Conscription, sometimes called the draft, is the compulsory enlistment of people in a national service, most often a military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names. The modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s, where it became the basis of a very large and powerful military. Most European nations later copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years on active duty and then transfer to the reserve force.
Conscription is controversial for a range of reasons, including conscientious objection to military engagements on religious or philosophical grounds; political objection, for example to service for a disliked government or unpopular war; and ideological objection, for example, to a perceived violation of individual rights. Those conscripted may evade service, sometimes by leaving the country, and seeking asylum in another country. Some selection systems accommodate these attitudes by providing alternative service outside combat-operations roles or even outside the military, such as 'Siviilipalvelus' (alternative civil service) in Finland, Zivildienst (compulsory community service) in Austria and Switzerland. Many post-Soviet countries conscript male soldiers not only for armed forces but also for paramilitary organizations which are dedicated to police-like domestic only service (Internal Troops) or non-combat rescue duties (Civil defence troops) – none of which is considered alternative to the military conscription.
As of the early 21st century, many states no longer conscript soldiers, relying instead upon professional militaries with volunteers enlisted to meet the demand for troops. The ability to rely on such an arrangement, however, presupposes some degree of predictability with regard to both war-fighting requirements and the scope of hostilities. Many states that have abolished conscription therefore still reserve the power to resume it during wartime or times of crisis. States involved in wars or interstate rivalries are most likely to implement conscription, whereas democracies are less likely than autocracies to implement conscription. Former British colonies are less likely to have conscription, as they are influenced by British anticonscription norms that can be traced back to the English Civil War.
Around the reign of Hammurabi (1791–1750 BC), the Babylonian Empire used a system of conscription called Ilkum. Under that system those eligible were required to serve in the royal army in time of war. During times of peace they were instead required to provide labour for other activities of the state. In return for this service, people subject to it gained the right to hold land. It is possible that this right was not to hold land per se but specific land supplied by the state.
Various forms of avoiding military service are recorded. While it was outlawed by the Code of Hammurabi, the hiring of substitutes appears to have been practiced both before and after the creation of the code. Later records show that Ilkum commitments could become regularly traded. In other places, people simply left their towns to avoid their Ilkum service. Another option was to sell Ilkum lands and the commitments along with them. With the exception of a few exempted classes, this was forbidden by the Code of Hammurabi.
In medieval Scandinavia the leiðangr (Old Norse), leidang (Norwegian), leding, (Danish), ledung (Swedish), lichting (Dutch), expeditio (Latin) or sometimes leþing (Old English), was a levy of free farmers conscripted into coastal fleets for seasonal excursions and in defence of the realm.
The bulk of the Anglo-Saxon English army, called the fyrd, was composed of part-time English soldiers drawn from the freemen of each county. In the 690s Laws of Ine, three levels of fines are imposed on different social classes for neglecting military service. Some modern writers claim military service was restricted to the landowning minor nobility. These thegns were the land-holding aristocracy of the time and were required to serve with their own armour and weapons for a certain number of days each year. The historian David Sturdy has cautioned about regarding the fyrd as a precursor to a modern national army composed of all ranks of society, describing it as a "ridiculous fantasy":
The persistent old belief that peasants and small farmers gathered to form a national army or fyrd is a strange delusion dreamt up by antiquarians in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries to justify universal military conscription.
Medieval levy in Poland was known as the pospolite ruszenie.
The system of military slaves was widely used in the Middle East, beginning with the creation of the corps of Turkish slave-soldiers (ghulams or mamluks) by the Abbasid caliph al-Mu'tasim in the 820s and 830s. The Turkish troops soon came to dominate the government, establishing a pattern throughout the Islamic world of a ruling military class, often separated by ethnicity, culture and even religion by the mass of the population, a paradigm that found its apogee in the Mamluks of Egypt and the Janissary corps of the Ottoman Empire, institutions that survived until the early 19th century.
In the middle of the 14th century, Ottoman Sultan Murad I developed personal troops to be loyal to him, with a slave army called the Kapıkulu. The new force was built by taking Christian children from newly conquered lands, especially from the far areas of his empire, in a system known as the devşirme (translated "gathering" or "converting"). The captive children were forced to convert to Islam. The Sultans had the young boys trained over several years. Those who showed special promise in fighting skills were trained in advanced warrior skills, put into the sultan's personal service, and turned into the Janissaries, the elite branch of the Kapıkulu. A number of distinguished military commanders of the Ottomans, and most of the imperial administrators and upper-level officials of the Empire, such as Pargalı İbrahim Pasha and Sokollu Mehmet Paşa, were recruited in this way. By 1609, the Sultan's Kapıkulu forces increased to about 100,000.
In later years, Sultans turned to the Barbary Pirates to supply their Jannissaries corps. Their attacks on ships off the coast of Africa or in the Mediterranean, and subsequent capture of able-bodied men for ransom or sale provided some captives for the Sultan's system. Starting in the 17th century, Christian families living under the Ottoman rule began to submit their sons into the Kapikulu system willingly, as they saw this as a potentially invaluable career opportunity for their children. Eventually the Sultan turned to foreign volunteers from the warrior clans of Circassians in southern Russia to fill his Janissary armies. As a whole the system began to break down, the loyalty of the Jannissaries became increasingly suspect. Mahmud II forcibly disbanded the Janissary corps in 1826.
Similar to the Janissaries in origin and means of development were the Mamluks of Egypt in the Middle Ages. The Mamluks were usually captive non-Muslim Iranian and Turkish children who had been kidnapped or bought as slaves from the Barbary coasts. The Egyptians assimilated and trained the boys and young men to become Islamic soldiers who served the Muslim caliphs and the Ayyubid sultans during the Middle Ages. The first mamluks served the Abbasid caliphs in 9th-century Baghdad. Over time they became a powerful military caste. On more than one occasion, they seized power, for example, ruling Egypt from 1250 to 1517.
From 1250 Egypt had been ruled by the Bahri dynasty of Kipchak origin. Slaves from the Caucasus served in the army and formed an elite corp of troops. They eventually revolted in Egypt to form the Burgi dynasty. The Mamluks' excellent fighting abilities, massed Islamic armies, and overwhelming numbers succeeded in overcoming the Christian Crusader fortresses in the Holy Land. The Mamluks were the most successful defense against the Mongol Ilkhanate of Persia and Iraq from entering Egypt.
On the western coast of Africa, Berber Muslims captured non-Muslims to put to work as laborers. They generally converted the younger people to Islam and many became quite assimilated. In Morocco, the Berber looked south rather than north. The Moroccan Sultan Moulay Ismail, called "the Bloodthirsty" (1672–1727), employed a corps of 150,000 black slaves, called his Black Guard. He used them to coerce the country into submission.
Modern conscription, the massed military enlistment of national citizens, was devised during the French Revolution, to enable the Republic to defend itself from the attacks of European monarchies. Deputy Jean-Baptiste Jourdan gave its name to the 5 September 1798 Act, whose first article stated: "Any Frenchman is a soldier and owes himself to the defense of the nation." It enabled the creation of the Grande Armée, what Napoleon Bonaparte called "the nation in arms", which overwhelmed European professional armies that often numbered only into the low tens of thousands. More than 2.6 million men were inducted into the French military in this way between the years 1800 and 1813.
The defeat of the Prussian Army in particular shocked the Prussian establishment, which had believed it was invincible after the victories of Frederick the Great. The Prussians were used to relying on superior organization and tactical factors such as order of battle to focus superior troops against inferior ones. Given approximately equivalent forces, as was generally the case with professional armies, these factors showed considerable importance. However, they became considerably less important when the Prussian armies faced forces that outnumbered their own in some cases by more than ten to one. Scharnhorst advocated adopting the levée en masse, the military conscription used by France. The Krümpersystem was the beginning of short-term compulsory service in Prussia, as opposed to the long-term conscription previously used.
In the Russian Empire, the military service time "owed" by serfs was 25 years at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1834 it was decreased to 20 years. The recruits were to be not younger than 17 and not older than 35. In 1874 Russia introduced universal conscription in the modern pattern, an innovation only made possible by the abolition of serfdom in 1861. New military law decreed that all male Russian subjects, when they reached the age of 20, were eligible to serve in the military for six years.
In the decades prior to World War I universal conscription along broadly Prussian lines became the norm for European armies, and those modeled on them. By 1914 the only substantial armies still completely dependent on voluntary enlistment were those of Britain and the United States. Some colonial powers such as France reserved their conscript armies for home service while maintaining professional units for overseas duties.
The range of eligible ages for conscripting was expanded to meet national demand during the World Wars. In the United States, the Selective Service System drafted men for World War I initially in an age range from 21 to 30 but expanded its eligibility in 1918 to an age range of 18 to 45. In the case of a widespread mobilization of forces where service includes homefront defense, ages of conscripts may range much higher, with the oldest conscripts serving in roles requiring lesser mobility. Expanded-age conscription was common during the Second World War: in Britain, it was commonly known as "call-up" and extended to age 51. Nazi Germany termed it Volkssturm ("People's Storm") and included children as young as 16 and men as old as 60. During the Second World War, both Britain and the Soviet Union conscripted women. The United States was on the verge of drafting women into the Nurse Corps because it anticipated it would need the extra personnel for its planned invasion of Japan. However, the Japanese surrendered and the idea was abandoned.
Feminists have argued that military conscription is sexist because wars serve the interests of what they view as the patriarchy, the military is a sexist institution, conscripts are therefore indoctrinated in sexism, and conscription of men normalizes violence by men as socially acceptable. Feminists have been organizers and participants in resistance to conscription in several countries.
Historically, only men have been subjected to conscription. Men who opt out of military service must often perform alternative service, such as Zivildienst in Austria and Switzerland, whereas women do not have these obligations.
American libertarians oppose conscription and call for the abolition of the Selective Service System, believing that impressment of individuals into the armed forces is "involuntary servitude." Ron Paul, a former presidential nominee of the U.S. Libertarian Party has said that conscription "is wrongly associated with patriotism, when it really represents slavery and involuntary servitude." The philosopher Ayn Rand opposed conscription, suggesting that "of all the statist violations of individual rights in a mixed economy, the military draft is the worst. It is an abrogation of rights. It negates man's fundamental right—the right to life—and establishes the fundamental principle of statism: that a man's life belongs to the state, and the state may claim it by compelling him to sacrifice it in battle."
In 1917, a number of radicals and anarchists, including Emma Goldman, challenged the new draft law in federal court arguing that it was a direct violation of the Thirteenth Amendment's prohibition against slavery and involuntary servitude. However, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the constitutionality of the draft act in the case of Arver v. United States on 7 January 1918. The decision said the Constitution gave Congress the power to declare war and to raise and support armies. The Court emphasized the principle of the reciprocal rights and duties of citizens:
It can be argued that in a cost-to-benefit ratio, conscription during peacetime is not worthwhile. Months or years of service performed by the most fit and capable subtract from the productivity of the economy; add to this the cost of training them, and in some countries paying them. Compared to these extensive costs, some would argue there is very little benefit; if there ever was a war then conscription and basic training could be completed quickly, and in any case there is little threat of a war in most countries with conscription. In the United States, every male resident is required by law to register with the Selective Service System within 30 days following his 18th birthday and be available for a draft; this is often accomplished automatically by a motor vehicle department during licensing or by voter registration.
The cost of conscription can be related to the parable of the broken window in anti-draft arguments. The cost of the work, military service, does not disappear even if no salary is paid. The work effort of the conscripts is effectively wasted, as an unwilling workforce is extremely inefficient. The impact is especially severe in wartime, when civilian professionals are forced to fight as amateur soldiers. Not only is the work effort of the conscripts wasted and productivity lost, but professionally skilled conscripts are also difficult to replace in the civilian workforce. Every soldier conscripted in the army is taken away from his civilian work, and away from contributing to the economy which funds the military. This may be less a problem in an agrarian or pre-industrialized state where the level of education is generally low, and where a worker is easily replaced by another. However, this is potentially more costly in a post-industrial society where educational levels are high and where the workforce is sophisticated and a replacement for a conscripted specialist is difficult to find. Even direr economic consequences result if the professional conscripted as an amateur soldier is killed or maimed for life; his work effort and productivity are lost.
Jean Jacques Rousseau argued vehemently against professional armies, believing that it was the right and privilege of every citizen to participate to the defense of the whole society, and a mark of moral decline to leave this business to professionals. He based this belief upon the development of the Roman republic, which came to an end at the same time as the Roman army changed from a conscript to professional force. Similarly, Aristotle linked the division of armed service among the populace intimately with the political order of the state. Niccolò Machiavelli argued strongly for conscription, seeing the professional armies as the cause of the failure of societal unity in Italy.
Other proponents, such as William James, consider both mandatory military and national service as ways of instilling maturity in young adults. Some proponents, such as Jonathan Alter and Mickey Kaus, support a draft in order to reinforce social equality, create social consciousness, break down class divisions and for young adults to immerse themselves in public enterprise. Charles Rangel called for the reinstatement of the draft during the Iraq war, not because he seriously expected it to be adopted, but to stress how the socioeconomic restratification meant that very few children of upper-class Americans served in the all-volunteer American armed forces.
It is estimated by the British military that in a professional military, a company deployed for active duty in peacekeeping corresponds to three inactive companies at home. Salaries for each are paid from the military budget. In contrast, volunteers from a trained reserve are in their civilian jobs when they are not deployed.
It was more financially beneficial for less-educated young Portuguese men born in 1967 to participate in conscription, as opposed to participating in the highly competitive job market with men of the same age who continued through to higher education.
Traditionally conscription has been limited to the male population of a given body. Women and disabled men have been exempt from conscription. Many societies have considered, and continue to consider, military service as a test of manhood and a rite of passage from boyhood into manhood.
As of 2013, countries that were actively drafting women into military service included Bolivia, Chad, Eritrea, Israel, Mozambique and North Korea. Israel has universal female conscription, although in practice women can avoid service by claiming a religious exemption and over a third of Israeli women do so. Sudanese law allows for conscription of women, but this is not implemented in practice. In the United Kingdom during World War II, beginning in 1941, women were brought into the scope of conscription but, as all women with dependent children were exempt and many women were informally left in occupations such as nursing or teaching, the number conscripted was relatively few.
After a law passed in March 2003, Tunisia became the first Arab country to universally conscript women.
In 2015 Norway introduced female conscription, making it the first NATO member and first European country to have a legally compulsory national service for both men and women. In practice only motivated volunteers are selected to join the army in Norway.
In the USSR, there was no systematic conscription of women for the armed forces, but the severe disruption of normal life and the high proportion of civilians affected by World War II after the German invasion attracted many volunteers for what was termed "The Great Patriotic War". Medical doctors of both sexes could and would be conscripted (as officers). Also, the Soviet university education system required Department of Chemistry students of both sexes to complete an ROTC course in NBC defense, and such female reservist officers could be conscripted in times of war. The United States came close to drafting women into the Nurse Corps in preparation for a planned invasion of Japan.
In 1981 in the United States, several men filed lawsuit in the case Rostker v. Goldberg, alleging that the Selective Service Act of 1948 violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment by requiring that only men register with the Selective Service System (SSS). The Supreme Court eventually upheld the Act, stating that "the argument for registering women was based on considerations of equity, but Congress was entitled, in the exercise of its constitutional powers, to focus on the question of military need, rather than 'equity.'"
On October 1, 1999 in Taiwan, the Judicial Yuan of the Republic of China in its Interpretation 490 considered that the physical differences between males and females and the derived role differentiation in their respective social functions and lives would not make drafting only males a violation of the Constitution of the Republic of China. Though women are not conscripted in Taiwan, transsexual persons are exempt.
A conscientious objector is an individual whose personal beliefs are incompatible with military service, or, more often, with any role in the armed forces. In some countries, conscientious objectors have special legal status, which augments their conscription duties. For example, Sweden used to allow (and once again, with the re-introduction of conscription, allows) conscientious objectors to choose a service in the "weapons-free" branch, such as an airport fireman, nurse, or telecommunications technician.
The reasons for refusing to serve in the military are varied. Some people are conscientious objectors for religious reasons. In particular, the members of the historic peace churches are pacifist by doctrine, and Jehovah's Witnesses, while not strictly pacifists, refuse to participate in the armed forces on the ground that they believe that Christians should be neutral in international conflicts.
|Country||Conscription||Conscription gender||Land area (km2)||GDP nominal (US$M)||Per capita
|Afghanistan||No (abolished in 1992)||N/A||652,864||$572||$1,888||34,656,032||Islamic Republic|
|Albania||No (abolished in 2010)||N/A||27,398||$12,380||$3,745.86||3,010,000||Republic|
|Argentina||No. Voluntary; conscription may be ordered for specified reasons; per Public Law No.24.429 promulgated on 5 January 1995||N/A||2,736,690||$468,800||$8,662.99||42,610,000||Presidential Federal Republic|
|Australia||No (abolished by parliament in 1972)||N/A||7,617,930||$1,520,000||$55,290.43||22,260,000||Parliamentary Federal Monarchy|
|Austria||Yes (alternative service available)||Male||82,444||$417,900||$43,660.31||8,220,000||Parliamentary Federal Republic|
|Bangladesh||No (But can volunteer at Bangladesh Ansar)||N/A||147,610||$121,300||$1,524||163,650,000||Republic|
|Belgium||No (Conscription was abolished as of 1 January 1994 under the so-called Delcroix Bill of 6 July 1993)||N/A||30,278||$477,400||$42,338.25||10,440,000||Parliamentary Federal Monarchy|
|Bolivia||Yes (when annual number of volunteers falls short of goal)||Male and Female||1,084,390||$26,860||$1,888.43||10,460,000||Presidential Republic|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||No (abolished on January 1, 2006)||N/A||51,197||$17,090||$4,243.45||3,880,000||Federal Republic|
|Brazil||Yes, but all the recruits have been volunteers in recent years. (alternative service is foreseen in law, but it is not implemented)||Male||8,456,510||$2,220,000||$10,368.31||201,010,000||Presidential Federal Republic|
|Bulgaria||No (abolished by law on January 1, 2008)||N/A||110,550||$50,330||$5,951.46||6,980,000||Republic|
|Canada||No (Occurred during 1917-1918 and 1944-1945)||N/A||9,093,507||$1,800,000||$45,829.42||34,570,000||Parliamentary Federal Monarchy|
|China||No (Citizens 18 years of age are required to register in PLA offices, but policy not enforced. Policy exempted in Hong Kong and Macao)||N/A||9,326,410||$15,722,500||$11,150.67||1,410,000,000||Communist state|
|Croatia||No (abolished by law in 2008)||N/A||56,414||$55,710||$13,563.31||4,480,000||Republic|
|Conscription in Cyprus||Yes (alternative service available)||Male||9,240||$19,320||$22,957.40||1,165,000||Presidential Republic|
|Czech Republic||No (abolished in 2005)||N/A||77,276||$193,000||$18,555.50||10,160,000||Republic|
|Conscription in Denmark||Yes by law, however a great majority of the recruits have been volunteers over the past few years According to Jyllands Posten, conscription has ended in practice. (alternative service available)||Male||42,394||$310,600||$56,221.67||5,560,000||Parliamentary Monarchy|
|Ecuador||No (suspended in 2008)||N/A||276,840||$82,900||$3,766.40||15,440,000||Presidential Republic|
|El Salvador||No. Legal, not practiced.||N/A||20,720||$23,540||$3,505.84||6,110,000||Presidential Republic|
|Estonia||Yes (alternative service available)||Male||45,339||$22,100||$14,028.17||1,270,000||Republic|
|Finland||Yes (alternative service available)||Male||304,473||$244,300||$44,375.23||5,270,000||Republic|
|France||No (suspended for peacetime in 2001)||N/A||640,053||$2,580,000||$39,288.81||65,950,000||Presidential Republic|
|Germany||No (suspended for peacetime by federal legislature effective from 1 July 2011)||N/A||349,223||$3,380,000||$40,427.05||81,150,000||Federal Republic|
|Greece||Yes (alternative service available)||Male||130,800||$245,800||$26,707.93||10,770,000||Republic|
|Grenada||No (no military service)||N/A||344||$779||$6,161.81||109,590||Parliamentary Monarchy|
|Hungary||No (Peacetime conscription abolished in 2004)||N/A||92,340||$124,000||$13,229.97||9,940,000||Republic|
|Iraq||No (abolished in 2003)||N/A||437,072||$6,116||$17,952||38,270,000||Republic|
|Israel||Yes||Male and female||20,330||$254,000||$26,404.85||7,710,900||Republic|
|Italy||No (suspended for peacetime in 2005)||N/A||294,020||$1,990,000||$33,678.67||61,480,000||Republic|
|Japan||No. Japanese Constitution abolished conscription. Enlistment in Japan Self-Defense Force is voluntary at 18 years of age.||N/A||377,944||$4,580,000||$42,298.79||127,250,000||Parliamentary Democracy, Constitutional Monarchy|
|Jordan||Yes. The government decided in 2007 to reintroduce conscription, which had been suspended in 1999.
|North Korea||Yes||Male and female||120,538||$28,000||$1,800.00||24,851,627||Single-party Republic|
|South Korea||Yes. The military service law was established in 1948.||Male||98,190||$1,670,000||$34,961.55||48,960,000||Presidential Democracy, Republic with Unitary form of government|
|Kuwait||Yes||Male||17,820||$182,000||$39,210.05||2,700,000||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|Lebanon||No (abolished in 2007)||N/A||10,230||$40,780||$9,018.47||4,130,000||Republic|
|Malaysia||No, (Malaysian National Service) suspended from January 2015 due to government budget cuts||N/A||328,550||$300,600||$7,745.13||29,630,000||Federal Monarchy|
|Republic of Moldova||Yes||Male||33,371||$7,150||$1,503.90||3,620,000||Republic|
|Morocco||Yes (reintroduced in 2018)||Male and female||446,300||$109,300||$3,185.28||34,314,130||Monarchy|
|Netherlands||No. Suspended since 1997 (except for Curaçao and Aruba)||N/A||33,883||$760,400||$46,360.62||17,283,008||Parliamentary Monarchy|
|New Zealand||No, conscription abolished in December 1972.||N/A||268,021||$167,500||$31,594.85||4,370,000||Parliamentary Monarchy|
|North Macedonia||No (abolished in 2006)||N/A||25,713||$9,500||$3,646.55||2,090,000||Republic|
|Norway||Yes by law, but in practice people are not forced to serve against their will. Also total objectors have not been punished since 2011, instead they are simply exempted from the service.||Male and female||307,442||$492,900||$84,573.26||4,720,000||Parliamentary Monarchy|
|Poland||No (ended in 2009), but all men aged 18 are must take part in obligatory military qualification to validate ability in case of wartime or molibization.||N/A||312,759||$483,200||$12,308.92||38,380,000||Republic|
|Portugal||No (Peacetime conscription abolished in 2004 but there remains a symbolic military obligation to all 18-year-old people, from both sexes. It is called National Defense Day, (Dia da Defesa Nacional in Portuguese)).||N/A (symbolic obligation is for both male and female)||91,951||$209,600||$21,029.96||10,800,000||Republic|
|Romania||No (ended in 2007)||N/A||230,340||$167,100||$7,388.75||21,790,000||Presidential Republic|
|Russia||Yes||Male||16,995,800||$1,366,000||$16,372.99||142,500,000||Presidential Federal Republic|
|South Africa||No (ended in 1994, formalized in 2002)||N/A||1,219,912||$379,100||$7,089.23||48,600,000||Republic|
|Spain||No (abolished by law on December 31, 2001)||N/A||499,542||$1,310,000||$29,845.26||47,370,000||Parliamentary Monarchy|
|Sweden||Yes (alternative service available)||Male and female||410,934||$516,700||$47,408.19||10,031,231||Parliamentary Monarchy|
|Switzerland||Yes (Alternative service available)||Male||39,770||$522,400||$66,408.19||7,639,961||Federal Republic|
|Taiwan||Yes (alternative service available)
According to the Defence Minister, from 2018 there will be no compulsory enlistment for military service.
|Thailand||Yes||Male||511,770||$455,221||$6,593.72||67,450,000||Military Junta endorsed by Monarchy|
|Trinidad and Tobago||No||N/A||5,128||$25,400||$15,962.71||1,227,505||Republic|
|Tunisia||Yes||Male and Female||163,610||$40,260||$3,490.83||11,703,220||Republic|
|Turkey||Yes (Paid military exemption has also been introduced five times since 1980 for various reasons with the last one announced in July 2018.)||Male||770,760||$777,600||$19,556.00||80,690,000||Republic|
|United Arab Emirates||Yes (Implemented in 2014, compulsory for male citizens aged 18–30)||Male||83,600||$269,800||$29,900||5,628,805||Constitutional monarchy|
|United Kingdom||No (abolished December 31, 1960, except Bermuda Regiment)||N/A||241,590||$2,440,000||$36,276.82||63,180,000||Parliamentary Monarchy|
|United States||No – the draft was abandoned in 1973. However, men are currently still legally required to register with the Selective Service System within 30 days of their 18th birthday.||N/A||9,161,923||$16,820,000||$51,264.02||302,670,000||Presidential Democracy, Federal Republic|
|Venezuela||Yes||Male and female||882,050||$376,100||$9,084.09||28,460,000||Presidential Federal Republic|
Universal conscription in China dates back to the State of Qin, which eventually became the Qin Empire of 221 BC. Following unification, historical records show that a total of 300,000 conscript soldiers and 500,000 conscript labourers constructed the Great Wall of China.
In the following dynasties, universal conscription was abolished and reintroduced on numerous occasions.
As of 2011, universal military conscription is theoretically mandatory in the People's Republic of China, and reinforced by law. However, due to the large population of China and large pool of candidates available for recruitment, the People's Liberation Army has always had sufficient volunteers, so conscription has not been required in practice at all.
Every male citizen of the Republic of Austria up to the age of 35 can be drafted for a six-month long basic military training in the Bundesheer. For men refusing to undergo this training, a nine-month lasting community service is mandatory.
Belgium abolished the conscription in 1994. The last conscripts left active service in February 1995. To this day (2019), a strong minority of the Belgian citizens (especially in Flanders) supports the idea of reintroducing military conscription, for both men and women.
Bulgaria had mandatory military service for males above 18 until conscription was ended in 2008. Due to a shortfall in the army of some 5500 soldiers, parts of the current ruling coalition have expressed their support for the return of mandatory military service, most notably Krasimir Karakachanov. Opposition towards this idea from the main coalition partner, GERB, has seen a compromise, where instead of mandatory military service, Bulgaria could possibly introduce a voluntary military service by 2019 where young citizens can volunteer for a period of 6 to 9 months, and will receive a basic wage.
Military service in the Cypriot National Guard is mandatory for all male citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as any male non-citizens born of a parent of Greek Cypriot descent, lasting from the January 1 of the year in which they turn 18 years of age to December 31, of the year in which they turn 50. (Efthymiou, 2016). All male residents of Cyprus who are of military age (16 and over) are required to obtain an exit visa from the Ministry of Defense. Currently, military conscription in Cyprus lasts 14 months.
Conscription is known in Denmark since the Viking Age, where one man out of every 10 had to serve the king. Frederick IV of Denmark changed the law in 1710 to every 4th man. The men were chosen by the landowner and it was seen as a penalty.
Since 12 February 1849, every physically fit man must do military service. According to §81 in the Constitution of Denmark, which was promulgated in 1849:
Every male person able to carry arms shall be liable with his person to contribute to the defence of his country under such rules as are laid down by Statute. — Constitution of Denmark
The legislation about compulsory military service is articulated in the Danish Law of Conscription. National service takes 4–12 months. It is possible to postpone the duty when one is still in full-time education. Every male turning 18 will be drafted to the 'Day of Defence', where they will be introduced to the Danish military and their health will be tested. Physically unfit persons are not required to do military service. It is only compulsory for men, while women are free to choose to join the Danish army. Almost all of the men have been volunteers in recent years, 96.9% of the total number of recruits having been volunteers in the 2015 draft.
After lottery, one can become a conscientious objector. Total objection (refusal from alternative civilian service) results in up to 4 months jailtime according to the law. However, in 2014 a Danish man, who signed up for the service and objected later, got only 14 days of home arrest. In many countries the act of desertion (objection after signing up) is punished harder than objecting the compulsory service.
Conscription in Finland is part of a general compulsion for national military service for all adult males (Finnish: maanpuolustusvelvollisuus; Swedish: totalförsvarsplikt) defined in the 127§ of the Constitution of Finland.
Conscription can take the form of military or of civilian service. According to Finnish Defence Forces 2011 data slightly under 80% of Finnish males turned 30 had entered and finished the military service. The number of female volunteers to annually enter armed service had stabilised at approximately 300. The service period is 165, 255 or 347 days for the rank and file conscripts and 347 days for conscripts trained as NCOs or reserve officers. The length of civilian service is always twelve months. Those electing to serve unarmed in duties where unarmed service is possible serve either nine or twelve months, depending on their training.
Any Finnish male citizen who refuses to perform both military and civilian service faces a penalty of 173 days in prison, minus any served days. Such sentences are usually served fully in prison, with no parole. Jehovah's Witnesses are exempted in that they may be granted a deferment of service for 3 years upon presentation of a certificate from their congregation's minister showing they are an active member of that religious community. Providing they are still an active member 3 years later, there is nothing to stop them getting a further certificate and deferment. The inhabitants of the demilitarized Åland Islands are exempt from military service. By the Conscription Act of 1951, they are, however, required to serve a time at a local institution, like the coast guard. However, until such service has been arranged, they are freed from service obligation. The non-military service of Åland islands has not been arranged since the introduction of the act, and there are no plans to institute it. The inhabitants of Åland islands can also volunteer for military service on the mainland. As of 1995, women are permitted to serve on a voluntary basis and pursue careers in the military after their initial voluntary military service.
The military service takes place in Finnish Defence Forces or in the Finnish Border Guard. All services of the Finnish Defence Forces train conscripts. However, the Border Guard trains conscripts only in land-based units, not in coast guard detachments or in the Border Guard Air Wing. Civilian service may take place in the Civilian Service Center in Lapinjärvi or in an accepted non-profit organization of educational, social or medical nature.
Between 1956 and 2011 conscription for was mandatory for all male citizens in the German federal armed forces (German: Bundeswehr), as well as for the Federal Border Guard (German: Bundesgrenzschutz ) in the 1970s. With the end of the Cold War the government drastically reduced the size of its armed forces. The low demand for conscripts led to the suspension of compulsory conscription in 2011. Since then only volunteer professionals serve in the Bundeswehr.
Since 1914, Greece has had a period of mandatory military service lasting 9 months for men between the ages of 16 and 45. Citizens discharged from active service are normally placed in the reserve and are subject to periodic recalls of 1–10 days at irregular intervals.
Universal conscription was introduced in Greece during the military reforms of 1909, although various forms of selective conscription had been in place earlier. In more recent years, conscription was associated with the state of general mobilisation declared on July 20, 1974 due to the crisis in Cyprus (the mobilisation was formally ended on December 18, 2002).
The period of time that a conscript is required to serve has varied historically, between 12–36 months depending on various factors particular to the conscript, and the political situation. Although women are employed by the Greek army as officers and petty officers, they are not required to enlist, as men are. Soldiers receive no health insurance, but they are provided medical support during their army service, including hospitalization costs.
Since 2009, Greece has mandatory military service of 9 months for male citizens between the ages of 19 and 45. However, as the Armed forces had been gearing towards a completely professional army, the government had announced that the mandatory military service period would be cut to 6 months by 2008 or even abolished completely. However, this timetable was under reconsideration as of April 2006, due to severe manpower shortages. These had been caused by a combination of financial difficulties, meaning that professional soldiers could not be hired at the projected rate, and widespread abuse of the deferment process, resulting in two-thirds of the conscripts deferred service in 2005. In August 2009, the mandatory service period was reduced to 9 months for the army, but has remained at 12 months for the navy and the air force. The number of conscripts affected to the latter two has been greatly reduced, with an aim towards full professionalisation.
Lithuania abolished its conscription in 2008. In May 2015 the Lithuanian parliament voted to return the conscription and the conscripts started their training in August 2015. In practice there is no conscription in Lithuania, since all recruits have been volunteers.
Luxembourg practiced military conscription from 1948 until 1967.
Moldova, which currently has male conscription, has announced plans to abolish the practice. Moldova's Defense Ministry announced that a plan which stipulates the gradual elimination of military conscription will be implemented starting from the autumn of 2018.
Conscription, which was called "Service Duty" (Dutch: dienstplicht) in the Netherlands, was first employed in 1810 by French occupying forces. Napoleon's brother Louis Bonaparte, who was King of Holland from 1806 to 1810, had tried to introduce conscription a few years earlier, unsuccessfully. Every man aged 20 years or older had to enlist. By means of drawing lots it was decided who had to undertake service in the French army. It was possible to arrange a substitute against payment.
Later on, conscription was used for all men over the age of 18. Postponement was possible, due to study, for example. Conscientious objectors could perform an alternative civilian service instead of military service. For various reasons, this forced military service was criticized at the end of the twentieth century. Since the Cold War was over, so was the direct threat of a war. Instead, the Dutch army was employed in more and more peacekeeping operations. The complexity and danger of these missions made the use of conscripts controversial. Furthermore, the conscription system was thought to be unfair as only men were drafted.
In the European part of Netherlands, compulsory attendance has been officially suspended since 1 May 1997. Between 1991 and 1996, the Dutch armed forces phased out their conscript personnel and converted to an all-professional force. The last conscript troops were inducted in 1995, and demobilized in 1996. The suspension means that citizens are no longer forced to serve in the armed forces, as long as it is not required for the safety of the country. Until then, the Dutch army has become an all-professional force. However, to this day, every male and female citizen aged 17 gets a letter in which they are told that they have been registered but do not have to present themselves for service.
As of March 2016, Norway currently employs a weak form of mandatory military service for men and women. In practice recruits are not forced to serve, instead only those who are motivated are selected. About 60,000 Norwegians are available for conscription every year, but only 8,000 to 10,000 are conscripted. Since 1985, women have been able to enlist for voluntary service as regular recruits. On 14 June 2013 the Norwegian Parliament voted to extend conscription to women, making Norway the first NATO member and first European country to make national service compulsory for both sexes. In earlier times, up until at least the early 2000s, all men aged 19–44 were subject to mandatory service, with good reasons required to avoid becoming drafted. There is a right of conscientious objection.
In addition to the military service, the Norwegian government draft a total of 8,000 men and women between 18 and 55 to non-military Civil defence duty. (Not to be confused with Alternative civilian service.) Former service in the military does not exclude anyone from later being drafted to the Civil defence, but an upper limit of total 19 months of service applies. Neglecting mobilisation orders to training exercises and actual incidents, may impose fines.
As of 1 January 2011, Serbia no longer practises mandatory military service. Prior to this, mandatory military service lasted 6 months for men. Conscientious objectors could however opt for 9 months of civil service instead.
Sweden had conscription (Swedish: värnplikt) for men between 1901 and 2010. Peacetime conscription was made dormant in 2010, and the law on conscription was simultaneously made gender-neutral.
The Swedish government reintroduced a selective military conscription for men and women beginning January 1, 2018.
The United Kingdom introduced conscription to full-time military service for the first time in January 1916 (the eighteenth month of World War I) and abolished it in 1920. Ireland, then part of the United Kingdom, was exempted from the original 1916 military service legislation, and although further legislation in 1918 gave power for an extension of conscription to Ireland, the power was never put into effect.
In all, eight million men were conscripted during both World Wars, as well as several hundred thousand younger single women. The introduction of conscription in May 1939, before the war began, was partly due to pressure from the French, who emphasized the need for a large British army to oppose the Germans. From early 1942 unmarried women age 19–30 were conscripted. Most were sent to the factories, but they could volunteer for the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) and other women's services. Some women served in the Women's Land Army: initially volunteers but later conscription was introduced. However, women who were already working in a skilled job considered helpful to the war effort, such as a General Post Office telephonist, were told to continue working as before. None was assigned to combat roles unless she volunteered. By 1943 women were liable to some form of directed labour up to age 51. During the Second World War, 1.4 million British men volunteered for service and 3.2 million were conscripted. Conscripts comprised 50% of the Royal Air Force, 60% of the Royal Navy and 80% of the British Army.
Britain and its colonies did not develop such pervasive administrative states, and therefore did not opt out for regulatory solutions, such as conscription, as a reliability. The abolition of conscription in Britain was announced on 4 April 1957, by new prime minister Harold Macmillan, with the last conscripts being recruited three years later.
There is a mandatory service for all men and women who are fit and 18 years old. Men must serve 32 months while women serve 24 months with some exempt from mandatory service:
All of the above can choose to volunteer to the IDF. Relatively large numbers of Bedouin choose to volunteer.
In the United States, "the draft" (i.e., conscription) ended in 1973, but males aged between 18 and 25 are required to register with the Selective Service System to enable a reintroduction of conscription if necessary. President Gerald Ford had suspended mandatory draft registration in 1975; but, President Jimmy Carter reinstated that requirement when the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan five years later. Consequently, Selective Service registration is still required of almost all young men. There have been no prosecutions for violations of the draft registration law since 1986. Males between the ages of 17 and 45, and female members of the US National Guard may be conscripted for federal militia service pursuant to 10 U.S. Code § 246 and the Militia Clauses of the United States Constitution.
In February 2019, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled that male-only conscription breached the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause. In National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service System, a case brought by non-profit men's rights organisation the National Coalition for Men against the U.S. Selective Service System, judge Gray H. Miller issued a declaratory judgement that the male-only registration requirement is unconstitutional, though did not specify what action the government should take.
All male citizens must register at the local PLA office in the year they reach the age of 18. Local governments get annual recruitment quotas, and local PLA offices select recruits according to medical and political criteria and military requirements. Call-up for military service then takes place at the age of 18.
17–23 years of age (officers 20–24) for voluntary military service; no conscription; applicants must be single male or female Philippine citizens with either 72 college credit hours (enlisted) or a baccalaureate degree (officers) (2013)
The 1917 Canadian federal election (sometimes referred to as the khaki election) was held on December 17, 1917, to elect members of the House of Commons of Canada of the 13th Parliament of Canada. Described by historian Michael Bliss as the "most bitter election in Canadian history", it was fought mainly over the issue of conscription (see Conscription Crisis of 1917). The election resulted in Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden's Unionist government elected with a strong majority and the largest percentage of the popular vote for any party in Canadian history.
The previous election had been held in 1911 and was won by Borden's Conservatives. Under the law, Canada should have had an election in 1916. However, citing the emergency of the First World War, the government postponed the election largely in hope that a coalition government could be formed, as existed in Britain.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier, head of the Liberal Party of Canada, refused to join the coalition over the issue of conscription, which was strongly opposed in the Liberal heartland of Quebec. Laurier worried that agreeing to Borden's coalition offer would cause that province to abandon the Liberals and perhaps even Canada. Borden proceeded to form a "Unionist" government, and the Liberal Party split over the issue. Many English Canadian Liberal MPs and provincial Liberal parties in English Canada supported the new Unionist government.
To ensure victory for conscription, Borden introduced two laws to skew the voting towards the government. The first, the Wartime Elections Act, disenfranchised conscientious objectors and Canadian citizens if they were born in enemy countries and had arrived after 1902. The law also gave female relatives of servicemen the vote. Thus, the 1917 election was the first federal election in which some women were allowed to vote. The other new law was the Military Voters Act, which allowed soldiers serving abroad to choose which riding their vote would be counted in or to allow the party for which they voted to select the riding in which the vote would be counted. That allowed government officials to guide the strongly pro-conscription soldiers into voting in those ridings where they would be more useful. Servicemen were given a ballot with the simple choice of "Government" or "Opposition".
Soon after these measures were passed, Borden convinced a faction of Liberals (using the name Liberal-Unionists) along with Gideon Decker Robertson, who was described as a "Labour" Senator (but was unaffiliated with any Labour Party) to join with them, forming the Unionist government in October 1917. He then dissolved parliament to seek a mandate in the election, which pitted "Government" candidates, running as the Unionist Party, against the anti-conscription faction of the Liberal Party, which ran under the name Laurier Liberals.
The divisive debate ended with the country divided on linguistic lines. The Liberals won 82 seats, 62 in Quebec, with many other seats won in provinces such as Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Ontario in ridings with significant French Canadian populations. The Unionists won 153 seats. The three Unionist won seats in Quebec were all in mainly English-speaking ridings. That led to the Francœur Motion in January 1918.
Out of 235 seats, 33 were won by acclamation—17 to the Laurier Liberals (all in Quebec) and 16 to the Unionists (all outside Quebec). Two of the Unionist acclamations were for the riding of Halifax, where the only candidates were two Unionists, and where, eleven days earlier, the tragic Halifax Explosion had taken place.Civil conscription
Civil conscription is conscription used for forcing people to work in non-military projects.
Civil conscription is used by various governments around the world, among them Greece, where it has been used numerous times and it is called πολιτική επιστράτευση (politiki epistratevsi, "political mobilisation"). Temporary conscription for payment, typically of taxes, is known as corvée.Conscientious objector
A conscientious objector is an "individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service" on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, or religion.In some countries, conscientious objectors are assigned to an alternative civilian service as a substitute for conscription or military service. Some conscientious objectors consider themselves pacifist, non-interventionist, non-resistant, non-aggressionist, anti-imperialist, antimilitarist or philosophically stateless (not believing in the notion of state).
On March 8, 1995, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights resolution 1995/83 stated that "persons performing military service should not be excluded from the right to have conscientious objections to military service". This was re-affirmed in 1998, when resolution 1998/77 recognized that "persons [already] performing military service may develop conscientious objections". A number of organizations around the world celebrate the principle on May 15 as International Conscientious Objection Day. The term has also been extended to objecting to working for the military–industrial complex due to a crisis of conscience.Conscription Crisis of 1917
The Conscription Crisis of 1917 (French: Crise de la conscription de 1917) was a political and military crisis in Canada during World War I. It was mainly caused by disagreement on whether men should be conscripted to fight in the war. It also brought out many issues regarding relations between French Canadians and English Canadians and motivated many revolutionary acts.Conscription in Australia
Conscription in Australia, or mandatory military service also known as national service, has a controversial history dating back to the first years of nationhood. Australia currently only has provision for conscription during times of war.Conscription in Egypt
Conscription in Egypt (Arabic: التجنيد, translit. attagneed) is a form of a compulsory military service in Egypt.
Conscription is compulsory in Egypt for males of ages between 19 and 30. Conscription has been in force in Egypt in some form or the other since the 1840s. The present conscription system is based on the National Conscription Law of 1948, which was further amended in 1955, 1957, 1969, and 1988. The service obligation is between 12 and 36 months, depending on their educational backgrounds, culture, drop-outs, etc. Followed by a 9-year reserve obligation.Service is postponed for students until their studies are finished, before they turn 25 years old and they can not travel abroad without travel permit from the Ministry of Defense.
Only Egyptian males with a male sibling are allowed to become conscripted, if they have dual citizenship or no male siblings they are exempt from service.
Males cannot be enlisted when they turn 30 because they are considered unfit for the service.
Only Egyptians with only Egyptian nationality must be enlisted and called for the service. Otherwise, they are exempted. They can be also exempted if they have no brothers or they are the only supporters for their family.
A conscript can be enlisted in one of the various arms and branches of the Egyptian Army, the Egyptian Air Defence Forces or the Egyptian Navy. A limited number of conscripts can join as ground/base staff in the Air Force. Those men who do not qualify for selection in any of the armed forces branches, are required to do their service obligation in the Central Security Forces for a 36-month period.
People graduated from colleges are offered to remain in the career after the obligation period (12–36 months), and they are positioned in special ranks amongst the other conscripts.Conscription in Israel
Conscription exists in Israel for all Israeli citizens over the age of 18 who are Jewish, Druze, or Circassian; Arab citizens of Israel are not conscripted. Other exceptions are made on religious, physical, or psychological grounds. The normal length of compulsory service is currently two years and eight months for men (with some roles requiring an additional four months of service), and two years for women.
In 2013, 26% of potential conscripts were exempt from military service: 13.5% for religious reasons, 4% for mental health reasons, 2% for physical health reasons, 3% due to criminal records, and 3% due to residing abroad.The Israeli Defense Service Law (חוק שירות ביטחון) regulates these duties and exceptions. According to the Defense Service Law, the enlistment to the Israeli Defense Forces is mandatory for all Israeli citizens who have turned 18 (with the above-mentioned exemptions enshrined in the Defense Service Law).Conscription in Russia
Conscription in Russia (in Russia is known as Russian: всеобщая воинская обязанность or "universal military obligation" or "liability for military service") is a 12-month draft, mandatory for all male citizens age 18–27, with a number of exceptions. The mandatory term of service was reduced from two years in 2007-2008. Avoiding draft is felony under Russian criminal code and punishable by up to 2 years of imprisonment.Conscription in South Korea
Conscription in South Korea has existed since 1957 and requires male citizens between the ages of 18 and 28 to perform in the army compulsory military service. Women are not required to perform military service, but may voluntarily enlist.Conscription in the United Kingdom
Conscription in the United Kingdom has existed for two periods in modern times. The first was from 1916 to 1920, the second from 1939 to 1960, with the last conscripted soldiers leaving the service in 1963. Known as Military Service from 1916 to 1920, the system of conscription from 1939 to 1960 was called National Service, but between 1939 and 1948, it was often referred to as "war service" in documents relating to National Insurance and pension provision.Conscription in the United States
Conscription in the United States, commonly known as the draft, has been employed by the federal government of the United States in five conflicts: the American Revolution, the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Cold War (including both the Korean War and the Vietnam War). The third incarnation of the draft came into being in 1940 through the Selective Training and Service Act. It was the country's first peacetime draft. From 1940 until 1973, during both peacetime and periods of conflict, men were drafted to fill vacancies in the United States Armed Forces that could not be filled through voluntary means. The draft came to an end when the United States Armed Forces moved to an all-volunteer military force. However, the Selective Service System remains in place as a contingency plan; all male citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are required to register so that a draft can be readily resumed if needed. United States Federal Law also provides for the compulsory conscription of men between the ages of 17 and 45 and certain women for militia service pursuant to Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution and 10 U.S. Code § 246.End Conscription Campaign
The End Conscription Campaign was an anti-apartheid organisation allied to the United Democratic Front (UDF) and composed of conscientious objectors and their supporters in South Africa. It was formed in 1983 to oppose the conscription of all white South African men into military service in the South African Defence Force.Impressment
Impressment, colloquially "the press" or the "press gang", is the taking of men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice. Navies of several nations used forced recruitment by various means. The large size of the British Royal Navy in the Age of Sail meant impressment was most commonly associated with Britain. It was used by the Royal Navy in wartime, beginning in 1664 and during the 18th and early 19th centuries as a means of crewing warships, although legal sanction for the practice can be traced back to the time of Edward I of England. The Royal Navy impressed many merchant sailors, as well as some sailors from other, mostly European, nations. People liable to impressment were "eligible men of seafaring habits between the ages of 18 and 55 years". Non-seamen were impressed as well, though rarely.
Impressment was strongly criticized by those who believed it to be contrary to the British constitution; unlike many of its continental rivals at the time, British subjects were not subject to conscription for military service, with the exception of a brief experiment with army impressment from 1778 to 1780. Though the public opposed conscription in general, impressment was repeatedly upheld by the courts, as it was deemed vital to the strength of the navy and, by extension, to the survival of the British influence and realm.
Impressment was essentially a Royal Navy practice, reflecting the size of the British fleet and its substantial manpower demands. While other European navies applied forced recruitment in times of war, this was generally done as an extension of the practice of formal conscription applied by most European armies from the Napoleonic Wars on. The U.S. Continental Navy also applied a form of impressment during the American War of Independence.
The impressment of seamen from American ships caused serious tensions between Britain and the Thirteen Colonies in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War. One of the 27 colonial grievances directly highlights the practice. It was again a cause of tension leading up to the War of 1812. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1814, Britain ended the practice; later conscription was not limited to the Royal Navy but covered all armed forces.Levée en masse
Levée en masse (French pronunciation: [ləve ɑ̃ mɑs] or, in English, "mass levy") is a French term used for a policy of mass national conscription, often in the face of invasion.
The concept originated during the French Revolutionary Wars, particularly for the period following 16 August 1793, when able-bodied men aged 18 to 25 were conscripted. It formed an integral part of the creation of national identity, making it distinct from forms of conscription which had existed before this date. The term is also applied to other historical examples of mass conscription.Lithuanian Armed Forces
The Lithuanian Armed Forces consist of 20,565 active personnel. Conscription was ended in September 2008 but was reintroduced in 2015 because of concerns about the geopolitical environment in light of Russia's military intervention in Ukraine.Lithuania's defence system is based on the concept of "total and unconditional defence" mandated by Lithuania's National Security Strategy. The goal of Lithuania's defence policy is to prepare their society for general defence and to integrate Lithuania into Western security and defence structures. The defence ministry is responsible for combat forces, search and rescue, and intelligence operations.The 4,800 border guards fall under the Interior Ministry's supervision and are responsible for border protection, passport and customs duties, and share responsibility with the navy for smuggling / drug trafficking interdiction. A special security department handles VIP protection and communications security.Military service
Military service is service by an individual or group in an army or other militia, whether as a chosen job (volunteer) or as a result of an involuntary draft (conscription).
Some nations (e.g., Mexico) require a specific amount of military service from every citizen, except for special cases, such as physical or mental disorders or religious belief. Most countries that use conscription systems only conscript men; a few countries also conscript women. For example, China, North Korea, Israel, Eritrea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Libya and Peru conscript both men and women. Some nations with conscription systems do not enforce them (see below).
Nations which conscript for military service typically also rely on citizens choosing to join the armed forces as a career.Some nations with armed forces do not conscript their personnel (e.g. most NATO and European Union states). Instead, they promote military careers to attract and select recruits; see military recruitment. Some of these nations reserve the right in law to conscript personnel in the future.Some, usually smaller, nations have no armed forces at all, or rely on an armed domestic security force (e.g. police, coast guard).National service
National service is a system of either compulsory or voluntary government service, usually military service. Conscription is mandatory national service. The term national service comes from the United Kingdom's National Service (Armed Forces) Act 1939.
Many young people spent one or more years in such programmes. Compulsory military service typically requires all male citizens to enroll for one or two years, usually at age 18 (later for university-level students), while voluntary national service requires only three months of basic military training. The US equivalent is Selective Service. In the United States, voluntary enrollments at the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps are also known as national service.Norwegian Armed Forces
The Norwegian Armed Forces (Norwegian: Forsvaret, "The Defence") is the military organisation responsible for the defence of Norway. It consists of four branches, the Norwegian Army, the Royal Norwegian Navy, which includes the Coast Guard, the Royal Norwegian Air Force, and the Home Guard, as well as several joint departments.
The military force in peace time is around 16,048 personnel including military and civilian staff, and around 63,318 in total with the current military personnel, conscripts and the Norwegian Home Guard in full mobilization.
An organised military was first assembled in Norway in the 9th century and was early focused around naval warfare. The army was created in 1628 as part of Denmark–Norway, followed by two centuries of regular wars. A Norwegian military was established in 1814, but the military did not see combat until the German occupation of Norway in 1940. Norway abandoned its position as a neutral country in 1949 to become a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The Cold War saw a large build-up of air stations and military bases, especially in Northern Norway. Since the 2000s, the military has transformed from a focus on defence from an invasion to a mobile force for international missions. Among European NATO members, the military expenditure of US$7.2 billion is the highest per capita.Selective Service Act of 1917
The Selective Service Act of 1917 or Selective Draft Act (Pub.L. 65–12, 40 Stat. 76, enacted May 18, 1917) authorized the United States federal government to raise a national army for service in World War I through conscription. It was envisioned in December 1916 and brought to President Woodrow Wilson's attention shortly after the break in relations with Germany in February 1917. The Act itself was drafted by then-Captain (later Brigadier General) Hugh S. Johnson after the United States entered World War I by declaring war on Germany. The Act was canceled with the end of the war on November 11, 1918. The Act was upheld as constitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 1918.
Unfree labour relationships and institutions