Male-Only Conscription Will Undermine Ukraine’s War Effort

Article here. Excerpt:

'But more importantly for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the policy of enforcing the draft on men, including fathers, but not on young, single, able-bodied women is counterproductive to his war aims in several key respects.

First, it’s a puzzling idea in strategic terms. To be sure, in the absence of allies willing to engage Russia militarily, Ukraine’s defense depends on mobilizing as many of its citizens as possible to fight. But why would a 59-year-old man worried about his children and grandchildren be a better fighter than a fit, unfettered and furious 18-year-old woman? Are fathers less important to their children than mothers in rebuilding a traumatized postwar nation? By sheer numbers alone, countries that fail to maximize the potential of their citizenry by excusing half the able-bodied adults from combat duty put themselves at a strategic disadvantage.

The policy is surprising, too, given that Ukraine is actually among Eastern Europe’s most progressive nations on this score. Ten percent of its armed force is already comprised of women. In addition to having opened up 62 combat positions to women in 2016, it made women eligible for the draft in December 2021. This gives Ukraine a way to buttress its military in numerical terms relative to Russia, which limits its smaller percentage of women in the military to noncombat roles.'

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