German army rejects return to conscription: report

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BERLIN, July 10 (Xinhua) — The German Armed Forces Association (DBwV) rejects the idea of reintroducing compulsory military service in the country, DBwV head Andre Wuestner told the Rheinische Post newspaper on Friday.

“The old conscription no longer fits the new demands on the troops,” said Wuestner, adding that today’s challenges could be met without compulsory military service, “in terms of professionalism, even better than with it.”

The requisite registration procedures, training structures as well as the infrastructure required for new barracks would cost billions of euros, Wuestner added, stressing that Germany currently does not have the capacities, money or time to do so.

Every other German citizen is in favor of reintroducing conscription, according to a survey published by public broadcaster ZDF on Friday. An even larger share, 77 percent, supports a one-year civilian service instead.

In the wake of reports on far-right activities in the German armed forces (Bundeswehr), Social Democratic Party (SPD) politician Eva Hoegl has triggered a debate about reintroducing the compulsory military service in the country.

It was a “big mistake” to abolish mandatory military service in 2011, Hoegl told the Funke Media Group. She said that the reported far-right tendencies in the Bundeswehr were partly attributable to this decision.

Minister of Defense Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has also rejected a return to conscription and announced a new voluntary service instead, which would be introduced in 2021 under the title “Your Year for Germany.” Young people would undergo basic military training for six months, followed by reserve services for another six months close to their registered address, according to Kramp-Karrenbauer.

Today, voluntary military service lasts between seven and 23 months in Germany.

Wuestner commented that although Germany had imprudently abolished conscription, “today it would be just as imprudent to jump back in spontaneously.” Enditem

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