Croatia to Reintroduce Compulsory Military Training?

Total Croatia News

Young Croats would be forced to spend between 30 and 60 days in military training during summer months.

There has been no conscription in Croatia since 2008, which at the time draw mainly positive reactions from the public. There is only voluntary military service for a period of 14 weeks for those who want it or plan to become professional soldiers. However, there are still those who advocate mandatory military training (much shorter than before), particularly in military circles and some political parties, which has led to growing speculation that the current government could reintroduce military conscription, reports Glas Slavonije on January 24, 2017.

According to unofficial information, a comprehensive analysis is being conducted which will show all the pros and cons of the re-activation of compulsory military service during the summer months. Until final results of the analysis are known, the Defence Ministry has refused to comment on the issue. However, informed sources confirm that compulsory military training is under consideration, adding that it is up to the military and the Defence Ministry to propose what would be included in the training and see whether it would be worth it. They also point out that some other European countries are also considering similar changes.

“A system of some kind of education in the field of security and defence simply does not exist anymore in our country. In any case, it is up to the military to prepare proposals which will then be debated. There are various proposals, some include a two month training, and some just one month. It should definitely not last longer than two months. They would learn some basic things about security and leadership. No one would be required to acquire any specialized military knowledge. They would learn how to use infantry weapons, but not complex weapon systems. So, they would learn how to use automatic weapons, provide first aid and use protective masks. And, after that, there will always be the possibility of voluntary additional training or service in reserve forces that will be developed”, said a source.

In their opinion, there should be no problem for basic knowledge and skills to be acquired in a month. Also, socialization of these people would allegedly bring many benefits. “Our goal would be to teach them some basic concepts and things we think they should know. For example, how to set up a tent or similar procedures which can be applied in different situations”, said the source.

This is not the first time that the idea about the reintroduction of conscription has been mentioned in Croatia, which happens regularly when neighbouring countries, mostly Serbia, begin to talk about a possibility of using force to solve a problem (in this case, Kosovo). On the other hand, Serbia and other Croatians neighbours do not have compulsory military service, so it is not clear who could possibly launch a major attack on Croatia which Croatian professional soldiers could not handle. Also, it is likely that any country in the region which would decide to expand its military would find itself under strong international pressure, since nobody in Europe wants to have another war in the Balkans.


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