Murphy's Law: February 14, 2002

Archives

The Russian Army reports that 88% of all men eligible for conscription obtain deferments, are found medically unfit (about 33%), are rejected for other reasons (e.g., criminal records), or simply do not show up. This is one of the issues compelling the Russians to drop peacetime conscription and use only volunteers. This would also solve the problem of hazing between men who have been in a year and the new recruits. This hazing developed after World War II, when Russia deliberately avoided developing a professional NCO corps. They preferred to have officers take care of nearly all troop supervision. The NCOs that did exist were treated as slightly more reliable enlisted men, but given little real authority. Since officers did not live with the men, slack discipline in the barracks gave rise to the vicious hazing and exploitation of junior conscripts by the senior ones. This led to very low morale, and a lot of suicides, theft, sabotage and desertions. Long recognized as a problem, no solution ever worked. But getting rid of conscripts probably will. Volunteers will be in for more than two years, and Russia is developing professional NCOs to keep things under control in the barracks. The only problem with all of this is finding the money to pay for it. Volunteers will cost a lot more than conscripts. Russia already use volunteers, especially for combat duty in places like Chechnya. These troops get $115 a month, plus $27 a day for combat duty. Conscripts get about $1.20 a month. The volunteer force will also require better living conditions. Despite a lack of funds for a volunteer force, Russia is moving in that direction by reducing the size of it's armed forces (which are already smaller than those of the United States) and increasing the number of higher paid volunteers.Stephen V Cole


 


Article Archive

Murphy's Law: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close