Monday, October 02, 2006

An interesting article...

My civilian eye spotted this article. I am not sure if its news to any of you non-civilians out there but it was the first time I had really considered the demographic shift in Europe in the context of the Armed Forces. It raises some interesting questions, not least what impact this will have on the source material of those studying War in the Modern World in 2056...

"According to the report, the average European will be 45 years old in 2025 and the pool of 16-30 year olds available for military service will be reduced by 15 percent. Over the same time, the populations of Africa and the Middle East are predicted to grow fast, while their economies lag, leaving a multitude of discontented young Africans and Arabs."

5 comments:

Rich Bush said...

Tom,

Something similar was raised when I was at Staff College. I believe that the RAF is now sponsoring primary school level sports teams to get a positive view of the military into the minds of future potential recruits.

Rich

Sergio said...

Thanks Tom.

Yes, it is indeed an interesting and maybe worrying phenomenon. Together with the post-militarist trends affecting most Western states, it is no mystery why so much hope has been put into the Revolution in Miliary Affairs (RMA) and the associated paraphernalia (UAVs, UMAVs, etc.). I think the rise of private military companies is also a result of such societal changes. I guess most armies will opt for quality instead of quantity once numbers dwindle (something Israel relied on especially until the Yom Kippur War), but how do you recruit the cream of the crop if the private economy vows for the same manpower? Maybe a re-instatement of the draft...? Interesting possibility....

Cheers,
Sergio

Dan Ford said...

Though it's evidently not true of the combat forces, which tend to be young men on their one and only tour, the US Army has long depended on African-Americans as cadre and technical personnel--the jobs that career soldiers gravitate toward. It's fascinating to contemplate a similar trend in European (especially French?) militaries, as European-born Muslim youths become the most numerous and most likely pool of recruits.

Tom said...

Yes, i guess in European terms at least then the model of the German Wehrdienst would then take on greater significance. Although I think only around 20 percent of German 18-year-olds are called up at the moment. Given Germany's particularly acute demographic problems (the lowest birthrate in Europe, apart from the bit of Berlin where I live in wierdly enough... ) it would seem like the wrong time to be debating scrapping it.

Rex Michael Dillon said...

An interesting article Tom. As Dan says, it certainly does seem the case that the military forces of the various EU nations will be largely Muslim, if the military is compulsory by that date & there is no Fatwah against participation in the service for European nations. Taken further, it is interesting that there is so much fear about the Iranian development of the bomb. Given enough time, the population's demographic shift in Europe must also begin to show a caucus of European-Muslims begin to take positions in governments of the EU nations. Then what will be said of who has the Bomb?