Retired Army General, now Romania’s Prime Minister, Nicolae Ciuca, expressed his desire for the country to reinstate compulsory military service once again. Notably, compulsory military service in Romania was suspended in 2007, but Ciuca, a reputable army veteran with experience in theaters of operations in Afghanistan, has a personal vision for the country.
Invited to the Black Sea and Balkans Forums Conference on May 18, Nicolae Ciuca says:
Thus, the construction of the defense industry, which should become a war industry, returns on the work board, along with the concept of small, technologically sophisticated, professional armies that must change into mass armies with reserves at the level of the entire society and extensive mobilization capabilities, to make facing a large-scale war. This long and high-intensity war depletes resources.Ncolae Ciuca on Romania’s returning to compulsory military service
The subject of compulsory military service is controversial in Romania, a country where military service for the masses was suspended in 2007. The population rejects the idea of their teenagers being conscripted when they turn 18 and view this as a communist practice. During the Ceausescu regime, the country had an active army of over 250,000 military personnel, and the military stage was mandatory for all men from 18.
Also, Nicolae Ciuca mentioned there should be ‘reserves at the level of the entire society’, which means that the veterans and those who were conscripted before 2007 and served compulsory military service should once again be drafted to be able to defend the country if needed.
Currently, the Romanian Army counts around 70,000 individuals, with 50,000 reserved personnel. Yet, the country has millions of men aged between 18 and 50, many of whom are fit to be conscripted or drafted if war starts.
On the other hand, having a country defended by only 70,000 troops makes Romania vulnerable unless it appeals to foreign troops, as it currently happens. As a NATO member, Romania hosts American and European military personnel, lots of them part of the intention of the Alliance to strengthen the Eastern flank.
Nicolae Ciuca, the ex-chief of staff of the Romanian Army, is a visionary, no doubt about that. He certainly knows inside information about the plan Romania has in mind to counter-act the Russian threat following the so-called special operation the Red Army conducts in Ukraine, and the mass army could be one of the points. Even so, his statements could generate rejection from Romanian society.