Germany decides to end conscription next July

Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg addresses the annual conference of the German Department of Defence, Nov. 22, 2010.

From the AP:  Germany’s defense minister announced Monday the nation will end conscription in July 2011 and switch to a slimmed-down volunteer military service of some 185,000 troops focused on missions abroad.

The reforms are aimed at realigning the German army to better reflect the nation’s post-Cold War needs, Karl[-Theodor] zu Guttenberg told a military conference in Dresden. …

It is the first time Guttenberg has given a date to end conscription and a concrete number of troops. He said his ministry would be finalizing the details of the raft of cuts and changes that will accompany the restructuring in the coming weeks. Parliament is expected to pass the measures in December. …

The most important change will be that young German men will no longer be called up for obligatory military service. Instead volunteers will serve between 12 to 23 months volunteer term of service, with soldiers able to deploy abroad after six months of service. Guttenberg hopes that will allow at least 10,000 troops to be deployed abroad in the future.

“The measuring stick must be the missions,” Guttenberg said. “That is the heart of the realigned army.”  (photo: Getty)

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