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Middle East: Fighting ′Islamic State′: Ideology vs rationalism

Would you be willing to die for your country? This is a question that first might occur to a young person facing the possibility of being conscripted into the army of the country where they live. Like those young people in Lithuania, for example, where the country's parliament recently voted overwhelmingly in favour of reintroducing the draft.

The move means that thousands of young men between the ages of 19 and 26 could soon be forced into national service for a period of up to nine months and could therefore be swapping their university lectures for military drills, their text books for guns.

A Baltic state bordering part of Russia, Lithuania is bolstering its army due to "today's geopolitical environment" (read, the Ukraine crisis), the government argues.

"If there is a threat, then a country will review its commitment to things like conscription. It's not about the nation, but the sense of security," says Peter Quentin, a research fellow specializing in land warfare studies at the Royal United Services Institute in London. "A key determinant [in how people feel about conscription] is not nationality, but a sign of the times."

Read more: Fighting ′Islamic State′: Ideology vs rationalism | Home | Life Links | DW.DE | 30.05.2015

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