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Conscription

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posted on Jul, 31 2006 @ 07:34 AM
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Myself and JimmyCarterIsNotSmarter had a conversation in the India-Hyperpower thread about the conscript army vs. professional army in an european pretext.

I wanted to gather some opinions about how to organize a countrys defence:
-Small profecional force
or
-Larger Conscript base military

Military, Social and Economic effects included.

How would a 50 000 men pro army compare to 500 000 men reservist army? Assuming both have the same spending levels?




posted on Jul, 31 2006 @ 08:02 AM
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Hmmm.

Well, the Chinese used the human wave fairly effectively in North Korea, but it was overcome with firepower and training.

I think if you have an army full of motivated individuals with good training, you can defeat a superior numbered foe with less training and desire. Also, with 50,000 the $ can also go into support, logistics, and firepower, while with 500,000 most of the money would go into general equipment / outfitting.

The real test is going to be China's current army. Huge numbers, a modernization of equipment, and indoctrination. What they lack is the ability to maneuver free of centralized command. At least they did. I'm not sure if they've decentralized thier control any since the 80's.

I think another key lies in the flexibility of the army. Though many US soldiers in WWII were draftees, there was a lot of leeway for initiative and industriousness.



posted on Aug, 1 2006 @ 04:30 AM
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When most US/UK people think of conscripts they immediately think of VietCong or Chinese in Korea with 2 weeks of training a 3 rounds in a rifle, when they really should be thinking of a force that has 6-12 months of intensive training and good equipment... difference between average US Grunt and a conscript narrows down quickly...

Concript army doesn't have to operate on a static command structure basis with centralized decicion making like the chinese did.

Finnish army uses highly decentralized and flexible structures. Each battalion is able to manouver and operate on its own, or co-operate it's actions even across brigade lines... We allready have horizontally network centric Artillery control and Air defences. Combine this with highly educated NCO cadre that allows each squad/team to operate independently toward the battalions goal, even if Command & Control is lost... We've had most of this cabability since 1930's, with a conscript army



posted on Aug, 1 2006 @ 08:51 AM
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You are correct.
We tend to think of the Soviet model of the military when we think of conscripts. In the case of manditory service in Europe, and Israel as well, I tend to think of it differently, like the US citizen soldiers of WWII. I have no idea why this is so, but conscript puts me in mind of the medieval practice of pressing peasants into service as sword fodder. I also think of conscript as "serve or die" as opposed to manditory service, which I would classify as "serve or go to jail".

In the light of viewing a country such as the Netherlands as having a "conscript" army, I think you have the best of both worlds. I know you have some of the best gear in that part of the world. SIG, Styer, and FN are all outstanding. Over here we there is a lot of anticipation about the SIG 556 coming out.



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 02:26 PM
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It is interesting to consider the differences between professional and conscripted as it pertains to morale; in a situation such as vietnam, you have a sizable, well-equipped army, made up largely of draftees. Due to the political climate of the time, many of those soldiers probably did not feel 100% certain that they wanted to be there, or that their cause was just, and those feelings undoubtedly would have effected their performance in battle. Contrast that with the Army of the Potomac or the Confederacy; both of those armies used conscripts as well, yet the tenacity of those fighting forces was signifigantly different than those fighting in Vietnam, due to the belief(on both sides) that their cause was utterly correct, and that honor demanded that they fight with every ounce of strength they had. Thus the percieved cause for which one fights can have a very signifigant impact on the effectiveness of a fighting force.

One must also consider the feelings of the citizenry from which the army is raised; In a case like Nazi Germany, many of the draftees would already have been zealous supporters of thier cause, and would need much less conditioning to achieve maximum effectiveness, as compared to an army drawn from a dissatisfied citizenry. And I think that the tactical edge of morale would play a very strong role in say the Chinese army nowadays. They have been conditioned from birth with very black and white, us and them ideation, and that mentality would only add to the leathality of their forces. Whereas our own country has become so polarized that morale could certainly be a problem if a draft were to be instituted.



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