Europe is continuing its suicidal mad dash towards the militarisation of society. After a year of war in Ukraine, almost everywhere there is talk of reintroducing compulsory military service, reopening a debate that was thought to be definitively closed and that had led almost all European countries to abandon compulsory military service.
In Italy, rumors of a possible reinstatement of compulsory military service have been around for a long time. Matteo Salvini has spoken about compulsory military service on several occasions. … “I believe that a year of teaching the rules, good manners and duties would make good citizens”. And as its interior minister, he said he was “studying the costs, ways and times to evaluate if, how and when to reintroduce military service for a few months for our boys and girls so that they at least learn some education that mum and dad are not able to teach them”.
Ignazio La Russa, President of the Senate, will be proposing a kind of voluntary military mini-service. “I have prepared a bill that will be presented by a group of senators (not by me, because as president I can’t) to increase the voluntary service to 40 days. He added: “If we were able to ensure that young people between 16 and 25 could if they wanted to, spend forty days of their summer learning what is not only love of Italy, love of country, but the civic duty that each of us has to help others in difficulty, we would be doing Italy an enormous service”. In short, compulsory military service as a great “formative moment”.
Minister Crosetto claims that restoring compulsory military service is not on the government’s agenda because “it requires a law and financial coverage” to rebuild and modernize barracks and provide weapons and equipment for the formation of conscripts. Will our young people be able to sleep easy and avoid spending months in the barracks, or will the money suddenly be found at the cost, as always, of primary rights such as health and education?
Compulsory military service is also being debated in Germany. Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said. “Abolishing it was a mistake and could demonstrate the importance of these institutions for the functioning of our society”, stressing that “the advantages of military service must now be the subject of collective reflection”. The head of the German navy, Jan Christian Kaack, also proposed a return to compulsory military service: “I believe this will ensure a higher level of consciousness for a nation that needs to be more resilient in times like these”.
In France, Macron is seriously considering reinstating compulsory military service, which will last between three and six months and will also be extended to women. Military service, Macron says, will be “national, compulsory, and universal”. “Military experience not only leads you to develop experiences but also behavioral qualities,” the French president said, recalling that companies are “delighted” to hire ex-military personnel. According to some estimates, at least 700,000 young people could be recruited each year.
In January, Latvia reintroduced compulsory military service after 15 years.
The Netherlands is now considering adopting the Swedish model, which selects four to five thousand eighteen-year-olds each year for an eleven-month compulsory military service; Denmark, which still maintains compulsory service, is considering extending it to women; and Greece has recently extended it to one year.
In Spain, where compulsory military service has been abolished, young people are still considered reservists and could be forced to enlist in case of emergency and without any legal possibility of objection, since objection is no longer provided for by law.
Poland, which suspended compulsory military service in 2008, is calling up citizens under the age of 63 as reservists. Call-up letters have also been sent to Poles abroad who have dual citizenship. If they refuse, they will lose their Polish citizenship.
It is clear that the very talk of reintroducing conscription contributes to feeding the culture of war and that our governments, instead of listening to the voice of their citizens, choose the suicidal path of a third world war, submissive as they are to Washington’s orders.
That is why, on April 2nd, we, the invisible, the majority of the population, want to reiterate with strength throughout Europe and the world that the only way out of the madness of the war we are living through is peace, non-violence, dialogue, cooperation and a diplomatic solution that will put an immediate end to the suffering of the Ukrainian people and to a war that could lead to a clash of nuclear powers.