Attrition: Romania Trades Coercion for Quality


October 28, 2006: Romania ended over a century of conscription this month.Romania is following a trend started by Britain in the early 1960s, when conscription was abolished there. The U.S. followed a decade later, and then the Cold War ended in 1991. After that, most European nations were able to cut their armed forces substantially. Realizing that Britain and the United States had demonstrably better quality troops, largely because they had an all-volunteer force, enthusiasm for conscription began to fade. The only thing that stops many nations from going all-volunteer, is the added expense. Romania actually stopped calling up conscripts last year, but now the practice is officially gone. Over two thirds of Romanian military personnel are already careerists, and, because of high unemployment, the military does not anticipate any problems attracting enough volunteers.


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