Attrition: Desperate Search for German Soldiers

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August 24, 2007: An increasing number of German politicians are calling for an end to conscription. But military officials and pollsters point out that it's unlikely that Germany could get 60,000 young men and women to volunteer each year. Currently, about 400,000 Germans become eligible for conscription each year, but only 60,000 are needed. The rest are either sent to do civilian jobs (usually in hospitals or old-age homes) or allowed to avoid service. In any event, conscript service is only for nine months. There are still Germans eager to do military service, but opinion polls indicate, not enough of them to support the current armed forces strength of 250,000. Leftist politicians are calling for the armed forces to be allowed to shrink, and trained mainly for peacekeeping missions.

 


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