Russia: November 22, 2001


The government announced a plan to have an all-volunteer military by 2010. At that point, over a century of conscription would end. The government has been trying to figure out how to end conscription since 1996, but money has always been the big problem. The new plan is based on fiscal reforms in the way taxes are collected and spent. Conscripts are paid a few hundred dollars a year, volunteer soldiers will have to be paid over ten times that. The all volunteer armed forces will be smaller, probably smaller than the armed forces of the United States. But the all volunteer force will be more professional and more popular with the voters. One thing that is often missed by foreigners is how avidly the Russian people have embraced voting. While democratic government gets mixed reviews, the voting was eagerly embraced and is generally scandal free. Politicians quickly adopted American campaigning methods to get themselves elected. Conscription is very unpopular with the population and politicians are eager to end it and gain votes in the process.


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