Should National Service Be Brough Back To Deal With Mass Youth Delinquency?

Personally, I think it is the only way forward as youth crime and delinquency are now out of control.

Will it ever come back? And next time gangs of Youths and delinquents are running riot near you, ask that question to yourself again!

UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Wednesday he would “love” to see Britain emulate Finland and Sweden by bringing back military conscription.

Britain scrapped national service for all young men in 1960, and occasional calls for its return have been confined to right-wing politicians and media.

Wallace, a former army officer, was briefing reporters alongside Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson about Sweden and Finland’s bids to join NATO after Russia invaded Ukraine.

He conceded that “a different cultural thing” was at play after both Nordic countries persisted with conscription in the decades since World War II, albeit with a seven-year break for Sweden.

But Wallace said, “I think we’re all envious of both Sweden and Finland, in (their) reserves.”

He said reservists were especially important given the reliance of modern armed forces on specialists, for example in cyberwarfare, who could be activated in time of need.

“And I think we’ve got to recognize that again the lesson of Ukraine is how do we work on our resilience, and part of that is about reserves,” he said.

“I would love to have a model like that.”

In the United Kingdom, military conscription has existed for two periods in modern times. The first was from 1916 to 1920, and the second from 1939 to 1960. The last conscripted soldiers left the service in 1963. It was legally designated as "Military Service" from 1916 to 1920, and as "National Service" from 1939 to 1960. However, between 1939 and 1948 From Wiki

Sky News Supports

Britain should reintroduce national service for its young men and women.

Not only would this give teenagers a sense of what it means to work for their country, but it would also teach them new skills to help in whatever career path they ultimately pursue.

A new form of conscription - not just focused on defense and selective in who is called up - would be good for the UK as well.

It would bolster Britain's ability to deter threats and respond to a crisis.

In addition, it would give a far greater breadth of society an insight into what the armed forces, security agencies, and emergency services do. This would help fix a growing rift in understanding between the public and those who serve professionally.

Done correctly, conscription could also help counter a recruitment crisis afflicting the army, Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force, by giving young adults who might not otherwise have considered a military career a taste of what it's like.

Elisabeth Braw, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute think-tank, this week published a paper that called for the UK to adopt a Scandinavian-style form of national service.

Her argument is compelling and should be considered by political leaders as an innovative way to improve Britain's resilience and - two generations on from the end of the original era of national service in 1963 - reconnect the public with the idea of serving their country.


The Week, ran a balanced argument,


Better public understanding

Strachan’s report highlights a lack of understanding among the general public about the role of the Armed Forces, and says reintroducing national service could help to close this “communication gap”.

“For some immigrant communities in Britain, Armed Forces are agents of oppression, not defenders of democratic values,” he warns.

The report adds that “not to discuss national service [in the UK] is to limit the debate artificially”.

Boosts national unity

When France’s President Emmanuel Macron announced in 2018 that he was bringing back national service in his country, he argued that doing so would inspire patriotism and social cohesion, as The Independent reported at the time.

“The goal of this new-style national service, the government says, is to encourage young French citizens to take part in the life of the nation, and promote social cohesion,” the BBC added.

By the time the scheme came into effect in 2019, it had evolved from a national military service into a compulsory civic service, “with input from the military but without any dealings with weapons”, according to The Guardian.

Participants instead learn about first aid, self-defense and republican values as a way of bringing “social cohesion” to a fractured nation.

These types of tactics date back to ancient times. Greek philosopher Plutarch described how Rome’s consuls conscripted the city’s young men at a time of political tension, “that they might not have leisure for revolutionary plottings, but that when they were all gathered together, rich and poor, patrician and plebeian alike, to share in the common dangers of a camp, they might learn to regard one another with less hatred and ill-will”.

Similar arguments continue to resurface in modern Britain. In 2009, Michael Caine - who served in the Korean War as a conscript - said that bringing back national service would alleviate social problems by giving young people “a sense of belonging rather than a sense of violence”.

‘The Making of young people

National service can bring discipline, direction, and purpose to young people, supporters argue. In 2015, Prince Harry claimed that his time in the Army had “saved” him.

“I dread to think where I’d be without the Army,” said Harry. “Bring back national service – I’ve said that before. But I put my hand up, as I said to the kids today, you can make bad choices, some severe, some not so severe.

“Without a doubt, it does keep you out of trouble. You can make bad choices in life, but it’s how you recover from those and which path you end up taking.

“The Army has done amazing things for me. And more importantly to me, what I've seen the Army do to other young guys.”

Teaches skills

In a 2019 article for Sky Views, foreign affairs editor Deborah Haynes argues that bringing back national service would give young people “new skills to help in whatever career path they ultimately pursue”.

She cites a report by Elisabeth Braw, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute think-tank, calling for the UK to introduce a Scandinavian-style form of national service.

““Braw looks at how Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland benefit from national service and says the UK could adopt its own model, learning from the Scandinavian experience,” notes Haynes. 


Damage to existing schemes

Critics of national service point to the success of existing schemes such as the National Citizens’ Service in the UK, in which young people spend a month learning skills working on projects with their peers and volunteering in their communities.

“The problems arise when we move from the voluntary nature of the current program to a mandatory one,” Yiannis Baboulias argues in a 2019 article in the New Statesman. “A voluntary scheme ensures that by and large, only the most eager students will participate. 

“This eliminates from the existing sample of schemes the negative attitudes of teenagers who will not want to be there, therefore biassing the results.”

Promotes nationalism

When Macron’s compulsory national service kicked off in France in 2019, many commentators were disturbed by images showing French teenagers lined up in uniform - albeit in baseball caps and polo shirts.

Celine Malaise, a Communist regional councilor, tweeted: “This old nationalist nightmare repulses me.” 

She likened it to “denying the free will of young people, their engagement, their critical spirit” and called the program a hypocritical “masquerade” given the underfunding of schools. 

Meanwhile, the Union Nationale Lyceenne (National Union of Secondary Students) said: “Is it in keeping with the times to constrain young people to go and sing under a flag at 8am in the morning? This universal national service must not be made compulsory.”

Burden to the army

Between 1949 - when the UK National Service Act came into force - and 1963 - when the last national serviceman was demobbed - more than two million British men aged between 18 and 30 were called up to spend 18 months in the Armed Forces. 

However, the scheme was phased out from 1957 following complaints from the Army that the sheer number of conscripts had become a burden, says the National Army Museum.


To be honest I think that the pros outweigh the cons, but what do you think?


  1. It really does need to come back and all Asylum seekers need to go through it as well.

  2. This so needs to happen


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