Your country still needs you...

War has not gone away and a modern state needs to have plans in place for conscription, writes Jill Sargent Russell

The World Today Published 23 March 2016 Updated 30 November 2020 3 minute READ

Jill Sargent Russell

Military historian

In a period when domestic economic constraints meet limited but often brutal conflicts abroad, and when the latest security trend ‘hybrid war’ replaces the last ‘counter-insurgency’, the possibility of national mobilization seems remote for western powers. The recourse to the totality of the nation’s strengths for war, whether of industry or people, resonates little with the public and experts alike. Even more pointedly, the Anglo-American tradition makes conscription difficult for most to fathom in times of peace.

With a shared political culture that disdains large standing armies, both British and American societies are even less inclined to be drafted into military service in all but the most serious emergencies.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.