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Germany considers imposing conscription on all 18-year-olds as soon as next month as war fears grow

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Germany could announce plans to recruit teenagers as Europe braces for a potential conflict with Russia.

Leaked documents plans by the German government to conscript all young men and women as soon as they turn 18.


It comes after defence minister Boris Pistorius admitted the banning of Germany’s compulsory military service in 2011 was a “mistake.” The radical initiative could be made public as early as next month according to local news outlet Die Welt.

Meanwhile, Nato has been urged to bring back conscription amid fears about Russia’s threat to the West, with Latvian president Edgars Rinkevics stressing the need to ramp up spending to levels not seen since the end of the Cold War.

Defence minister Boris Pistorius said the banning of compulsory military service was a “mistake”

Reuters

The documents suggest there are three options for the policy. In the first, Germany would bring back a compulsory military year for young men once they turn 18, which was suspended in 2011, and apply it to women as well.

This option would mean the German constitution would need to be amended but is seen inside the defence ministry as most likely to receive societal approval.

Secondly, the policy would only apply to 18-year-old men, but would not see everyone selected. They would be required to fill in an online form and could then be chosen for service.

The third option would avoid compulsory service, focusing instead on “optimising” the current system by engaging in more proactive recruitment campaigns.

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\u200bForeign Minister Boris Pistorius on a visit to the US

Foreign Minister Boris Pistorius on a visit to the US

Reuters

It comes as German opposition parties have expressed enthusiasm for reintroducing conscription in some form.

At its party conference this week, the centre-Right Christian Democrats (CDU) reversed its stance by voting for a motion to support the “reintroduction of conscription in a step-by-step process.”

Pistorius has signalled an openness to working across party lines, saying he was “pleased that the CDU is on a similar path to the one I have been working on.”

German chancellor Olaf Scholz has previously voiced his opposition to the reintroduction of conscription, while ministers from junior coalition partners the Free Democrats and the Greens have also stated they would oppose it.

\u200bGerman chancellor Olaf Scholz

German chancellor Olaf Scholz has previously opposed conscription

Getty

Earlier this year, a for GB News found only 14 per cent of Britons aged 18 to 24 would willingly fight for the UK if conscripted for World War Three.

Generation Z were the most likely to say they would do anything possible to avoid fighting in the potential conflict.

Just 17 per cent of overall respondents would willingly fight for the UK, with men, Conservative voters and Brexit-backers topping the list at 27 per cent, 32 per cent and 31 per cent.

The overall figure is only slightly higher than the 14 per cent who would do so if forced but much lower than the 30 per cent who would avoid the potential global conflict altogether.

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