Bundeswehr Commissioner Eva Högl wants conscription back

The new military commissioner Högl has big plans: Conscription, which was suspended nine years ago, must be discussed again. It wants to tackle a very specific problem in the police.

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In view of right-wing extremist incidents in the Bundeswehr, the new Military Commissioner Eva Högl is promoting the reintroduction of conscription. “I think it’s a big mistake that conscription has been suspended,” the SPD politician told the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe. Even before this decision, there were fears that “right-wing extremism will develop more strongly in a professional army than in a conscript army.”

Conscription has not been in force since 2011

It would be very good for the Bundeswehr “if a large part of society serves for a while”, Högl stressed. “This also makes it harder for right-wing extremism to spread into the armed forces.” She said she would “discuss this intensively” in the coming year. It must also be a question of whether men and women should serve the same. Conscription in Germany was suspended in 2011.

According to Högl, the problems in the Bundeswehr range “from far-right statements to far-right connections and activities.” Asked if an underground army had been formed, the military commissioner replied to the Funke Medien: “We all don’t want to hope for that. We don’t know.’

Eva Högl: The Military Commissioner considers the abolition of conscription a big mistake. (Source: Christian Spicker/image)

So far, however, there are “no signs of the existence of an army in the army or an underground army,” Högl said. Why explosives and ammunition had disappeared in the Bundeswehr, but the state had to “clarify by all means of the rule of law”. For years, right-wing extremism had “not been sufficiently addressed as a problem in the Bundeswehr.” This also applies to military shield service.

Call for vigilance

The soldiers called on Högl to be vigilant. “For the first time, soldiers must stand up as a comrade to express racist or anti-Semitic views, both at the regular table and on social media,” she said. “As a second step, soldiers must inform their next superiors if they experience right-wing extremism.” She and Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) are also available.

Regarding far-right movements in the Special Forces Command (KSK), Högl said that during her visit to Calw, she had seen that some of the elite soldiers were “gravely concerned and concerned” and had rejected right-wing extremism. “Others, on the other hand, downplay right-wing extremist incidents, according to the motto: This will probably still be allowed to be said,” complained the military commissioner. Kramp-Karrenbauer announced on Tuesday a partial dissolution of KSK.

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