Lebanon Plans To Reinstate Mandatory Military Service

Lebanon Plans To Restore Mandatory Military Service
AP / Hussein Malla

The Lebanese Defense Ministry and military command are seeking to restore the mandatory military service that ended in Lebanon in 2007, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

Defense Minister Zeina Akar recently revealed a project to reactivate conscription in Lebanon and that the Lebanese Army is currently working on it.

While the Ministry has been relatively secretive about the project’s details, because it still needs a few weeks of work before it can be officially announced, some information about it has been made public.

According to Minister Akar, the new version of the draft will be different from the pre-2007 system.

Instead of being completely military-oriented, the “Flag Service” will include social services, administrative jobs, education, afforestation, and other non-military activities.

Additionally, the draft will be divided over 3, 6, 9, or 12 months.

As per Asharq Al-Awsat, over 250,000 men were conscripted by the Lebanese Army between 1993 and 2007, before the service was abolished for various reasons that include reducing the Treasury’s expenditures.

Today, in a time when the military institution faces the challenges of the economic crisis, the mandatory military service is expected to “reduce much of the burden on the army,” Retired Brigadier General Georges Nader told the newspaper.

However, Gen. Nader, who asserts that the draft should not have been abolished in the first place, does not support the defense minister’s proposition to implement non-military activities into it.

“We do not support it at all,” he said, indicating that talking about social services and the use of recruits in agriculture and similar activities “alters the goal and content of the project.”

Finally, he stressed that the matter “should be left to the army’s command, which understands how to make use of youthful energies.”

Before the period was adjusted to 6 months in 2005, Lebanon’s mandatory men-only military service required recruits, who were 18+, to serve a full year in the military, before the system was completely abolished two years later.

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