A professional army versus conscription
A professional army and universal conscription are the two major types of military service practised in the world. Evidently, both of them have their own benefits, but I presume that a conscript army is more efficient.
On the one hand, in wartime mercenaries are far less motivated than conscripts. While the former have only their own material welfare at heart, the latter are guided by a stronger incentive, which is patriotic sentiment. Having no moral obligations to the country they serve for, mercenaries can easily get out of the service if they are not satisfied with its conditions. In contrast, most conscripts will be ready to shed their blood for their nation, family and friends. Thus, cases of desertion from conscript armies are less frequent than from professional ones. Obviously, it’s a sound argument in favour of conscript armies.
On the other hand, professional armies have a greater problem with reinforcing than conscript armies. With the outbreak of hostilities, which inevitably entail losses, the army begins to feel a dire need for a constant inflow of fresh forces. In states with professional armies this issue is really acute. In event of war there will hardly be many volunteers, especially trained ones, to join the troops. Moreover, the government will have no power to call up civilians for military service, as it will be unlawful. On the contrary, in countries with universal conscription this problem is resolved easier, firstly, because all the men are enlisted in the army not on a voluntary, but on a compulsory basis and, secondly, because most of them undergo military training in peacetime. I think, the proposed arguments for adopting universal conscription are quite compelling.
For all the above mentioned reasons I advocate universal conscription as the most effective type of military service. It not only provides the country with committed and united defenders, but also...
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