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German Defense Minister presents proposal for military service


German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius plans to present his proposal for a new German military service model at both a press conference and before parliament’s Defense Committee on Wednesday.

Pistorius has indicated that he supports some form of compulsory military service, at least to a limited extent, a controversial issue in Germany.

The country effectively abolished mandatory military service for men in 2011 after 55 years, although German law still provides for possible conscription in the event of war or other tensions.

But the German army has suffered from manpower shortages in recent years, shrinking to 181,500 soldiers last year despite new efforts to recruit volunteers.

Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine led to a reckoning over the state of Germany’s depleted army and a pledge from Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government to rebuild the armed forces.

Pistorius ordered research into different models of conscription. During a debate in the House of Representatives, the minister indicated that he does not believe that Germany can rely entirely on volunteers for military service.

“I firmly believe that it will not work without mandatory components,” he said.

Pistorius and other leaders have repeatedly expressed concern that major investments in the military are needed so that the country is adequately prepared to defend the country and Germany’s NATO allies.

Pistorius has repeatedly emphasized that Germany must become “war-ready” to act as a credible deterrent.

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