Some six in 10 of the Dutch support the reintroduction of military service for Dutch youngsters, according to a poll by Maurice de Hond for the Christian Democratic party CDA.
The CDA last week suggested bringing back military service, saying it would be a good way of giving young troublemakers more structure in their lives. Other political parties and military unions were quick to dismiss the call.
According to the De Hond poll, 62% of the Dutch think military service would be a ‘good measure to teach youngsters that everyone must contribute to society’. Three-quarters of those polled also think military service would help get troublemakers back on the right track.
The Netherlands abolished formal military service in 1997, although all boys are sent a letter when they reach 17 warning them they can be called up.
Defence minister Jeanine Hennis plans to extend this theoretical military service to girls when they reach the age of 17 and will submit legislation making this possible to parliament this autumn.
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