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Youths can do better in military service than sports betting

Isa Senkumba

Youths can do better in military service than sports betting

A nation that nurtures its young should be protected


A nation that nurtures its young should be protected at all times. And what better way would there be than providing the skills and means to its youth to do just that?

In recent times, the President of UAE had endorsed a law introducing mandatory military service for all Emiratis aged between 18 and 30. By doing so UAE aims at setting up a new national defence and reserve force.

All Emirati men who have finished secondary school or aged between 18-30 will have to serve nine months, while those who have not will serve two years. The service will be optional for women, who may be trained for nine months, regardless of their education, according to the law.

The good news is that citizens who complete the mandatory military service will enjoy a range of benefits, including priority for taking up jobs in government institutions and private businesses, marriage grants, housing plots and scholarships, according to the draft law. Also citizens who join illegal organizations will be disqualified from the service.

The bad news is that citizens who fail to enlist for military service without valid reason until they reach 29 years of age will face a jail term of between one month and a year, or a fine ranging between Dh10, 000 and Dh50, 000 or both. They will have to undergo the military service even if they exceed the age limit of 30.

John F. Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country”.  Architects of compulsory military training have it that protecting the nation and preserving its independence and sovereignty is a sacred national duty that requires all citizens to participate. But one question still stands; are all nations ready to welcome compulsory military service? Are the citizens willing to spend some time in a field they fear most (army)?

It is believed that this training helps citizens to learn discipline, politeness and their self-esteem is increased when they realize the difference they are making for their country. It is a very honorable thing to be a part of and is one of the truest signs of patriotism. In a country where everyone is educated and protected by older leaders, the least we can do is make a difference and in this case, by protecting the country.

Due to compulsory military service countries such as North Korea, China, Russia, and Iran now pose a dire threat to American security. All countries should have compulsory military service to ensure their greater defense. Some countries like American can scoop benefits from military service. For instance it is likely cause a decrease in the obesity rate among young Americans.

In 2013, the government of Qatar approved a draft bill making it compulsory for males in the Gulf state to enlist for military service for a period of up to four months. The proposed legislation called for compulsory military service for men aged between 18 and 35 for three months if they are graduates and four if they are not

We cannot forget that the Middle East has not been a region of tranquility in recent times. Defending the nation is a patriotic duty. Compulsory military service will also help introduce a complete cross section of citizens into the armed services. In peaceful times the youth can go about with their lives. However when the moment demands, they can stand in defense for the country.  

Citizenship is not a spectator sport. The rights and privileges that come with being a citizen are not gratuitous and come with certain duties. In a democracy, equal rights imply equal responsibilities. Although forcing every private citizen to serve may seem radical and undemocratic at first blush, something must be done to rectify the average citizen’s misplaced patriotism.

Today, the responsibilities of a citizen are to pay taxes and vote. The relatively high standard of living in most countries allows citizens the privilege of living day-to-day ignorant or apathetic about soldiers who are being killed and killing others outside the country in context.

There’s a huge disconnect between the civilian population and the brave women and men fighting and dying to protect it.  As the civilians enjoy their sleep some other people are busy putting their lives at risk to protect the sleeping chaps.  This is the time to try putting on their shoes.  

In the early 1990s, the government of Uganda has introduced ‘Muchaka Muchaka’, a form of military training, and this program withered in its infancy. This was the first decent step towards compulsory military service but the ghosts that haunt this nations killed such a good program. It may also have failed because the wanainchi did not understand the importance of the program.  The patriotism campaigns would work better if there was a compulsory military training in place.



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