NATO, US experts advise Georgia’s Defence Ministry on ‘new type of conscription’

Defence Ministry says after one-year in compulsory military service conscripts will be well-prepared for a contract-based military service. Photo by Defence Ministry press office., 08 Nov 2016 - 15:59, Tbilisi,Georgia

One day after it was announced Georgia's Defence Ministry would reintroduce compulsory military conscription, authorities have spoken out about the reasons why this came to be and how it would be "absolutely different" from the previous mandatory conscription scheme in Georgia.

Compulsory military was abolished by ex-Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli in June 2016 however yesterday Defence Minister Levan Izoria confirmed it would be reintroduced.

Today in a statement the Ministry of Defence stressed the resumed conscription would be "absolutely different” from the system that previously operated in Georgia.

The difference meant three-month full-scale combat training for conscripts, day-offs on weekends, daily combat training hours for nine months after three-month active trainings and increased monthly pay. 

After one year of service conscripts will have a chance to automatically enroll in a contract-based military service with a high salary,” the Ministry said today. 

The new monthly pay for conscripts would be $21 instead of $3, which it was previously. 

Defence Minister Levan Izoria presents a 100 day report about the role of the Ministry after being appointed the role in August 2016. Photo by Defence Ministry's press office. 

  • About 25 percent of all eligible conscripts typically served in the Ministry of Defence while the remaining 75 percent served in the Ministry of Internal Affairs or the Ministry of Corrections.

Why is Georgia bringing back mandatory conscription to the Ministry of Defence?

Georgia's Minister of Defence said the reasons to resume compulsory conscription included:  

  • National Conception of Defence, which envisaged military readiness for small nations like Georgia.
  • Saving money - if the annual salary of a contract-based solder was $11,000, the cost would be reduced to $3,700 for the state budget in case of conscripts. 
  • Military units will be fully staffed under NATO standards after the resumption of mandatory conscription.
  • Resuming of the system will help integration of ethnic minorities living in Georgia and help raise civil awareness. 

The Ministry stressed the decision to resume compulsory military conscription was made after "active consultations with NATO and American experts.” 

On another note the Ministry announced a new ethic code for the Defence Ministry staff that would ensure "better discipline” for all who worked for or represented the Ministry 

The statement said changes were planned within the General Staff of Georgia's Armed Forces, in Land Forces, Aviation and Air Defence Commands. 

Furthermore, in future military police investigations, intelligence and enforcement functions will be separated, the Ministry announced.