Which Countries Still Use The Military Draft?

In March 2015, Lithuania reinstated compulsory military service in response to Russia’s threatening territorial ambitions This will give the Lithuanian army access to nearly 4,000 additional soldiers per year

For many countries, the draft is an invaluable resource to bolster a nation’s military during times of war So which countries around the world still use conscription? Well conscription, also called a draft, is when a country requires that young, physically and mentally healthy people must enlist in the national military Historically, most drafts only recruited men, however some countries, like Norway have recently introduced female conscription into the armed forces Any “Conscientious Objectors”, or people who refuse to fight on moral, religious, or political grounds, are commonly given roles away from combat lines Conscription is actually a very old concept, and there’s evidence that in ancient Egypt and ancient China a large number of soldiers were conscripted peasants

But in modern times, developed nations have seen a trend towards repealing draft laws, instead favoring voluntary armies Professional, volunteer armies are often more highly skilled and motivated compared to their drafted counterparts In 1973, the United States got rid of the draft, although young men must still register with the government in case conscription is ever reinstated Within the European Union, 7 members still retain some form of conscription These countries are not at war and there have been recent pushes to abolish the draft

However, many people continue to vote in favor of conscription because they feel it brings communities together and inspires nationalism The Swiss, for example, believe that the draft unites their diverse nation, which has 4 distinct languages and cultures Other countries keep the draft because they are continuously under the threat of war Countries like Russia, South Korea and Israel are regularly involved in violent conflicts with their neighbors Having a large army at their disposal is a necessity during an emergency

Israel in particular, due to its isolated position in hostile territory, has one of the longest conscription periods in the developed world Men and women are asked to serve for up to three years, and many see active service along the West Bank and other flashpoints While no country mandates indefinite conscription, countries like Eritrea and North Korea come close In North Korea, men and women are reportedly required to serve for 10 and 7 years, and sometimes longer Human rights watch groups claim that widespread repression and forced labor during conscription are common

But in most countries, the chances of conscripted citizens seeing combat are slim In Norway, although about 60,000 may be called in for preliminary screening, only 9,000 end up being drafted Also, in most places, men and women eligible for the draft are usually able to choose between community service work and national defense More than half of the world’s countries with active militaries do not maintain the draft Conscription as a practice was much more popular in early history, but as wars have changed, the draft has slowly lost its purpose

Still, for small countries like Lithuania, it’s best to have the strongest armed force possible in the face of Russian aggression Many countries use conscription to amplify their military strength To learn more about the most powerful militaries in the world, check out our video Thanks for tuning in folks, and don’t forget to like and subscribe before you go! We’ll see you next time on TestTube News

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