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Germany wants to encourage military service, without forcing

Germany wants to encourage young people & to carry out their military service, by establishing a compulsory census of potential recruits, with the objective of strengthening national defense in the face of growing threats since the invasion of Ukraine, announced Wednesday the Minister of Defense.

On their 18th birthday, the young people will be contacted by the German army, the Bundeswehr.

“They will receive a questionnaire which they will be obliged to complete if they are young men – so there will be a corresponding legal obligation,” Minister Boris Pistorius explained to the press. For women, the response will be optional.

He presented on Wednesday his highly anticipated concept for a “new military service” in a country where the means to strengthen the Bundeswehr, in lack of men and resources, is one of the most debated subjects of the moment.

“We do not want to go back” on the old service compulsory military suspended in 2011, assured Mr. Pistorius.

He wishes, on the other hand, thanks to this future census, to “increase year after year” the number of new recruits in the army.

The idea of ​​the questionnaire is both to arouse the interest of young people and, for the army, to select the most suitable or the most motivated and to invite them for an interview.

“We are counting on a sufficient number of voluntary responses for a sampling and, after the sampling, we will have a precise idea of ​​the young men and young women who are particularly motivated to commit to our country,” added the Social Democratic Minister. .

He hopes that this “new model” will attract 5,000 additional young soldiers per year.

The young people who had completed their service would then join the ranks of the reservists. The long-term goal is to increase the strength of the Bundeswehr to 460,000 soldiers – around 200,000 permanent active in the army, the rest in reserve.

Despite a campaign recruitment, the number of active military personnel fell to 181,500 last year.

Boris Pistorius, currently the most popular political figure in Germany, has been insisting for months on the need to make the army “fit for war” to ensure the defense of the country and play its role in NATO.

After cutting off funding since the Cold War, Germany has been investing massively to bring it up to speed for two years, but the minister is demanding more resources.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz and with him the majority of the SPD (social democrats) and the Greens, allies within the government coalition, have so far pleaded for voluntary action total.

The conservatives, in opposition, are in favor of a reintroduction of compulsory service, also including young women, with the possibility of performing a service of general interest.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116