October 1, 2005: Romania has decided to end conscription. The Romanian parliament voted to end the draft after the October 2006 "class" of draftees reports for duty. Beginning in January 2007, 20 year-old Romanian men will have to register with the government but the men will only be liable to call up in the case of war. The parliamentary vote formalizes one of many military modernization and reform programs Romania agreed to when it joined NATO. The Romanian military now has slightly more than 100,000 troops. As conscripts leave active duty Romania plans on reducing its armed forces to 75,000 personnel.
September 30, 2005: The worst thing about Kosovo is that there has been no progress in the last six years. After NATO military force got Serbia to pull their troops out of the province, because of Serb attempts to expel the Albanian majority population, the Albanians came back and successfully forced out most of the Serb minority in Kosovo. Now, only about five percent of the population is Serb, and they live in enclaves guarded by 17,000 NATO peacekeepers. Violence and crime are common, and jobs are not (about two thirds of the workforce are unemployed.) The only big business is crime, with organized gangs heavily into smuggling, drugs, prostitution and whatever else will earn money. Islamic charities have set up religious schools, and are turning thousands of young Albanians into enthusiastic haters of all things Christian. Because it's bad for business, the Albanian gangsters let it be known that Islamic terrorism is not welcome in Kosovo. But the groundwork is being done.