Germans debate return of military conscription and service for men and women

Germany’s ruling CDU party has launched a debate on reinstating military conscription and offering young men and women a chance to serve their country in other ways. A recent poll shows Germans are in favor of the idea.

As the German military struggles to fill its ranks, representatives of Angela Merkel’s CDU party started a nationwide discussion on the return of mandatory military service.

The general conscription was scrapped in 2011 after Berlin decided to professionalize its troops. Prior to this decision, all young males were obligated to either serve in the nation’s military, the Bundeswehr, or perform an alternative service for a limited period of time in civilian areas such as emergency management or medical care.

Currently, the Bundeswehr consists only of career soldiers and long-term contract troopers, although the army still offers an option of short-term paid military service to young volunteers.

In a surprising move on Friday, however, the CDU Secretary General Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer pledged to “very intensively” discuss military service and mandatory conscription, according to the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

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