the introduction of forced conscription in the Scandinavian style.
Earlier this month, the Latvian Ministry of Defense announced that men between the ages of 18 and 27 would have to complete eleven months of military service, while Poland, last March, introduced a new system of “paid voluntary public military service.”
And Romania, which has repeatedly refused to re-enlist, the Defense Ministry introduced a bill this month that would force citizens living abroad to return home within 15 days for conscription in case of emergency or war.
The danger of all-out war
Commenting on this, political analyst Andrew Boyfield said that the Russian military operation against Ukraine “is the first war between two regular armies in Europe since World War II, and the first real danger of a full-blown war on the continent, and this war has left strong effects on daily life. and the military thought of countries, especially those close to Russia.
Boyfield added to “Sky News Arabia”, that the Ukraine war “caused a great shock to the Europeans, who never imagined that the scourge of wars would reach their continent again, so they proceeded to protect themselves through all means, whether alliances, the purchase of weapons and the modernization of armies, but all of that needed to a human element, and then they had to think about returning to military service again, or at least gradually, and working to strengthen the spirit of belonging among citizens, as Ukraine is steadfast because of the people’s solidarity with the army and the government.”
He stressed that “better prepared than to fall into a sudden crisis, and that is why Finland, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Cyprus, Greece, Austria and Switzerland preferred to stick to military service and make the country in a state of complete readiness, especially since Russia has been raising problems for nearly two decades, starting with Georgia, then Crimea, and then Ukraine as a whole. “.
He pointed out that “Russia’s neighbors are in a big predicament, and they know that if Moscow succeeds in its goal in Ukraine, they will not be immune from the Red Army’s missiles and tanks, so there is something like an arms race and military readiness. Even major countries such as Germany announced the largest budget in its history to modernize its military forces, the world.” It became even more turbulent with the first missile launch against Ukraine.”
Military service for women
According to Euronews, Ukraine re-enlisted in 2014, which allowed it to assemble a large army of professionals and reservists in its current war with Russia.
In 2015, Lithuania partially reinstated conscription after it abolished it in 2008, and Norway became the first European country to impose compulsory military service for women, and two years later, Sweden reimposed the service, a move approved by France in 2019.
Earlier this month, Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks said that “the Latvian population must realize that in order to survive, we must simply increase the proportion of the population that has received military training and is ready to engage in combat. This would reduce the risk of Russia attacking Latvia as you wish.
And in Germany, where conscription was suspended in 2011, politicians from across the spectrum have proposed a return to service. Karsten Lenemann, deputy leader of the conservative Christian Democratic Union, now an opposition party, said reintroducing military service could “do real good” for society. Wolfgang Helmich, an MP for the Social Democrats, also called for an urgent debate on the file.
But other countries have insisted on their position against conscription, with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa ruling out the return of compulsory military service, and there does not appear to be much controversy in Spain, Italy and Belgium. A poll conducted by a European magazine this year found that 60 percent of respondents would not be willing to take up arms and fight for the country.
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