Afghanistan may introduce conscription

The Telegraph reported on 25 September 2009 that Afghanistan may introduce conscription in order to recruit sufficient troops for the troop levels demanded by the USA and its NATO allies. General Stanley McChrystal, commander of Nato-forces in Afghanistan, demanded in his recent strategic assessment of the situation in the country that the army should grow from 92,000 to 134,000 in the next year. It should then reach 240,000 as soon as possible, which commanders admit would need the recruitment and training of 5,000 men each month.

Afghanistan's ministry of defence said it was now drawing up plans for compulsory military service under a constitutional clause stating all Afghans have a duty to defend their country.

According to The Telegraph, Zaher Azimi, spokesman for the ministry, told Afghan television: "We consider preparing a plan to revive the obligatory military service one way or another. We plan to have our volunteer army soldiers take part in the combat activities while the soldiers serving under obligatory military service work in the logistical and administrative areas." (...) "These issues have so far not been finalised."

Sources: The Telegraph: Afghanistan may introduce compulsory military service, 25 September 2009