FDP and Greens have spoken out against the reintroduction of conscription. FDP defense expert Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann thinks nothing of discussing the topic at all. The proposal of the new military commissioner Eva Högl to reintroduce the suspended military service was "completely unnecessary," said Zimmermann. The Bundeswehr needs specialists for its highly complex tasks.
Högl had previously suggested the reintroduction of conscription suspended since 2011. She described the suspension in 2011 as a "huge mistake". Accordingly, even before the end of compulsory military service, there were fears that right-wing extremism would develop more in a professional army than in a conscript army. The Bundeswehr is doing very well "when a large part of society does its service for a while," said Högl.
For Zimmermann, on the other hand, it is "simply wrong" to name conscription as an answer to extreme right-wing extremists in the troop. "One cannot fight right tendencies in the troop by the compulsory obligation of all young people," said the FDP politician. Rather, you have to get to the root of the problem.
The left also sees no connection between the reintroduction of conscription and right-wing extremist currents in the troops. "Right-wing extremist ideas and right-wing terrorist fantasies in the Bundeswehr are not causally related to the end of compulsory military service, but to a culture in the Bundeswehr that has allowed and tolerated this for decades," said parliamentary group leader Dietmar Bartsch. A debate over the reintroduction of compulsory military service was "a dangerous cardboard mate" who would not solve the obvious problems in the troops.
Green security politician Tobias Lindner, on the other hand, sees no advantage in terms of security policy should the state once again oblige young people to use their weapons. This would only "consume massive human and financial resources," said Lindner. "If you want the troops to continue to represent the breadth of society as far as possible, you don't just have to ensure adequate payment and equipment."
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer wants voluntary military service
Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) meanwhile announced a new voluntary service for the Bundeswehr in the coming year. Accordingly, young people should receive six months of basic military training. Afterwards, they should complete a six-month reserve service near their home, said Kramp-Karrenbauer. However, it is not about reintroducing conscription from the previous form.