There are reports that Serbia is contemplating the reinstatement of mandatory military conscription due to escalating tensions in the Balkans and other parts of Europe, which have been fueled by concerns about the outbreak of World War III.
President Aleksandar Vucic stated that army officers presented him with compelling reasoning in support of implementing a compulsory draft.
The mandatory conscription was halted in 2011 as part of an effort to enhance the professionalism of the military.
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Nevertheless, the Serbian president refrained from providing a specific timeline for the return of the text, but assured that the idea would be subjected to a vote in the national parliament.
“We are not threatening anyone,” Vucic stated.
“Today, if you don’t have (a strong) army, you don’t have a country.”
“We will see if it (military service) will last 90 or 100 days, or maybe 110 days,” Vucic informed the press.
“As well as when it will be introduced and how the financial and logistical assumptions will be fulfilled.”
According to The Washington Post:
“Opposition politicians and other critics of a draft have questioned the logic of a military buildup when Serbia is almost completely surrounded by NATO member countries which have superior firepower in case of a conflict. There are also concerns that the government may struggle to foot the bill for a larger military.
Tensions have been high in the Balkans, which went through the bloody breakup of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Although formally neutral, the Serbian Army has maintained close ties to Russia, from which it purchases most of its arms, including fighter jets and tanks.“
Serbia was among the minority of nations that declined to impose sanctions on Russia in response to its incursion into Ukraine.
Concerns have arisen due to the issue of Kosovo, an earlier part of Serbia, which proclaimed independence in 2008. However, Serbia, together with its allies Russia and China, have refused to acknowledge this declaration.
In recent months, Serbia has repeatedly heightened its military preparedness at the point of contact with Kosovo.
The nation also kept amicable relations with NATO, whose military forces have been deployed in Kosovo from 1999.
Senior military leaders issued a warning previously this week, stating that the UK may implement conscription if NATO engages in a conflict with Russia.
According to General Sir Patrick Sanders, the departing leader of the British Army, a struggle of this nature would require the “whole-of-nation undertaking.”
“Within the next three years, it must be credible to talk of a British Army of 120,000, folding in our reserve and strategic reserve. But this is not enough,” he stated.
“We will not be immune and as the pre-war generation we must similarly prepare – and that is a whole-of-nation undertaking,” Sanders emphasized.
“Ukraine brutally illustrates that regular armies start wars; citizen armies win them. But we’ve been here before, and workforce alone does not create capability.”
According to the BBC, “other senior NATO military commanders have also recently been calling on the alliance to ready itself for a potential conflict.”
As reported by the source:
In response to Gen Sir Patrick speech the UK prime minister’s spokesman said hypothetical scenarios of a future potential conflict were not helpful and ruled out any move towards a conscription model for the Army.
One senior Conservative MP told the BBC he did not think Rishi Sunak had fully appreciated the threat posed by Russia.
The MP said that might be because the prime minister when growing up had not experienced the existential threat posed by the old Soviet Union during the Cold War era.
Gen Sir Patrick said the nation could not afford to make the same mistakes of 1914, when it failed to perceive the escalations that led to World War One.