Skip to comments.Russia will never fully abandon military draft – defense minister (Where's Ours?)
Posted on 11/26/2013 6:58:24 AM PST by Colonel Kangaroo
Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said that for various reasons Russia will not switch to a fully professional armed forces in the foreseeable future, but soon conscripts will no longer be used in combat missions.
Speaking in a televised interview on the Rossiya-2 television, Shoigu noted that Russias vast territory was the main reason for keeping the military draft.
To have a purely professional army, our territory is too big. We have to have the opportunity for mobilization the minister said.
The official explained that the top military command had already taken the decision to create a permanent mobilization reserve of four armies (the term means the people who underwent through conscription service and can be drafted in case of urgent mobilization). He said that in 2020 the military forces will completely stop the practice of sending conscripts to combat missions replacing them with contract soldiers.
Shoigu stressed that his ministry calculated very thoroughly how many servicemen they need to employ and now knew the figure up to a single soldier.
The Defense Minister also named terrorism and NATO expansion towards Russian borders as two main threats to the nations security.
In our view the continuation of NATO enlargement is absolutely unfounded. We keep talking and keep smiling to each other, but it still continues, Shoigu said, adding that the cooperation between NATO and Russia in the missile defense sphere has also proved to be unsuccessful so far.
The modern Russian Federation initially manned its military forces through a compulsory two-year draft, remaining as a legacy of Soviet times. However, the more complicated modern weaponry and tactics, as well as the changes in the political and social system in the country, called for a gradual upgrade towards the professional military.
In 2006, Russia shortened the time of conscription service from two years to just one. At the same time the number of official exceptions from the draft was reduced and the hiring of contract soldiers was boosted.
In 2012, the number of professional soldiers in the Russian military forces was about 170,000 and in May President Vladimir Putin told the senior commanders that this number should be further increased, reaching 425,000 in the next few years.
The total number of active military personnel in Russia is about 1 million.
I do not support a draft, and I do so as a veteran. I would like to see greater numbers of military personnel, though, but not via a draft.
Isn’t the military draft another Progressive idea?
A draft is a poor idea, so is emulating Russia.
There is no reason for nation building in 3rd world dumps.
So is the idea of endless alliances and overseas commitments. But in the long-run you can't have one without the other.
Yep...might as well go ahead and add forced government servitude to the gop party plank since they aren’t even paying lip service to the “small, less intrusive government” bulls*** anymore.
In his testimony before the commission, Mr. [William] Westmoreland said he did not want to command an army of mercenaries. Mr. [Milton] Friedman interrupted, "General, would you rather command an army of slaves?" Mr. Westmoreland replied, "I don't like to hear our patriotic draftees referred to as slaves." Mr. Friedman then retorted, "I don't like to hear our patriotic volunteers referred to as mercenaries. If they are mercenaries, then I, sir, am a mercenary professor, and you, sir, are a mercenary general; we are served by mercenary physicians, we use a mercenary lawyer, and we get our meat from a mercenary butcher."
As a vet, too, I agree. We had armed forces nearly twice their current size without a draft during the Reagan and early GHWB years. We can so grow them again. I served in both the draft and all-volunteer military. The professionalism of the all-volunteer forces is miles above those of the draft era. Draft only in an extreme emergency (see: WWII).
Anyone who claims to be an American should abhor involuntary servitude.
For a whole pile of reasons I used to think the draft was a good idea, but that’s when America was great and the average person not only knew of but was willing to defend the Constitution.
Todays “boo hoo wah wah gimme gimme now now” crowd that are mostly obama voters would make the Army a shambles. It would be impossible to discipline them and with their leftist attitudes there would be no guilt in firing on those believing in a Constitutional Republic and/or Christianity.
Imagine some of the most worthless of this bunch being in the Army, smoking dope at will (just like in the 70’s). Then some of them attaining NCO grades. It would be to the point where the only thing you could depend on is undependability.
But those of us who believe that and take it to its logical conclusion are labeled isolationists.
In the aftermath of 9-11 there was a surge of patriotic volunteers joining up. But they joined up to avenge the attack, not to serve as expendable pawns in an endless game with only marginal benefits to American security.
Weasels like Charlie Rangel are suddenly all in favor of a draft, because they know it will radicalize our politics just as it did in the late 60’s. And, as a practical matter, it will hamstring any future POTUS from actually deploying our troops for any effective purpose.
Who cares? Call me an isolationist. The shame is upon the interventionist who wants to spend young lives and our money, trying to reform moslem and African hell holes.
If we have just cause, and invade and hold absolute rule until they are reformed, as we did Germany and Japan, then fine. But this decade long fantasy that we can let them keep islam as a nations operating system, and also make them civilized is insane.
The Koran should be viewed as Mein Kampf.
They said it themselves — they can’t rise to our standard of professionalism.
Yep. It's long overdue to get rid of the last crumbs of President Peanuthead's toxic legacy and abolish the registration system.
I saw what a mess the rest of the world is concerning freedom and liberty that we enjoy and they have no hope for. The draft made me wiser and an adult.
Put it this way when I was in college before the draft I believed everything I was told but afterwards I would complain that these high sounding ideas seem good but won't work with real people. So I'm conflicted because without the draft it seems men have become sissified.
Isolationism is not a dirty word, its a traditional conservative ideal. Absolute isolation is impossible to obtain but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be looking to drastically reduce the burdens to us and future generations of Americans.
The 14th Amendment could not be any more clear.
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction”
President Wilson said draftees were actually volunteers. The people, through Congress, declared war. So the whole nation “volunteered”, collectively.
Socialism at it’s finest.
The founders of our nation were very much for hamstringing a king or powerful executive from deploying our troops. Thankfully, their wisdom prevailed a couple of months ago concerning Syria.
If one supports that a soldiers labor can be forced or stolen for “patriotic” reasons, even to the point that he can be killed, then why is it only for them?
Should congress be forced to subsist on a second lieutenants pay for the duration of any conflict? Should Lockheed be forced to adopt the US military pay scale? The machinists could make enlisted pay scales, the executives should make no more than high ranking officers.
Funny how that would instantly be recognized as an anathema to free market principles. But if one needs more soldiers, the answer is not to pay a market rate, its to force them under threat of prison. Its an amazing disconnect.
And we will always have enough soldiers to defend America and legitimate interests. But we will have trouble finding them for foreign adventures where the political class has no interest beyond the financial.
A draft is a compelled choice for a dodgy, decomposing state like Russia with a population bust, a brutal army culture, the lack of an effective NCO force, has an inability to attract quality recruits to its military, and has a discontented youth who, without a draft, would otherwise have the freedom and time on their hands to make mischief for the regime.
Yet, for modern nations, the era of mass armies is over. The US, Western Europe, and Japan instead have relatively small volunteer, professional, well-trained and abundantly equipped military forces. With substantial pay and benefits on offer, their military forces can be selective and attain the high quality of personnel that modern weapons, tactics, and support systems require. They also avoid the squandered cost and lost effort of trying to discipline, train, and find useful tasks for a large mass of teenage draftees who would prefer to be elsewhere.
In the case of the US especially, the country is better off if those teenagers go to college, begin careers and families, and start to become productive, tax-paying citizens. In that manner, even if they never set foot on a military base, most will contribute to the economic, scientific, technical, and industrial strengths that are essential to the US military -- and to America's security.
I joined the Army in 1974 and served with many who had first been drafted and then reenlisted.
I do not want another draft for a number of reasons.
1st - It is the Libs dream to once again have a draft. Burning draft cards, riots, Hell No We won’t go all bring fond memories of the 60’s to them.
2nd - It’s a way to “save” money. Anytime someone mentions that in relationship to the military they’re talking about taking money out of the pocket of future soldiers. The draft will continue the downward spiral of military benefits.
3rd - Even though the majority of draftees will serve with honor it will only take a couple in every company to tie up the majority of the 1SG’s time. Time better spent helping the Company do it’s mission.
Just say No to a draft.
You make good points. And even beyond the draft, I fear the upcoming generation is lacking the hardening and humbling experiences that toughen people in preparation for life in the real world.
“Isolationism is not a dirty word, its a traditional conservative ideal. “
True. Our nation was correctly termed isolationist in the beginning. Yet, we were not reluctant to attack in Libya in the Barbary pirates war. The term isolationist has been perverted into an epithet for people unwilling to support fighting where there is no clear American interest. Americans have always been willing to fight where we have a true national interest.
I support a draft. Some children just NEED it! Call it ‘making-a-man-out-of-a-boy’ or to simply teach him responsibility and what it means.
Today’s children NEED it a LOT more than my generation did.
Yes, it’s the political class. They all talk like Winston Churchill, but when it comes to bearing the costs themselves they’re Neville Chamberlain.
In today’s hyper building of self-esteem and trends against stern punishment, a lot of kids are growing up thinking too much of themselves. Instilling a healthy level of personal humility and discipline is not child abuse.
It’s not a draft, but rather it’s compulsory military service. (A draft is like a lottery).
There are ways to avoid military service in Russia.
Certainly it’s fair to debate whether a deployment to Syria would have been wise or advisable. (I thought not, particularly given the incompetence of our C in C).
But a draft would politically put an end to ANY President deploying our troops for ANY reason. We would not have gone to the defense of Kuwait in ‘91, or anywhere else, regardless of the consequences.
I know because I had a co-worker at the time of Desert Storm whose daughter had all too gladly joined the military in order to pay for school. When she was then called upon later as an Inactive Reserve to go back and serve in Desert Storm, her family began doing triple-backflips looking for reasons to keep her from having to report (which she managed with an “oops” pregnancy)
Bring back the draft and you’ll see that repeated on a massive scale.
Negative. No no no no no!
We are NOT going to redo the Vietnam debacle of having troops who do not want to be fighting.
The only thing that did was bring back a lot of drug addled troops to become civilians.
I am also a veteran and would never again have volunteers in any part of an American Army.
FYI the biggest problem that Russia has and has always had, is the huge number of surly concripts within its military.
Your contention that Russian “hard” power is somehow connected to their draft is without merit or factual basis.
Anybody hear of Americorps? It’s Bill Clintons baby. Just draft all of them. Their benefits are BETTER than those who chose to serve in uniform. If there were no Americorp/Peace Corps that would give more meaning to those ‘who serve.’
All kids when they reach a certain age in Israel are required to do military service. This is probably a good idea for Israel but with the liberal political complex of this country I am against it.
In WWII the Marines, the Navy, the Army all drafted, the United States Army that fought WWII was 93% draftees.
About 70% of our WWII War dead were draftees, in Vietnam only the Marines and Army drafted, a draft that ran from 1940 through 1973.
Today grandmas and single moms are pursued to serve in the military, and get housing for their collection of kids.
One problem with a draft in this country is that by the time the army whips the feral youth into something resembling a fighting force, their hitch will be over. That is assuming, of course, that the army can actually do something with a bunch of feral youths who know they will be getting out in a year or two whether they learn how to be a soldier or not. I sure wouldn’t want to be facing the enemy with someone like that.
You are confusing wars.
WWII was the all draftee war, Vietnam was overwhelmingly volunteers, and Vietnam was the war in which we never lost a major battle.
There are lots of unpleasant jobs that are necessary for the continued existence of society. Would you have conscripted slave police, conscripted slave firefighters, conscripted slave sewer workers, conscripted slave street sweepers, etc ad nauseam?
I didn’t expect to find “government can raise our kids better than parents” opinions here.
You are kidding yourself if you think that we are maintaining some super standard in the military.
If we ever engage in a major war again, a long and bloody war where the supply system weakens, where cutting edge hi-tech starts running out and wearing out, where bench depth and the individual toughness and durability of the soldiers comes into play, we are going to find out that a 50% female military is not up to fighting wars like Vietnam and WWII, and Korea and WWI.
We have selective service registration. That could quickly be turned into conscription, if we were deluded enough to want one.
Mass armies are just meat for the microwave if nukes are used.
Russia used a substantial part of their volunteer forces against Georgia.
Because of the technology based military, there is really no need for a draft.
I guess you could use them for support roles—but we’ve contracted most of that out now, and its cheaper and more effective.
I think boot camp would benefit most kids these days. But not conscription.
I spent 21 years on active duty, both as an enlisted member and an officer. Barring some national calamity beyond the scale of 9-11, we do not need a draft, for a variety of reasons.
First, the quality of our military is without equal. One reason is the ranks are manned with young men and women who want to serve. Someone who is a volunteer is much easier to train and motivate than an individual who was pressed into service.
Secondly, the all-volunteer force allows us to pick and choose from the best candidates. The Air Force turns away far more applicants than it accepts every year, and the same is true (to a lesser degree) for the other services. If you’re trying to train someone as an intelligence analyst, jet engine mechanic or other high-tech skill, it’s better to start off with young people who scored high on the ASVAB and in many cases, have a few hours of college under their belt.
Thirdly, bringing back the draft would compel the military to lower standards and start accepting individuals from the 72% of young Americans who don’t meet armed forces standards. Many of these individuals have criminal records; a history of drug abuse, they can’t score high enough on the ASVAB (minimum entry score is only 30 for the Army), or they were placed on psychiatric meds (i.e., Ritalin) at an early age.
Most perceptions of the draft are shaded by our experience in World War II and Vietnam. The Greatest Generation was far better prepared for military service than their counterparts from today, in terms of education, mechanical ability and motivation. And while most draftees from Vietnam served honorably, we saw the worst of that system by the end of the war—troops who were pressed into service and were in uniform only because they had to be.
In fairness, the early days of the all-volunteer force weren’t much better. But the problem was fixed by setting (and adhering to) high standards. That’s still the best course for our military. Russia has a draft because they can’t afford to give their troops the pay and benefits necessary to field a competent, all-volunteer force. Many of their conscripts are just about worthless; they are only in service for two years and leave before they develop any competence.
Only one thing went wrong when Mrs. Lincoln went to the play.
It only takes one guy to push a button. (Well, they set it up so that it takes two guys, just in case one guy slips or goes nuts, but that doesn't really affect the conclusion.)
I don’t know what that means, the draft ran from 1940 through 1973, and the Vietnam fighting military was the finest this nation had ever fought with.
1. Women cannot be trained to be men.
2. The all volunteer force isn’t getting even the tiny numbers of high paid volunteers that it wants, that is why it had to lower the standards to accept 42 year old grandmothers, and accepts single moms.
3. It is silly that a draft would lower standards, don’t confuse large numbers and needs with a smaller military, draft or no draft, a small draft would improve standards, the draft is geared to take what you need, not the dregs of society, not the females and single moms, if you only want to draft men with a year of college, or who are exceptional specimens, then that is who you draft.
4. The Vietnam military was vastly superior to the WWII military, you can lay off the Vietnam Veteran bashing because it is inaccurate.
The farther along the volunteer military goes, the more inadequate it is becoming, a Vietnam or Korean War would chew up this thin green line, and show just how weak it gets once you get past the few men who make up the tip of the spear, men who are now getting women sent to join them.