Germany: Auf wiedersehen, military service

14 September 2010
Die Tageszeitung

, 14 September 2010

The Christian-Democrats "rely on career heroes", announces Die Tageszeitung, with a touch of irony. Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, which had been divided over the question of compulsory military service, has finally decided to move ahead in the direction of reform. While compulsory service will be abolished, the alternative Berlin daily wonders aloud if this is truly "a triumph for the pacifist left". Its answer is a firm nein: "On the contrary, when Germany is called on to take part in a war more than 1,000 km away, (the army) doesn't need a horde of fresh recruits, but rather teams of specialists in security and modern weaponry". The daily concludes that while there may soon be fewer soldiers, in the end they will be much more effective.