Peace Time: December 29, 2001


Russian President Putin has approved a plan to end conscription in his country and convert the military into an all-volunteer force. Few details are known, although the plan includes three years of study followed by the creation of a single all-volunteer division (the 76th Airborne Division at Pskov), as well as an all-volunteer warship squadron and an all-volunteer air wing. These units would then operate for a year or two in order to fully judge the cost of the conversion (which includes not just higher salaries, but better housing, family support, and food). After this, plans will be drawn up to convert the entire military based on the experiences learned. The Russian uniformed military leaders oppose any thought of ending conscription (and there is no money to fund an all-volunteer force anyway) so the plan is not expected to proceed on schedule.--Stephen V Cole


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