Attrition: Lebanon Drops Conscription

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February17, 2007: Lebanon has joined the ever growing list of nations that have dropped conscription. The law to abolish the draft was actually passed two years ago, but did not go into effect until 24 months later. Lebanon, with high unemployment, has not had much trouble recruiting all the troops it needed for its 60,000 strong army. At the time conscription was voted out of existence, only 35 percent of the troops were conscripts. Now none are.

Britain started the "all volunteer" trend in the early 1960s, when it abolished conscription. The U.S. followed a decade later, and then the Cold War ended in 1991. After that, most European nations were able to cut their armed forces substantially. Realizing that Britain and the United States had demonstrably better quality troops, largely because they had an all-volunteer force, enthusiasm for conscription began to fade. The only thing that stops many nations from going all-volunteer, is the added expense. You have to pay volunteer troops competitive wages, compared to practically nothing for conscripts.

 


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