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Is History Repeating? Germany Debates Return Of Compulsory Military Service

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The German military is currently grappling with a deficit of 21,000 soldiers.

Germany’s Defence Minister, Boris Pistorius, is considering bringing back mandatory military service for young people. This comes as Germany looks to increase the number of soldiers in its military, according to The Metro.

The German military is currently grappling with a deficit of 21,000 soldiers, a gap it needs to bridge to meet NATO defence plans. To address this, officials are deliberating over three potential solutions, with a decision expected to be announced by Pistorius as early as next month.

According to The Metro report, The first option on the table is a compulsory year of military service for all young adults upon turning 18. The second proposal involves mandatory enlistment forms and testing for all 18-year-old males, with a sufficient number of suitable candidates being enlisted to fill the recruitment gap. In this scenario, females would have the choice to opt-in.

The third and final option does not involve compulsory service. Instead, all school leavers would be sent an enlistment form, which they could choose to complete voluntarily. A decision on which option to implement is expected next month.

During a recent visit to the US, Mr Pistorius emphasised the need for some form of conscription in Germany. He believes it was a mistake to end military service, which used to require 18-year-old boys to serve for a year. His views are supported by the main opposition party, the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Concerns have heightened across Europe after Vladimir Putin announced putting nuclear forces on high alert, blaming the West for escalating conflicts.

The spokeswoman for Germany’s defence ministry said last week: “With the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the military invasion of Ukraine, Russia demonstrated its willingness to use force to change borders in Europe.”

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