Is military service on its way back? Opinions vacillate: failed experience or national necessity?

Written by Adel Hamouche

Translated by Rabab Housseiny

NNA - Is it possible that the military service law, abrogated in 2004 after sectarianism took over the mind of the Lebanese youth, be brought into effect again? Is the army ready to implement it in case the political authority decides to revive it?

Some social media pages did second such a step, and even said that military service is a right that should be restituted to citizens.

In 2004, the Lebanese Parliament amended the military service law, better known as the mandatory army enrollment, and reduced the service term from 12 to six months, before totally annulling it after two years. With the advent of 2007, the law was utterly abrogated.

The abrogation was justified by the many burdens it inflicted upon the state treasury, in line with other pretenses.

The army command explains calling off the military service was due to a political decision and that going back to it shall be done by a similar decision. It confirms that it is fully ready to carry out what the political authority decides upon.

Notwithstanding, opinions vary among politicians, military men, and the civil society in that respect.

Former Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Marwan Charbel, said that military service was advantageous in terms of national coherence and providing reservists.

"Military service has its advantages and disadvantages. In case the state couldn't cover the related costs--and Lebanon is already in debt--the endorsement of the military service would be difficult," he indicated.

"However, advantages are multiple. In fact, military service contributes to upsize the active military and security forces," he noted, maintaining that gearing up the Lebanese army is more important than increasing its strengths.

For his part, Liberation and Development bloc member, MP Abdul Majid Saleh, said that military service reinforced the army, especially amid the current critical juncture where both the Takfiri and Zionist dangers intertwine.

Saleh, who pointed out to attempts to tamper with the army, underlined that it was thanks to former president Emile Lahoud that the brigades of the army were built and merged.

In turn, Future Deputy Khaled Zahraman saw that the military service could play a major role amid the current rift in the country, deeming it as a step to anchor national unity.

For his part, former lawmaker Hassan Yaacoub maintained that military service was the key to rapprochement among citizens. "The idea of bringing back this law into effect is excellent. Its abrogation was a huge mistake," he said.

Among military men, opinions were divergent. While some said that the mandatory army enrollment was a failed experience, others argued that military service was even more important than cross-continental missiles!

"Mandatory enrollment in a nation where citizens are loyal to their sects before their nation becomes destructive to this nation," a retired General said.

"I support military service equally among citizens from different ages," another one suggested.

On the level of the civil society, "Ansar-al-Watan" Association considered that military service contributed to building a better society away from sectarianism.

تابعوا أخبار الوكالة الوطنية للاعلام عبر أثير إذاعة لبنان على الموجات 98.5 و98.1 و96.2 FM

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