Karzai Mulls Military Draft for Afghanistan Rather Than All-Voluntary Army

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Context

Faced with mounting expenses and doubtful about the long-term US commitment to support the Afghan police and army, President Hamiz Karzai is mulling a military draft in Afghanistan so as to replace the all-volunteer military being built in the country, according to Afghan officials. The idea of obligatory conscription, although still in its discussion phase, is appealing to Karzai as it will be much cheaper than maintaining the costly armed forces that are growing rapidly with US support and money, the officials added. The Afghan armed forces are estimated to cost over 6 billion dollars to sustain by 2014- the year coalition forces will hand over security responsibilities to the Afghans- a huge amount for a country whose revenue was 1.5 billion dollars last year.