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The CDU Distkutiert the re-introduction of compulsory military service. How could it look – and what about the voluntary offspring? The most important questions and answers

Military duty: to be a soldier today is to be a specialist

The CDU Distkutiert the re-introduction of compulsory military service. How could it look – and what about the voluntary offspring? The most important questions and answers

Military duty:   to be a soldier today is to be a specialist
All questions at a glance:
  • Why is debate about conscription and alternatives now being discussed?
  • Lack of Bundeswehr soldiers?
  • How does Bundeswehr promote personnel and how much does it cost?
  • What would change with re-introduction of conscription?
  • Not only is compulsory military service discussed, but also a general duty for men and women to be served in social institutions. How useful would that be?
Why is debate about conscription and alternatives now being discussed?

Seven years ago, compulsory conscription for men was suspended, and civil service also fell away. CDU general Secretary Annegret Kramp-cart Builder has now initiated discussion as to wher a conscription or a universally obligatory service for men and women is sensible and should become part of CDU's principle programme. From her own party she received encouragement, but also sharp criticism. The background is that Bundeswehr from expert eye has a personnel problem.

Lack of Bundeswehr soldiers?

After abolition of conscription, 2011 not only fell to 37,000 basic military service, also number of professional and time soldiers has since decreased from good 180,000 to 170,000. Meanwhile, according to Bundeswehr, security situation in world has intensified and Germany must support more NATO missions. From a Bundeswehr paper from last year, it is clear that by 2023 Army will comprise 192,500 soldiers, of which 177,000 are professional soldiers and soldiers on time.

So re are about 7,000 new jobs to occupy, in addition to those that are freed by disposals. That is why Bundeswehr has already proclaimed "trend reversal personnel" in 2016 and since n has intensified its efforts to recruit young people in its personnel policy. A spokesperson for Ministry of Defense said time online that 2017 had come to every military body to be filled at Bundeswehr two candidates. Thus, on average, 16 people applied for a civilian job.

How does Bundeswehr promote personnel and how much does it cost?

The Bundeswehr competes with economy for best candidates. "In general, competition for young men and women is aggravated in times of shortage of skilled workers," says defense expert Christian Mölling of German Society for Foreign Policy. "This applies not only to Bundeswehr, but also to industry that is struggling for skilled workers."

In order to solve ir personnel problem, Bundeswehr must offer interested parties more than competing industry, says Mölling: such as extra benefits and perks in everyday life. Not only to recruit good candidates, but also to keep m. In addition: A soldier is not a worker like in a company, says expert. "Soldiers must reckon and be prepared to kill and be killed – that is nature of soldier's profession." That is why soldiers would have a position in Germany.

Jobplakate of Bundeswehr are now ubiquitous – at bus stops and advertising columns, on newspaper and online sites as well as on Facebook campaigns are visible. Like a company, it promotes staff wherever it suspects its target audience. In spring she even placed promotional teams in front of site of blogger Fair Re: Publica in Berlin, after she had not got a stand on site and soldiers were not wanted in uniform.

Last year, Bundeswehr participated in almost 1,900 fairs to promote interested parties. The access to Bundeswehr website is refore increasing – advertising video series also contributed to recruits. In 2017, Bundeswehr issued 35.2 million euros for new recruits, 1.1 million more than year before. The largest part (almost 28 million euros) of this went into advertising of personnel, for example in form of advertisements.

What would change with re-introduction of conscription?

From expert eye A conscription is at least no solution to personnel problem of Bundeswehr. "By conscription or a similar multi-month compulsory service, Bundeswehr cannot recruit specialists it needs," says Mölling. The Bundeswehr needs well-trained professionals: "To be a soldier today is to be a specialist." In addition, conscripts may not be readily available in foreign operations – but Bundeswehr is engaged in numerous international missions.

Even Bundeswehr itself does not deem conscription necessary in order to meet personnel requirements – it was said at least in a paper from year 2017. However, for current discussion, Defense Minister Ursula von Leyen (CDU) had to explain to her spokesman that she held debate on a general year of service "good and important".

Expert Mölling says that such a compulsory service must apply to all: "In interest of justice, all who are capable of such a service should actually be used, not just a part." Added to this is constitutional component: a forced service is an intervention in personal freedom. Mölling considers it "difficult to restrict this right" in order to optimise recruitment for an organisation like Bundeswehr – or even for or non-security reasons.

Not only is compulsory military service discussed, but also a general duty for men and women to be served in social institutions. How useful would that be?

Marian Wendt, CDU Bundestag member and president of Federal Association of Technical agency, sees in a general duty obligation a possibility to strengn cohesiveness of society. "With us, THW family, people of different social strata are working for our country," said Wendt time online.

The general manager of German Joint Welfare Association, Ulrich Schneider, described discussion as a "ghost debate". It was much more important to make federal voluntary service more attractive, demanded Schneider in Rheinische Post. Experts such as Mölling apply: A service of this kind is only useful if it lasts not only a few months. Because it takes time to acquire necessary skills.

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