UK's Prince Harry calls for compulsory military service

Prince Harry says he wants national army service to return to UK

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

After a trip to New Zealand, Prince Harry praised the National Military service and the effect it had on him over the course of his 10 year service.

Especially admiring the value of discipline, Prince Harry said "I dread to think where I'd be without the army. You can make bad choices in life, some severe, but it’s how you recover from those and which path you end up taking.

"And the army has done amazing things for me. Bring back national service," he added.

Harry also said that he will encourage his niece and nephew to join the service.

The UK reinstituted conscription prior to World War 2 and abolished it in 1960.

The US based Central Intelligence Agency cites 72 countries with compulsory military service, mainly divided between Africa, Asia and Europe.

A referendum held in Austria in 2012 to abolish conscription saw the majority of Austrian supporting continuation of the service.

Conscription is generally applicable to only men, however Norway decided in 2014 to make it applicable to women as well, for the purposes of equality.

Israel too retains an obligation for Jewish and Druze men and women over 18 to register for conscription.

China and Indonesia have criteria based conscription, and select men they deem fit to serve in the army.

Some countries keep military conscription as an emergency option. They have the power to enforce it if there is a shortage of troops or a crisis. Argentina, Portugal and Spain all have such policies.

Conscription has been abolished in various European countries such as Germany, Bulgaria and Romania.

TRTWorld and agencies