Compulsory military service has been the subject of multiple discussions. There are people who find it necessary for different reasons, while others consider this practice to be rather wasteful, if not damaging. However, there are countries that simply have no other option besides implementing compulsory training. In my speech, I would like to explore some facts, including some positive and negative aspects of this occurrence.
The main reason why this practice exists is the urgent need to defend the country. Such locations tend to expect a specific period of time from each person, unless they are disabled or have a mental disorder (Tiwari, 2021). Some countries, such as Israel, conscript people of both sexes due to the severity of the situation. The service may vary from a year, like in Brazil, to two, similar to South Korea.
Just like every other practice, conscription has its consequences. According to research by Vasquez et al, compulsory military training has a long-lasting influence on people’s personalities. Those who underwent it are usually authoritarian, disciplined and tend to resort to violence as a solution (Ertola, 2022). Although beliefs are more severely affected than character, the effect on the latter is rather important and may provide necessary context.
However, there are some factors that work in favor of compulsory mandatory service, especially in places where its necessity is undisputed. A study estimated by Liao has shown that after the reduction of the conscription time period in Taiwan, there has been a rise in adolescent crimes by 30 percent (Liao, 2021). This implies that in some locations, conscription may decrease crime statistics significantly due to the taught positive character traits.
In conclusion, compulsory military training is a rather nuanced topic that requires context and a broad understanding of the issue. The negative effect it may have on some conscripts is undeniable, just like the positive one, such as crime reduction. Depending on the geopolitical situation of a country, it may either be a blessing or a curse, deteriorating some aspects of the place. Thus, it is impossible to approach the matter that would suit all locations equally.
Ertola Navajas, G., López Villalba, P. A., Rossi, M. A., & Vazquez, A. (2022). The long-term effect of military conscription on personality and beliefs. Review of Economics and Statistics, 104(1), 133-141.
Liao, C. (2021). Does compulsory military service influence crime rates? Evidence from Taiwan. SSRN.
Tiwari, A. (2021). From Israel to Russia: These countries have compulsory military service. IndiaTimes.