Voices: Does Britain need conscription? Join the Independent Debate as top general ignites calls for ‘citizen army’

The UK government says it has no plans to introduce conscription (AFP via Getty Images)
The UK government says it has no plans to introduce conscription (AFP via Getty Images)

The head of the British Army has warned a “citizen army” would be needed to fight a future war with a country like Russia.

Chief of the General Staff Gen. Patrick Saunders said preparing for a potential land war would have to be a “whole-of-nation” undertaking.

Despite this, the government said on Wednesday it has no plans to introduce conscription.

Saunders, who has long argued for more military spending and is due to leave his job this year, said that “within the next three years, it must be credible to talk of a British Army of 120,000.”

“But this is not enough,” he added during a speech at the International Armored Vehicles conference in London. “Taking preparatory steps to enable placing our societies on a war footing when needed are now not merely desirable but essential.”

He said “Ukraine brutally illustrates that regular armies start wars; citizen armies win them.”

So what do you make of Saunders’ comments? Do you think Britain should create a “citizen army”? If so, what would we be the best way to get more people involved in the army?

Is something like national service or conscription outdated and unecessary in 2024? Or should the UK follow the suit of other countries such as Greece, Denmark and Sweden?

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