r/europe 13d ago hehehehe 1 Helpful 1

Latvia to reintroduce conscription for men aged 18-27 News

https://www.osw.waw.pl/en/publikacje/analyses/2022-09-14/latvia-to-reintroduce-conscription
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u/Nitramu Latvia 13d ago

Couldn't find if this applies to dual citizens living outside Latvia, I have already done military service in Sweden, doing it again is not something im very keen on...

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u/TeetisViestards 13d ago

It says here that you won’t be recruited if you have a dual citizenship and have served in an another country’s military, so you should be safe my man 👍🏼 https://eng.lsm.lv/article/society/defense/government-supports-return-of-mandatory-military-service-in-latvia.a472492/

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u/j2T-QkTx38_atdg72G 13d ago

But someone with dual citizenship who has never served in either country is obliged to serve if called in? Am I understanding this correctly?

My brother who has a Latvian mother, but never lived in Latvia is in this category.

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u/ophereon New Zealand 13d ago

I'd imagine it'd be a case of potentially getting called to serve if they ever went to Latvia, but left alone while they live abroad. At least that's how it worked for some family members of mine who had dual citizenship in Greece but were born and lived overseas. I'd imagine Latvia would have a similar setup, but I could be mistaken.

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u/Constant-Recording54 Lithuania 13d ago

So in Lithuania it did not matter unless you are a student. If you are a working man they would organise sort of postponing to your mortgage and paid you a bit, 3.4k € for 9 months aint that much but it is not nothing. The location did not matter, but dodgers were not prosecuted harsly, sentences are pretty serious but the way they are (or should I say were because idk what is going on now) followed is not

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u/SeineAdmiralitaet Austria 13d ago

The trick often is to claim that you never received a conscription notice, since foreign postal services usually aren't considered reliable in courts.

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u/unbelievablekekw EU 13d ago

€3.4k for 9months gief that, we get paid around €9/month during mandatory conscription at Greek army for 9 months.

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u/Constant-Recording54 Lithuania 13d ago

Fuckeeen wot, but it is understandable (not justified however) your draft model is quite outdated or maybe the process itself and the clauses that were made do not reflect reality. Our draft was reintroduced quite recently so gov and people had a different dialog and different concessions were made than in your case. All in all - appaling situation in Helas :(

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u/unbelievablekekw EU 13d ago

Technically we get paid €800/month but they withheld €791 cause you have expenses living and eating at the camp, beat that :p

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u/Pretend_Violinist_70 13d ago

3.4k for 9 month is ridiculously low.

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u/destomp 13d ago

Low? In Greece a conscript serving his 12 month obligatory military service gets around 7€ per month...!

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u/Constant-Recording54 Lithuania 13d ago

That be the life in the Baltics 😅

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u/NorFever Finland 13d ago

At least in Finland the service is voluntary to dual citizens who live abroad.

Source: had a friend during the service who was English but his other parent was Finnish and he decided to serve on his own accord.

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u/mauganra_it 13d ago

Better also check whether being drafted could lead to loss of citizenship. Some countries really don't like their citizens to enlist in the military of others.

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u/j2T-QkTx38_atdg72G 13d ago

Good point. But tbh I don't see a reality where he'll do any kind of military service in Latvia. The kid can barely speak some very basic Latvian.

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u/a009763 Sweden 13d ago

I know Sweden and Finland has an old agreement that nationals of either will get to choose whetever to do their service in the Swedish or the Finnish Armed Forces. If you would want you could do it in both.

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u/Low_Wrangler5472 13d ago edited 13d ago

This was the case around 2010. Most likely still is

Finland didn't let you off not doing anything though and Sweden did not conscript in those years, still don't at equivalent level, so most if not all Finnish citizens in Sweden got sent an ultimatum by tracked mail.

Show up at this place at this time expecting to stay one year or you are breaking these laws and if you enter Finland after this point you will get arrested at entry and handed over to military police

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u/Kovilas 13d ago

I don't know about Latvia, but, I think, in Lithuania you can't be conscripted if You've served in another country's military. Not because of training ir something, but because You've already gave an oath to defend other country's territory and that might come into conflict.

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u/Lamuks Latvia 13d ago

Its the same. If you served elsewhere you dont have to.

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u/Bicentennial_Douche Finland 13d ago

Back when I was in military there was a British-Finnish dual-citizen there, who had to serve if he wanted to keep his Finnish citizenship. He didn’t speak any Finnish when he joined, but he learned quickly. Especially the curse words.

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u/DaigaDaigaDuu Finland 13d ago

That’s how it is in Finland, at least. Just make sure to remember to notify authorities in Latvia that you’ve done it already elsewhere. A friend of mine had done it in Germany and forgot to notify Finnish authorities, and when he came to visit, he had some troubles.

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u/Wearedoomedxd Portugal 13d ago

Quite sure you don't have to do it twice.

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u/Skeinpats 13d ago

I’m an Australian who is half Latvian, and recently was trying to obtain a Latvian passport, but ultimately decided against it as I was told at the embassy that I would potentially be conscripted if I ever returned to visit family, however not sure if this applies if you have already served for another country.

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u/thepinkblues Ireland 13d ago

I know a Latvian dude and he got a letter about this in the post a small bit back. As far as I know he didn’t have to go over to do the training but if he enters Latvia he might be swooped up for training. By who? No idea.

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u/lolcutler England / USA 13d ago

Latvian 28 year olds punching the air right now

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u/SmooK_LV Latvia 13d ago

Going to be 28 in a few days. So will pass me.

Not a bad thing and with such a neighbour as Russia, I wouldn't mind joining it too. It's for the best for our people to learn how to survive and defend themesleves.

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u/LupineChemist Spain 13d ago

Yeah the real point of the conscription is basically just to train everyone how to shoot and basic military tactics and give some military skills so in the event of a mass mobilization, you can be ready much much faster. Over decades it means you can basically call up any man of reasonable age (say up to 50) and expect them to know the basics.

Seems like it would be reasonable to have a one or two week course every couple years for refresh of basic skills for people, too

Like if you've already driven a tank, you just need a couple week refresher course.

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u/DonKihotec Ukraine | Switzerland 13d ago

You've just described swiss conscription model.

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u/moriclanuser2000 13d ago

it's called "the continental system" because every country on the continent of Europe, as opposed to the (islands of) UK, had it at some point ( 1800s-1990s). The UK had a volonteer force until WW1.

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u/Lolfest United Kingdom 13d ago

The UK still has a volunteer force, it's just not called that since 1908. It's called the Army Reserve.

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u/Dappington Australia 13d ago

Yeah, like he said, he described the (modern) conscription model in general. No shock that it applies to Switzerland, Finland, South Korea, whatever.

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u/Tomthemadone Finland 13d ago

You've just described Finns conscription model.

But honestly conscription isnt bad, the time you serve is an experience that you wont forget and you can share experiences with friends and parents and eventually with your kids

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u/lapzkauz Noreg 13d ago edited 13d ago

Hell, here in Norway, conscription (which is universal/sex-neutral) is so popular that it's really conscription in name only — there are more people who want to get in than the armed forces need any given year.

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u/SexyBisamrotte Denmark 13d ago

Same in Denmark!

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u/jackdawesome Earth 13d ago

Freaking Danes, always doing the right thing.

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u/Barney_Stinson42 Turkey 13d ago

basically just to train everyone how to shoot and basic military tactics and give some military skills so in the event of a mass mobilization

Why exclude woman then I never understand that.

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u/Kjartanski Iceland 13d ago

Sexism, this is a thing that israel does, to an extent at least

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u/Sponxy Norway 13d ago

Norway has had gender neutral conscription since 2014, too.

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u/Barney_Stinson42 Turkey 13d ago

Good for you. Different laws for men and women only create more sexists.

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u/[deleted] 13d ago edited 1d ago

[deleted]

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u/Airowird 13d ago

The problem with your idea is that Latvia lacks the population to maintain a large professional force. Let's face it, their biggest worry is Russia and in the current state of their army, it's better to have a large militia that can force the Russians to maintain heavy presence and where needed, apply guerilla tactics.

It is the better military choice to try and hold the aggressor at bay untill NATO can mobilise a counterattack.

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u/Noctew North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) 13d ago

It‘s a mixed bag. On the one hand, a professional/volunteer l army gives you more experienced, motivated soldiers with years of training. On the other hand you get corporals and sergeants driving tanks, which used to be a private‘s job - but nobody will stay for 8 or 12 years with a private‘s wage.

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u/owennewaccount 13d ago

Reddit is so crazy over Russia they now think conscription is a good thing

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u/Onetwodash Latvia 13d ago

If you wouldn't mind joining, call Zemessardze at 1811.

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u/theystalk 13d ago

The world is going wild right now. Its actually heart breaking to see.

I naively thought our generation would be so much better as we had the internet and free access to information and it would make us wiser.

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u/laturaivo 13d ago

Tbh, younger generation has no say to any of this. We will have to wait another 20-30 years to see

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u/demostravius2 United Kingdom 13d ago

Gen Z are going to have whole other types of extremism to deal with, there is no way social media hasn't done a number on a huge percentage of developing minds.

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u/colei_canis United Kingdom 13d ago Silver Helpful Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote Starry

I can definitely see social media creating something akin to evangelical purity culture in developing minds. There’s a real sense of moral absolutism at the moment that’s really not too far removed from ‘there’s no such thing as degrees of sin, any infraction is punishable by the maximum penalty’ and this increasing polarisation applies across both ideological and national borders.

While people are often quick to cry wolf in an absurd fashion on this issue I definitely think there’s a lot of witch hunts in our future across the spectrum. There’s an awful lot of black and white, my way or the highway kind of rhetoric going around and not much in the way of compromise or live and let live. I’d like to think that secularisation would mean less ideological conflict but I think that belief was naïve, instead of our religious impulses fading politics has somewhat filled that role instead. Once something is part of your identity it’s impossible to reason about it objectively, but our identities have got so much larger and more heterogeneous in the present era.

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u/Valdrick_ Catalonia (Spain) 13d ago Take My Energy

Ain't that the truth?... I used to like debating stuff on Reddit, but every day more and more I see myself stopping in the middle of a reply, deleting everything, hitting "Cancel" and thinking - Why bother? It is not going to be a productive discussion anyway.

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u/Davedoffy Switzerland 13d ago

damn, are you me? "Am I feeding a troll?" "Is this person seriously trying to argue in good faith?" "better to not bother probably" lol

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u/JuniperTwig 13d ago

There's no good faith arguments with people who think a cheese pizza order is code for pedophiles, the FBI caused Jan 6th, and Fauci is paid with Soros bucks.

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u/TAAyylmao 13d ago

Cheese pizza thing was real pedo lingo. Look up Ray Epps for jan 6. And idk about soros but fauci sure loved to torture beagles. Fauci conspiracies more center around the fact that the chinese wuhan lab was funded by the US.

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u/onikzin 13d ago Take My Energy

You should answer for the audience, not for the idiot you're replying to. Reddit has like 90 lurkers to one commenter or something

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u/Valdrick_ Catalonia (Spain) 13d ago

True, but somehow I also feel like sparing the audience of the potential replies.

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u/colei_canis United Kingdom 13d ago

Same, it's like that basic assumption that even if you disagree with the other person you both benefit from a level playing field has vanished.

I lay the blame for this squarely at the doors of the Silicon Valley firms, the sheer banal evil in using behavioural psychology to amplify controversy and induce hatred to drive engagement (and therefore ad revenue) is obvious to everyone with eyes by this point.

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u/water2wine Canada 13d ago

I had a bit of a wake up call on that reading answers to “what’s something you should never do” and a top post was “argue with strangers online”.

It made me realize I’d been wasting time on that often and being on reddit too much.

Reddit is just supposed to be an outlet for me to post food but inexorably you get drawn into to the bs lol.

I’ve additionally noticed a serious uptick in just unnecessary vitriol - even if I stick to just posting food pics you’ll get people getting into feverous personal arguments over snacks, it’s bonkers.

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u/MetalRetsam Europe 13d ago

The rise of the internet can be compared to the invention of printing or the dissemination of radio. Criticism of existing institutions, polarization, extremism, propaganda, and war.

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u/colei_canis United Kingdom 13d ago

Pretty good analogy, governments freaked the fuck out over radio in Europe and heavily controlled it. As late as the 1970s the only meaningfully independent radio in the UK came from pirate ships in the North Sea outside of territorial waters and I think the same was true in the Netherlands for a while.

Really parallels how the UK government approaches the internet, especially muppets like Nadine Dorries who's thankfully been sacked.

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u/demostravius2 United Kingdom 13d ago

Sort of, radio was a single message to any listener. Internet provides tailored and deliberately targetted messages

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u/IncidentalIncidence long desk enjoyer 13d ago

well yeah, but all forms of mass media fundamentally changed things, all the way back to the invention of books and the printing press.

I was listening to a podcast the other day that was talking about a couple of the books that went "viral" among some of the intellectual social circles in the early 1900s and essentially started the American eugenics movement.

It was weird, because today we don't think of books as having the same sort of power for disinformation and destabilization, at least not on their own, but at the time they absolutely did. Society kind of grew past that, as new forms of media were invented.

I think it's the same with the Internet -- wherever the most people are will by nature be the place where extremists go to recruit. At one point it was the town square, at one point it was printed books and pamphlets, at one point it was radio, at one point it was movies, right now it's the Internet.

I guess what I'm saying is that as the internet matures as a medium, the ways we use it will change and the ways extremists try to recruit will change with it. Eventually the targeted advertising aspect of it will be as normal to us as geographically localized radio ads are to us today, and there will be some new type of media or new technological capability that extremists will be trying to exploit for their own purposes. It literally will never end until human civilization does.

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u/count_montescu 13d ago

Stupidity loves this way of thinking because it enables people to avoid complication and not to have to think or consider other perspectives, other viewpoints and the historically, philosophically complex, wiggly, muddy mess that is human society and human value systems. Much easier to plant a flag in the ground and condemn anything that doesn't accord with it. Trouble with that is we lose the power to empathize, understand, accept and see the much, much bigger picture at play...

There definitely seems to be a widescale attempt from the media and big tech to radicalize people into narrow groups and simple polarities.

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u/TimX24968B 13d ago

it also leads to far more satisfying conclusions. "its complicated" just annoys everyone involved. "this is right, and this is wrong" only annoys 1 group involved.

not to mention how our brains like to compartmentalize things to make them easier to understand.

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u/Tyler1492 13d ago

While people are often quick to cry wolf in an absurd fashion on this issue I definitely think there’s a lot of witch hunts in our future across the spectrum.

Precisely because there are so many and nobody's safe, they mean less and less overtime. I don't think it will be a problem in 20 years, honestly.

Once something is part of your identity it’s impossible to reason about it objectively, but our identities have got so much larger and more heterogeneous in the present era.

True, but I also think identities too have gotten out of hand and will probably fade away in importance the next couple of decades.


With regards to social media's effect I'm more worried about surveillance states and the learned helplessness of the world of Wall·E.

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u/colei_canis United Kingdom 13d ago

After the upheaval of the English Civil War, Stuart Restoration, and Glorious Revolution there was a apparently huge taboo in English polite society of proselytising religion or politics. They called this ‘enthusiasm’ and it was considered one of the key contributors to the turmoil by many who were affected by that era so it became for a time socially unacceptable for at least the educated classes.

I suspect you’re right and the same thing will happen to identity but I worry about how much conflict will happen between now and then.

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u/CrazyCanuckBiologist 13d ago

To top it all off: when the dam bursts in these situations, moderates are usually the first ones up against the wall, metaphorically or literally. Then the whole situation goes crazy for a while with massive amounts of suffering. Then people come to their collective senses and stop things, but the damage is done and you spend decades picking up the pieces.

Case study: the first French Revolution. The old regime was bad, but the Terror was... terrible. It also directly lead into the Napoleonic wars, which were also terrible. But also spread ideas (not always in practice, but ideas) of equality and justice.

Almost like history is complicated, and usually gray on gray, with the occasional gray on black that everyone likes to pretend is the norm, and is actually white on black.

But whether it be via tweets or old-fashioned pamphlets, history finds ways to repeat itself.

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u/SCArnoldos Subcarpathia 🇵🇱🇪🇺 13d ago

It's almost as if religion wasn't the cause of extremism but merely an excuse for human affinity for conflict and adversity that's now being substituted with political identity.

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u/gonnathr0wthisaway2 13d ago

I wouldn't call it an excuse. Most of the people killing in the name of religion in the past were true believers and not just doing it to serve another end. Religion like politics is just another outlet for tribalism. There are a lot of comparisons to be drawn between a religious fundamentalist and a political extremist.

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u/Tyler1492 13d ago

to have whole other types of extremism to deal with

I wonder what efficacy gen z extremists will have in 20 years having been raised in a world of constant interaction and pathological pleasure seeking. The annihilated attention span alone should pose a great barrier.

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u/Winterspawn1 Belgium 13d ago

This is so true

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u/Happy-Engineer 13d ago

Sadly I think that's often the case with wars.

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u/zyygh Belgium 13d ago

And the politicians who are starting these wars, were children / teenagers at the time of previous wars as well. Young people are inclined to think they will do better, but I'm afraid that power and money would corrupt the best of us.

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u/MadHarlekin 13d ago

I would agree with this. Power and money corrupts and humanity will never fully get away from conflicts.

History will show you the people in the past weren't dumb either. Technology moves on, humans however mostly stay the same.

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u/MeAnIntellectual1 Denmark 13d ago

It's because selfishness is rewarded. How are you going to get to the top if you have morals?

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u/Rsndetre Romania 13d ago

This. You have to be the best schemer with the best fake effusive personality to get atop the snake pit that is a big party.

We are not voting the most competent person but the best and most ruthless actor.

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u/notveryamused_ Warszawa (Poland) 13d ago

I think it would be fair to say certain, and actually very particular politicians like Putin. This thousands of pointless deaths are actually planned by one man on top of an authoritarian hierarchy.

Power and money can corrupt the best of us indeed, and yet it's really unlikely that Belgian govt will start a genocidal war in Europe anytime soon: a democratic society with civil liberties, good relations with neighbours and educated citizens don't guarantee the best and least corrupt governments (you can look at Poland lol), but definitely can and should prevent such disasters from happening. Russia is an authoritarian state with fascist leanings, undemocratic society with no civil liberties and uneducated society and we see the results.

In other words, I'm against saying that "politicians start wars and young civilians are dying"; yeah it's true, but it's way too abstract. Particular things must happen in a society for it to turn genocidal.

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u/be-like-water-2022 13d ago

You fasten all the triggers

For the others to fire

Then you sit back and watch

When the death count gets higher

You hide in your mansion

While the young people's blood

Flows out of their bodies

And is buried in the mud

You've thrown the worst fear

That can ever be hurled

Fear to bring children

Into the world

For threatening my baby

Unborn and unnamed

You ain't worth the blood

That runs in your veins

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u/dandjcro Croatia 13d ago

Maybe u/theystalk is 70 years old.

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u/Marphey12 13d ago

Internet is double edged sword. It provides the things you said but it also makes anyone prone to misinformation and propaganda and it is great tool to control the populus.

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u/Swackles 13d ago

There are dumbasses in every generation. Our generation won't be better or worse than the last, we'll just try to do things differently, like every generation before us.

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u/AdonisGaming93 13d ago

To be fair, i doubt latvia is going to actually send those guys to war. Russia is being embarrased heavily so I doubt they have the man-power to go attack latvia or any other nation.

I hope that this ends up just having younger men maybe get a little military experience just so they are prepared but otherwise likely not actually see combat. Maybe just gain some discipline.

At least I really hope so, but I want to be optimistic.

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u/j0kunen1 13d ago

Latvia is not going to attack anywhere. Just like Finland, which has had conscription all the time, will not attack. But we know which way to point our guns to defend our countries.

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u/Sniffy4 13d ago

FYI the Teutonic Knights in Koenigsberg look pretty sus to me.

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u/daaniscool The Netherlands 13d ago

The optimism about the internet in the 90's turned out into the opposite. It seems that internet is better at creating a rift in society. Although I don't blame the people in the 90's since few had any idea of the immense amount of opportunities and threats internet was bound to have.

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u/Noa15Lv Latvia 13d ago

It will be fun for us, who are living alone without parents in rented apartment with bunch of personal stuff. Will be complicated to keep stuff lock for those 3 months, if you don't have parents anymore or real life friends to trust.

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u/vtsv Latvia 13d ago

You mean a whole year…

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u/ErikTurtle 13d ago

In Estonia it's 9 months or 11 months, depends on the speciality, but yeah, maybe your government will come up with different programs.

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u/Imgoga Lithuania 13d ago

Same in Lithuania

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u/skyesdow Czech Republic 13d ago

People are so weirdly passive-aggressive towards you for being concerned about your belongings/living space safety. They know damn well that even leaving for a 1-2 week vacation puts you at risk of burglary so people often have their friends look after their homes.

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u/Noa15Lv Latvia 13d ago

Yeap. They just don't understand that.

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u/Valkyrie17 13d ago

It will be fun leaving our carreers and getting paid whopping 400€/ month for a year. I really hope the first to be conscripted will be 18/19 year olds who just graduated and their first choice is working at McDonald's.

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u/sokolobo Greece 13d ago

Greek conscripts get paid 8,7€/month now, when I got conscripted in 2006 I was getting around 4 or 5€/month. Glorified slave labor.

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u/BertDeathStare The Netherlands 13d ago

Thought it was a typo and you wanted to say €870 a month. Might as well give nothing at that point because €8,70 a month is like an insult to those conscripts. You can buy a meal with that monthly salary..

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u/xui_nya Czech Republic 13d ago

Just a slavery. You can't refuse assigned work, and are completely owned by those who command you, that's the definition of slavery.

No idea why we concluded that "slavery is abolished", when in fact it can be re-introduced anywhere on a whim.

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u/really_nice_guy_ Austria 13d ago

Lol in my country I earned only 330€ which was if calculated down to the hour about 1,18€ per hour. Arguably the worst six months of my life

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u/ak-92 Lithuania 13d ago

That's what's shitty about this model. In LT, we had this lottery and it sucked for anyone who is even a little bit ambitious. Personally, if I was 18, I wouldn't really mind dedicating 9 months to military, but after graduating university and spending years killing yourself to build up your career getting conscripted without much warning sucks. I know people who had good jobs, were on a steady path to climb corporate ladder, but got snatched by the army. That basically ruined their chances to move up, their peers got good positions or moved to good companies, while conscripts basically were not desired anymore as theyfilled their positions with younger people who don't need to be "refreshed".

I was deemed to be unfit to serve as I have gout, but if I did back then, I wouldn't have anything close to what I have now as I work in an extremely competitive field where a pause like this would basically ruin it. And there's no amount of money that government can offer to compensate that.

Government should offer great conditions to fill conscript quotas (because of Ukraine war, there shouldn't be shortage of volunteers) until mandatory conscription after finishing school is reintroduced. Playing lottery does a lot harm and builds a lot of resentment.

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u/topforce Latvia 13d ago

There are options, 1 of them is 4 years in national guard(Zemessardzē), that can be combined with work.

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u/-MrAnderson Macedonia, Greece 13d ago

One of the worst traits of living as a male in bad neighbourhoods.

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u/nakamenutvrdom Croatia 13d ago

I wouldnt be suprised if all border states of NATO introduce it

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u/jatawis 🇱🇹 Lithuania 13d ago

It already is. 🇳🇴🇫🇮🇸🇪🇪🇪 (🇱🇻) 🇱🇹. Only 🇵🇱 is remaining.

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u/CAP_NET_ADMIN Poland 13d ago

Poland already has a pretty sizeable army, I doubt they'll try to introduce conscription here. Conscription only makes sense in defensive wars, from Russia's perspective attacking Poland using conventional weapons would be suicide.
Baltic States are a different story, as NATO currently is still on the whole "deterrence by punishment" plan instead of "deterrence by denial". I hope NATO picks up the slack and moves more forces to Baltics.

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u/idk2612 13d ago

Polish conscription is actually suspended. There's no need to do legislative action if anyone changes mind - quick order by President/MoD (forgot competent entity) would be enough.

Also most of parties openly talk about renewing the conscription.

We all are aware it's for defensive purposes too. With bad neighbor you need to have enough trained population (trained enough to move like group not bunch of sheep) to make control over your territory pain in the ass. That's the sole reason for conscription in NATO border states.

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u/CAP_NET_ADMIN Poland 13d ago

We've suspended conscription only 2 years after Russian aggression on Georgia, I'm putting my money on "we won't reintroduce it".

Conscripts are a liability to a professional army and a resource drain, what the Polish army lacks is air defenses (especially anti missile equipment), infrastructure to move troops and resources quickly, electronic warfare equipment, counterintelligence units and territorial units. Throwing more meat in the form of conscripts at the problem won't solve it.

We don't even have any shelters for the general population, building bomb-resistant shelters that can be repurposed to other uses during peace time would be a much better way of spending money than restarting conscription.

Ukraine already did a lot to destroy Russian armor, with Finland on the NATO side Russia can't commit a lot of artillery to attack us.

I believe the government will try to provide some basic training to civilians, recently they were talking about gun safety and shooting practices for schools, which I think may be a good idea. We also need more civilian-focused defense practices - how to organize basic triage, how to redistribute critical supplies while attacked, where to go in case of air raids, how to spot targets for the military.

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u/Shaloka_Maloka Beleriand 13d ago

Much larger population helps too.

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u/Fhagersson Sweden 13d ago edited 13d ago

For now, military service in Sweden is only compulsory if you show any interest in doing it in the first place. The year you turn 18 every man and woman receives a letter from the ”government agency of duty” (Pliktverket), containing a key to a digital form where you have to answer a bunch of questions.

One of these question is literally ”do you want to serve in the military”, and if you pick no you’re basically guaranteed to not have to do any follow up physical exams/tests.

Even if you’re picked to do these tests after choosing no you can still deliberately fail them without getting into any trouble. It’s only if you pass all tests that the military service becomes mandatory.

Source: Did the tests back in March

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u/XplosivCookie Finland 13d ago

It's quite a bit tighter in Finland, as there are options for your service that don't involve the military or weapons at all. People that don't want to be involved in defence are meant to do some kind of civilian service, or be trained for military tasks that don't involve handling weapons. Refusing service altogether is around 5 months of house arrest, so there are definitely some conscripts that aren't all that happy to be there. I enjoyed my time though.

Service is obligatory for all men, but there are health evaluations for service class, with C-class being exempt from all service in peace time. There's a T-class now too, which is individually investigated case by case, and means exempt from service due to being a danger to himself or others.

I rather wonder how the numbers would look, if it was voluntary like in Sweden.

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u/OptimistiCrow Norway 13d ago

Same in Norway.

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u/EntForgotHisPassword 13d ago

Makes sense. If you are the kind of person to fake a test you are probably not a reliable soldier who would follow orders without question.

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u/porntla62 13d ago

Following orders without questioning them is what the Russian army does and is why they are so goddamn fucked.

You are supposed to question your orders regarding if they are legal, how to achieve them faster, how to achieve them with fewer resources, how to achieve them loosing less men and equipment and ehat to do of you fail to complete them.

Orders are also significantly delayed. So if the situation changes frontline troops have to decide how to act.

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u/Llew19 13d ago

Poland has a decent sized army and they're rapidly modernising it

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u/Lubinski64 Lower Silesia (Poland) 13d ago

Poland is very unlikely to introduce one, there isn't even any talks about it.

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u/Zetek689 13d ago

Poland actually is introducing voluntary conscription, it takes a year and you are paid monthly salary.

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u/jatawis 🇱🇹 Lithuania 13d ago

We had it in 2011-2015, but it was not considered as conscription.

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u/nakamenutvrdom Croatia 13d ago

Depends if we will also have to join that due to unfortunate russian ally placement

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u/itrustpeople 13d ago

not gonna happen in Romania.

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u/koczu Silesia (Poland) 13d ago

For the next 10 years, Russia would not be able to attack any NATO country.

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u/[deleted] 13d ago

I thought they never banned conscription considering the fact that they border Russia and have 25% of their population ethnically Russian.

Though they're a NATO member and thus safe from any invasion. like, literally any kind.

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u/ConstableBlimeyChips The Netherlands 13d ago

I can't speak for Latvia but here in the Netherlands many people think conscription was abolished in 1996 but that's not true. The quota for conscription was reduced to zero after 1996 so you don't get called up to serve, but the government can reintroduce conscription at a moment's notice.

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u/SirHawrk Baden-Württemberg (Germany) 13d ago

Similar in germany. Conscription does still exist it was just limited to "high tension case" or "Defensive case"

Neither of these have come up in the history of the BRD

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u/[deleted] 13d ago

yeah in Serbia it's similar - people think it's a ban on conscription but in reality it was just "temporarily suspended for the time-being". The government can literally re-introduce it in any time of day and night and call dozens of thousands of young men into service.

here it makes sense though. we have a huge territorial dispute similar to the Donbass or Crimea. I don't see why the Netherlands doesn't just straight abolish it. it's surrounded by the most prosperous countries in the history of humankind, all cooperating with each other.

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u/bjorn_nl Drenthe (Netherlands) 13d ago

We need it to retake Belgium

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u/KaienOnishi 13d ago

Why stop at Belgium? You've already done the hard part of taking Belgium, you might as well go all the way and take France too.

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u/FellowTraveler69 13d ago

London Conference, 1830 worst year ever.

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u/Nodeal_reddit 13d ago

it's surrounded by the most prosperous countries in the history of humankind, all cooperating with each other.

Look at the big picture. The last 80 years of peace are just a small blip on the 2k+ years of documented warfare on the European plane. I’m sure there was another 6k happening before that. Many of the underlying geographic and economic conditions that led to those wars still exist under the surface.

Imagine what Europe looks like if ocean-bound container shipping suddenly stopped. This current peace and cooperation is just a thin crust on a sticky ball of chaos.

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u/handsomehands14 13d ago edited 13d ago

It's very interesting to see how europeans react to this . From someone who in a couple of weeks will be forced against his will to join the army of Egypt , a country that hasn't been to war since 1973 yet still has mandatory conscription . They use soldiers as free workers to work in the economic projects of the army . I just graduated college and i am already in the middle of my career but i have to join or else i cannot leave the country or legally work here for 2 and a half years . It's fucked up . And the egyptian military is really a shithole , they feed you shit , you're not allowed to see your family or friends for a year and you spend that year either blasted in the sun for hours or literally doing nothing just waiting for it to pass and they give you a monthly salary of 15 USD. I CAN'T BELIEVE NO ONE IS DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT .

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u/Cydros1 13d ago

I'm really sorry that you have to go through this. It's ridiculous that in times when people talk so much about gender equality men's rights are so blatantly neglected. It will probably take a couple more decades before anything changes.

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u/Rhas Germany 13d ago All-Seeing Upvote Starry Evil Cackle

Only men?

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u/[deleted] 13d ago

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u/Lamuks Latvia 13d ago

There were ideas floating around of women also, since there are 5 ways to do the service, including in government offices, but in the end its voluntary.

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u/fruitspunch_samurai_ 13d ago

If it‘s voluntary it‘s an entirely different situation lol

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u/Josepsp Europe 13d ago

Only deleted answers. Top ranked answer and a deleted thread below.

How you dare poking such a controversial topic, fellow redditor?

Jk off course, I absolutely agree with the question you ask.

BTW, I was drag to military service just before it was abolished in my country. Or the alternative on social services, as I refused to hold a gun. I'm no fan of military by any means, but sadly I can't avoid to understand the reason behind it right now and right there.

Still, as you rightly ask: only men? That's the point I don't get.

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u/KarlWhale Lithuania 13d ago

I can tell some practice from Lithuanian experience (it seems that Latvia is going in a similar way)

I'm not sure why only men are conscripted to the army on paper. That does seems sexist.

BUT in practice, barely any people who got conscripted are "forced" to go.

The country sets out a quota for a specific year and it usually gets filled up entirely by voluntary admissions (including women).

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u/DukeOfCrydee 13d ago

Because men make better soldiers. I have no idea why people are pretending not to understand this.

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u/Ok_Crew_3620 12d ago

Because some people can’t handle the idea of feminism so they bust this classic out. That said, as a woman I suppose I could make a good sniper or pilot. You know, until I inevitably got raped…and probably also murdered.

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u/Rhas Germany 13d ago

That sounds better, but it's still pretty sexist.

Also that only holds up during peace time, right? Can't imagine they'll get enough voluntary woman applicants to make it fair during war. But men will have no choice but to go. It's just gonna be on the men to die, as always.

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u/McLovinBasketball 13d ago

I'm not sure why only men are conscripted to the army on paper. That does seems sexist.

Because women cant war. Its simple as that. Generals dont give a shit about gender. In tough war conditions men likely to fight better. Its just genetic, muscle mass, durability and stamina.

Plus conscripts cost a lot to goverment. There is no point to train a person who wont fight in a war.

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u/IndifferentAide 13d ago

I don’t like this timeline.

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u/Jerrelh The Netherlands 13d ago

Today I learned Latvia only has 1.9 million people. I thought it was like 5 or 10.

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u/w4hammer Turkiye 13d ago edited 13d ago

Its sad that its back but why is it only for men? Small countries benefit greatly by conscripting both genders just look at Israel. There are a lot of work to be done in millitary you don't have to put women or physically inept people to front lines

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u/Dargor923 European Union 13d ago

Even so, women serve less time than men in Israel. Still better than whatever the fuck we're doing in Greece.

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u/aeruplay 13d ago

Im OOTL, how do they do it in Greece?

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u/Dargor923 European Union 13d ago edited 13d ago

The army service itself is widely considered a waste of time and the training is subpar. Women can serve in the army voluntarily or as a career choice. On the other hand all adult male citizens are conscripted and have to serve a certain amount of time depending on what branch of the armed forces the are assigned to. There are exceptions for example for those who served in a foreign army. There's some different rules around those who are permanent residents abroad etc. There's also the "option" of civil service that's twice as long although it's usually only granted to those belonging in certain religious groups.

Civil service is not available to those who own firearms, participate in sharpshooting sports/go hunting or those with explosives or firearms convictions. If you magically manage to get approved for civil service, you get sent to bumfuck nowhere and there seem to be issues regarding whether housing and food is provided. I think you either get fed and housed or you're paid a ridiculously small amount of money. Not that those who serve in the army get fed better. Beef is affectionately called Godzilla for example.

Army conscripts get a so called grant instead of a monthly wage. As it's not a wage that means you're not entitled to overtime or extra pay if you're stationed in remote areas. Depending on rank it ranges from 8-13 euros per month (yes, per month, not hour) and depending on familial status it can get to a whooping 240ish euros per month. For comparison minimum wage is 713 euros. Last time I checked I'd be eligible for 35 euros as one of my parents is dead. There were enthusiastic talks from government officials about raising the amount of money given to ~30 euros. Not sure if it went through and it's still a slap in the face if you ask me.

That brings us to the main way for getting out of service and that is getting medically disqualified. In the past decade and a half medical disqualifications have become more common (and less taboo) and it's while it's a tedious process it's not hard to get one even if you make bogus claims. Most people who want to get out of army service aim for some sort of mental disqualification. You're examined by army doctors and depending on the severity of your condition they usually issue a postponement of your service supposedly so your condition improves. However I know an HIV positive person who's gotten postponements instead of being outright disqualified. Not sure how HIV was supposed to go away in 2 years but I digress. Once you've reached a total of 2 years of postponements you get examined again and depending on the medical panel's decision you're either forced into service or disqualified. Those with a medical disqualification from the army are considered unemployable in the coast guard, police and fire services.

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u/KleioChronicles 13d ago

Make it both men and women with ability to do civilian jobs in the military and make the age range lower to start with (recruiting a brand new person at age 27 who may well be building their business and career is just cruel). Starting to get 18 year olds trained up before they set out for their careers is fine, stealing people from promising careers at age 27 is not.

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u/_invalidusername Prague (Czechia) 13d ago

This is so fucking sad

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u/burningphoenix1034 13d ago

The draft should be gender neutral.

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u/aggelalex Greece 13d ago

I hope it doesn't become like Greece's conscription, where you just go to become a slave to some military fat-asses cause they don't want to actually hire people and pay them a proper wage

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u/hirshahah 13d ago

Why only for men?

Why not believe in equality both during peace and chaos, and conscript women and everyone else between too?

Conscription sucks and in the spirit of equality all genders should have to go through that sh*tty experience for their country imo.

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u/DraconianAnatomy 13d ago

If men have to spend one or two years serving state, women should be mandated to do same as well.

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u/umotex12 Poland 13d ago

for fucks sake please not in Poland please please not

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u/Elketro Poland 🇵🇱🇪🇺 13d ago

They won't do it since it's the election year, that'd be a political suicide.

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u/Matthias556 Westpreußen Polen 13d ago

Nutters in gov were probing popularity of this lately with polls and stuff, i got quite triggered by that.

But still its quite political taboo, they most likely wont touch it.

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u/RarePepeLover4000 13d ago

I don't think we'll need it tbh. Our army is pretty big and modernized.

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u/BlackRokaz Latvia 13d ago

Not going

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u/Dat_Fcknewb Latvia 13d ago

There is a range of service you can choose from, including admin work if I'm not mistaken..

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u/MrGangster1 Romania 13d ago

The big problem I find with conscription is that if you live abroad you’re still called to service

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u/Deputy_Scrub 13d ago

That's one of my worries. Been living in the UK for 12 years now (I'm 24). I'm expected to drop everything that's going on in my life, maybe lose my job and flat?

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u/Unicorncorn21 Finland 13d ago

Do you know for sure that would happen in Latvia because I live in finland and that's not the case here with our conscription if I remember correctly

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u/Imgoga Lithuania 13d ago

This is how it is with Lithuanian conscription

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u/spedeedeps Finland 12d ago

It is the case with Finnish conscription as well. If you live abroad, even if permanently, you'll still get drafted and called into service. You can get your host countries' citizenship which allows you to dodge it, or you can try to dodge it via a medical.

If neither works, you can't come back to Finland until you're 28 years old or you'll be sent to the military and your passport is a goner until you've served or when you turn 28.

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u/kiken_ Pole in Berlin 13d ago edited 13d ago

Forcing someone to do any work is fucked up, especially when they only target men. Fuck this.

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u/really_nice_guy_ Austria 13d ago

Yeah it’s basically slavery with very little pay

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u/[deleted] 13d ago Helpful

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u/medicindisguise 12d ago

Sexism is on the rise

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u/petraxredrat 13d ago

Huge step back ..:( Pro army was beter..

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u/420Gilgamesh1337 Georgia 13d ago

Male-only conscription is garbage practice. Nobody should be forced to take arms against their will, or swear oath of allegiance, especially if it only applies to one gender.

If country has no choice but to do conscription, there could be mandatory service for both men and women. Everyone should be called up regardless of gender, financial status, education level. Those who don't want to be in army can be sent to do civilian service instead and be added to non-combat reserves. War is not only about firing a gun.

Even if you use the excuse of "women can't fight as well as men" then why are they voluntarily allowed in army? Also even with that there are plenty of non-combat and non-frontline jobs they can do. If men have to spend one or two years serving state, women should be mandated to do same as well.

All that said, once again, you can't make someone who doesn't want to kill a soldier even if you force them. Instead of jailing them give them option to do alternative service.

Sweden and Norway, unlike their certain neighbors, have the best model of conscription in the world, it's gender-neutral with ability to refuse serving in army. More countries should learn from them instead of reintroducing or maintaining archaic, outdated and repressive system.

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u/carpeson 13d ago

Only man? Well as long as that's not fixed many man will bring it up every time gender inequality is brought up. Can't have inequality for anyone when only man are forced to serve in the army.

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u/DelusionalSocialist Sweden 13d ago

It's indeed one tragic example of gender inequality that affects men. Would be a shame if it would be used to dismiss cases of gender inequality against women though.

Not saying that either case is invalid. Just saying that we shouldn't be divided, we should all protest all forms of injustice no matter what gender it is aimed against.

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u/FEIKMAN 13d ago

I've talked about this with my friends - how lucky am I to be born right after Latvia declared their independence back. They stopped mandatory army duty and now they start it again.

Its like - generation before me had to go to army and now the generation after me has to go to army. Its insane that my generation is the only one that got the opportunity to not do it.

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u/angrybab00n 13d ago

Oh look! Misandrist bullshit!

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u/Kassdhal88 13d ago

I wonder if feminists will yell at this outrageous difference of treatment between men and women

Surely as part of looking for equality they should ask for mandatory military service for women too!

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u/jimofsunnyvale 13d ago

Conscription is wrong, should be illegal and will always produce worse soldiers than a volunteer force.

If I do not want to join the army and you force me to join the army and tell me I have to go fight a war with your enemy and possibly die for it you can go fuck yourself, at that point you/my country becomes my enemy and the second you give me a weapon I am going to turn it on my commanders.

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u/Illustrious-Spare-30 12d ago

Doesn't Latvia have a larger female population to male? Why are only males being conscripted?

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u/legendfriend United Kingdom 13d ago

for men

Errrr, discrimination on the basis of gender?! In the EU?! What on earth is happening?

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u/Betradium 13d ago

it's like that in the other baltic states too, also some other countries

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u/zombiesbelikebrruuuh United Kingdom 13d ago

Why just men? Why not women too? And everyone else?

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u/Floginim 13d ago

Well, good luck trying to talk to an entire generation of Latvian men about gender equality now.

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u/ConfidentDragon Slovakia 12d ago

Can we pause for a sec and think about this? This is literal slavery. Right in the EU. I would expect more countries to cancel it, not that more countries would join the shitty club of countries with mandatory conscription.

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u/[deleted] 13d ago

Why not women as well? That's incredibly sexist!

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u/manobataibuvodu 13d ago

27 seems way too high. People that age can have their own businesses or children that depend on the money they earn. Would be much better to conscript people after they finish school and then let them live their life.

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u/FreezaSama 13d ago

fuck that.

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u/ThunderClap448 Dalmatia 13d ago

Gotta love hearing men's rights are being actively fucked even more so than usual

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