Home Business News All NATO members urged now is the time for a ‘serious discussion about conscription’

All NATO members urged now is the time for a ‘serious discussion about conscription’

25th Mar 24 2:08 pm

Two Baltic leaders are urging NATO members that there is a need for a “serious discussion about conscription” as war between Russia and the West could be looking more likely.

Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics said that now is the time for NATO members to speed up their defence spending of their respective GDP and prepare for war.

The Latvian President said that there needs to be mandatory conscription for all NATO countries which will provide the much-needed boost for increasing the numbers of soldiers across the alliance.

Speaking to The Financial Times Rinkevics said, “There is a need for serious discussion about conscription.”

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The Latvian President added, “Nobody wants to fight. But the problem is nobody wants to be invaded as well. And nobody wants to see Ukraine happening here.”

He said that “to train more people was really important” as we are now in a “geopolitical turbulence.”

Estonian leader Alar Karis gave his concerns over NATO’s capabilities, he insisted there needs to be a special military tax.

Karis stressed that Europe must match America’s defence spending, by doubling the current levels to be ready for war.

Karis said, “We have to do something. At least have it 50-50 [between Europe and the US]. It would be better for us.”

He added, “It’s one way to directly put money to defence and people understand where this money goes.”

Latvia’s Foreign Minister said in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph last week, that NATO allies must consider a “total defence” model whereby a large amount of a “citizen army” can be called up a short notice.

Karins said it was “inevitable” the UK will have no choice but to increase the defence spending to 3% of Britain’s GDP.

Latvia calls up eligible men aged between 18 to 27-years old who must complete military basic training and have to serve for 11 months.

Karins was asked if the UK and allies should consider their model, he said, “We would strongly recommend this. We are developing and fleshing out a system of what we call a total defence involving all parts of civil society.”

The Foreign Minister said that they took elements from the Finnish military conscription that “could be a very good model for many of us.”

He said that Finland has a small army “but a very large, very well-trained” reservists “so they can easily call up a 250,000 trained military.”

Tobias Ellwood, a former minister and ex-chairman of the Commons defence committee said, “Visiting Finland recently, it was clear to see they have the most impressive ‘total defence’ model in NATO.

“Sitting on the West’s front line during the Cold War necessitated retaining the ability to mobilise much of the population at short notice.

“With Putin securing another six years in office and seeking to emulate Stalin and expand his influence, we too should be reviewing our total defence model.”

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