Croatia likely to suspend conscription

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The Croatian government is discussing the suspension of conscription, and the transformation of the Croation military into a fully professional force. However, "this not the question of canceling conscription as a legal category, but implementing a new institution", said the Defence Minister Berislav Roncevic, adding if the need arises, in case of unpredictable situations, mandatory conscription will be reactivated. In related news it was reported that the Croatian Armed Forces are ready to deploy troops to Lebanon. Croatia committed to secure an engineering troop in international operations. A hundred soldiers are ready for a booster troop and a company of 150 soldiers for a one-year mandate. They would help in building civilian buildings, which were destroyed during the last war devastation in Lebanon. The government and the President’s Office will be notified about that plan very soon.

The number of soldiers in the Croatian contingent in Afghanistan should be increased by 30 people in the first half of the year. In June, during the regular forces rotation, the number of soldiers in Chancharan and Mazar-i-Sharif and ISAF command structures will increase.

These parallel developments show that the suspension or abolishment of conscription does not necessarily lead to less military operations. On the contrary, the suspension of conscription is seen as a step towards professionalisation of the military, which will lead to more deployments.

Sources: www.javno.com, 15.02.2007, www.javno.com, 11.02.2007, www.javno.com, 31.01.2007

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