We have a professional Army made up of volunteers. To reintroduce National Service would dilute that professionalism and reduce the effectiveness of our forces. That's why France is abandoning National Service and modelling their Army on British lines - becasue although we're smaller, we're more useful...and we win!
(If we reintroduced conscription though, we could buy AK47s, and please Ma_Sonic and others! )
National Service with the Armed Forces: No
National Service working in the Community: Possibly
Getting the spotty and self centred teenagers doing something for the community as a whole might be an idea. Sending someone from the South to go "up North" and vice versa to work with the old and/or infirm would be a real education and do some good.
Can think of a couple of points for the re-introduction of National Service, however what we need to bear in mind is that society is not the same as it was during the 1950's/60's. The nature of the conflicts we have been, and are currently involved in, are best dealt with by a well-trained, well motivated, professional army. (Ideally also a well-equipped one, but you can't have everything!) The demography of British society has also seen vast changes within the last 30-40 years which may also create problems with the whole idea of National Service. If there is any truth in what is reported in sections of the media with regards to whole school classes in certain areas of the U.K. being non-English speaking, how do we resolve such issues within the military system?
I am of the firm belief that certain values have been eroded within society, but should the army be responsible for making up some of this moral deficit? I think not. Without doubt, some sort of community service would be desirable. We are internationally well respected as a professional army. An undermanned professional army we may be, but is this not more desirable than a full strengh semi-professional army?
I agree conscription is a bad idea, but granting servicemen greater freedoms having earned it ala starship troopers (althougfh we'd better find out the proper name before suggesting it, britains international standing may down a bit if we announce we take our politics form hollywood ).
As has already been said, modern problems (not necessarily conflicts at that) rely on small groups of highly trained people, such as the marines have been doing in Afghanistan, and the army following on to do the nation building part, and in the countless peace keeping and other instructing operations done around the World. After all, who would you want to provide the bassis for training an entire national army? A group of well trained, skilled and disciplined troops now, or a bunch of disillusioned young conscripts who don't want to be there?
Now it does go without sayin that society would be greatly improved with national service, but the price we would pay would outweigh it. Yes society (though mainly the younger generation) has really gone downhilll in the past few years, but there are other ways we could tackle it. My preferred method would be far greater distribution of income and equality between public and private services, but that doesn't really belong here.
I have seen both sides of the professional / conscript argument having served in the UK and South Africa.
In military terms the professional army is the only way to go as one volunteer is worth 10 pressed men.
However the National service system as applied in SA had a number of benifits.
For the individual it did make people grow up and sort themselves out for later life. It also mixed people from many ( all be it white only) back grounds. Many people discovered that not every one was the same as them and appreciated what they had int the nonmilitary world alot more.
For the Army the benifit was that in addition to the small permenant force (regular army) they had a much larger pool of units from the citizen force. The CF was made up of NSM who had completed there 2 years and were called up for periods of upto 1 month per year as required.
The down side was the standing of the army went down. and many of the CF were understandably pissed off about being hauled out of there jobs and families and put back into the line.
The world is very different from the cold war era, and conscripton is not really fitted to the modern world.
However we do need to reintroduce the concept of service to the "Me first" generation. I belive that this can only be acchived through incentives such as the US offers in the form of free education and cheap home loans. I would like to see occupations resurved but I cant see that flying just yet.
Bring it back in.
Have two forces a regular and a conscript Army. The conscript Army would stay at home and cover all home based responsibility including guarding camps etc. ~The well training troops conduct the Ops. Only the infirm should be except service and citizenship withheld until service complete. Stop all these shagging whingeing student types trying to change the forces to a softer version without ever having actually been anywhere near it.
Don't the sausage guzzlers have a system where you can either do 12 months (or whatever) in the Army, or, if you don't like the idea of military service, you can do twice as long "community service"...hospital porter and the like?
That way the wasters who would clog up the system don't have to do military service, and those that do elect to do mil service will keep their heads down and go for it for the year.
Definitely a lot of shi-t heads out there who would benefit from a brush with a Drill Sergeant. I'd be far happier paying my taxes knowing that "juvenile delinquents" were getting a shoeing rather than a holiday to Kenya.
yeah i could crack on with my work related to trade, and have some nat svc scum sweep the camp 1 it will keep the RSM happy and 2 the CO will be impressed at vehicle availability or for grunts canon fodder availability
1- The call for Nst Svce is to act as a form of social engineering - to cure society's ills. This will encourage people to look on the Army as another public service such as the NHS - and we will be run to meet those aims, with more managers than you can shake a pace stick at - and similar standards to those that they achieve. Sorry NHS!
2- The last time we had generations of nat'l servicemen, i.e. those that served AFTER WW2, we taught the nation how to skive and be stroppy cpls' mess lawyers. These idiots then became extremely effective unionists and caused UK plc to go bankrupt until the 80s. Let's not do it again.
3- My father in law was a nat'l svcman, in the pre-paras, in Suez, and had a crap time - because he is crap basically. Lets not inflict years of whinging on those that marry the children of these potential Nat'l svcmen.
If we do manage to pull young people around, it is because they had the sense to see that they were on the road to ruin and had the sense to join up in the first place. We can achieve that because it is not what we are meant to do - the minute this process starts being actively managed it will be lost.
Excellent use of the term crap in point 3. Know what you mean mind. Actually left a girl because I couldn't stand listening to her father going on about his National service EVERY BLOODY TIME i went around to their home!! Well done that man for highlighting that point. If there's a better reason for not bringing it back, i've yet to hear it!