Czechs may reinstate compulsory military service - press


13.06.2014 09:53

Prague - The Czech Defence Ministry is drafting a new national defence bill under which the state may be able to order overall military recruitment even at peace time, the daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) writes today.


Ukázka bojové operace české armády 6. června na tankodromu u Strašic při generální zkoušce na Den pozemního vojska Bahna 2014. ČTK Eret Petr

Currently, the military lacks reservists and it would only with difficulties cope with emergency situations, HN writes.

Under the bill, the military service is to cover newly women, too, it adds.

The government is scheduled to debate the bill in autumn, HN writes.

The Czech military now uses roughly 20,000 professional soldiers, but if there is a threat, it may need tens of thousands of soldiers more, it adds.

At present, the military can only call up the reservists after the parliament declares that the nation is threatened.

"If we needed to call up people now, the first reservists would come in 72 days at the earliest," Pavel Tulak, from the general staff who is in charge of defence legislation, told the paper.

In addition, the reservists are only usable for the military if they were trained five years ago at the latest, HN writes.

However, as the last conscripts did their national service ten years ago, they are no longer ready, Tulak said.

If the law is passed, the government may call up conscripts over a military threat as in the past, HN writes.

"The recruitment would probably apply to some of the classes aged 18 to 30," Tulak said.

Then the state could order a compulsory military training lasting at least three months, HN writes.

The draft dodgers might be punished with up to three years in prison under the bill, it adds.

In the Czech Republic, compulsory national service was abolished in 2004.

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