If you are a loyal reader of Meta-defense, you know that the problem of human resources has become, in recent years, a major issue for most Western armies which are simultaneously facing 3 factors degrading their workforce. This is also the case for the Chinese People's Liberation Army.
The drop in applications, partly linked to the end of conscription in many European armies, but also to public opinion less sensitive to defense issues, adds significant difficulties in recruiting candidates with the profile expected by the armies, both due to the increasing technologization of all positions requiring personnel with a higher educational background, and the increasing sedentary lifestyle of populations, creating more difficulties for candidates to achieve the physical criteria required for the profession weapons.
In addition to the difficulties in recruiting, Western armies struggle to retain soldiers under contract, many of them deciding not to renew their commitment at the end of their first or second contract, creating immense difficulties in building the pyramid. ages and ranks consubstantial with an effective armed force.
In this area, the armies face competition from the civilian employment market, which is particularly fond of the skills acquired by the military and offers career profiles that are both better paid and much less restrictive than within the forces.
One might have thought that this situation only affected the armies of Western democracies. This is not the case. Indeed, the People's Liberation Army also seems to be encountering increasing problems in maintaining its numbers and retaining contracted soldiers. Obviously, through its traditional opacity, the PLA does not communicate openly on this subject. However, several consistent and concomitant information, presented in an analysis published on the American site DefenseOne , attest to this situation.
Indeed, last April, the "Conscription Regulations" which govern the Chinese conscription which forms more than half of the PLA personnel in a two-year military service, were significantly revised by the Chinese Central Military Commission. Let us remember that according to official Chinese discourse, if conscription is compulsory, it only concerns a very small number of young people in the same age group.
On the one hand, the PLA has considerably reduced its format over the last 30 years to move from a mass-based defensive army of more than 4.5 million men, to a modern and highly professionalized army of 2 million. soldiers, like Western armies. On the other hand, there were so many volunteers to carry out their military service that compulsory conscription only affected a very small part of the same age group. But that was before.
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