Conscription and Australian military capability

Author/s (editor/s):

Darcy McGaurr

Publication year:


Publication type:

Policy paper

Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No. 11

Debate about conscription in Australia is usually concerned with morality and equity and has become inseparable from the issue of the Vietnam war. Through the questions of morality and equity deserve attention, they have tended to overshadow the important military considerations. This paper focuses on a post-Vietnam situation and, in that context, is concerned with the cost and effectiveness of conscription as a factor in Australian military capability. It examines the supply of manpower to the services generally, particularly the supply of volunteers. 

Though of particular concern to economists, since it deals with the application of economic analysis to a controversial political issue, this paper will interest all concerned with conscription and Australian defence policy.

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