Building Sustainable and Effective Military Capabilities

A Systemic Comparison of Professional and Conscript Forces


Spohr Readman, K.

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It is evident that a comparative study of systemic costs and values of regular systems versus those based on conscription is needed, not only in view of the transformation processes of the military and society in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe, but also more generally in the light of the changed security environment since September 11. Seeing that previous research has primarily looked at different types or models of both conscript and regular forces systems, this publication presents an audit of alternative force models and identifies a scientific method which could be applied widely to evaluate a) the true total costs (economic, social, and political) of regular versus conscript systems, b) the utility, availability and cost effectiveness of both systems in the face of today’s new security circumstances, and c) the adequateness of either system for especially CEE countries whose reform processes are being hampered by legacy military cultures. This book does not come up with definite answers to the various issues. Instead, the authors truly identify what the problem areas are and offer advise as to how to proceed in solving the specific conundrums identified. The analyses, opinions, recommendations, and conclusions expressed or implied in this volume are those of authors or the editors alone, and do not necessarily represent views of NATO or any other government agencies.