Those with a culture of militarism justified by a constant fear of war (like Israel) and those using it to mask other issues - high unemployment, for instance - like Greece.With a Tory government in place that literally has nothing in its manifesto to appeal to young people, who are faced with terrible odds when it comes to jobs, housing and stability, bringing back National Service would be a loud admission that, as a country, “we have no idea what to do with the young”.Politely declining an invitation to join the army is not an option: for Greek men living abroad who do not show up for military duty, a €6,000 fine may be imposed.Those living at home can have their passports confiscated.In March this year, my number was up and my mother and sister escorted me to a camp in the ugliest town on the Greek coast, where I presented my conscription documents.I was lucky: the army found me unfit to serve for medical reasons and sent me away the same day. Let’s admit there might be some positives to a spell in the army in Britain, Greece or wherever; it can be an educational experience, especially for people growing up in rough environments and who lack the self-discipline required to succeed in education or work.
For most, that’s when your professional career is entering its first meaningful phase.Does that mean Greece’s military capacity in on a par with the UK’s? Most of the Greek army is made up of young men, loitering around.It’s no surprise that Greece can't afford to intensively train 90,000 young men every day for nine months.You can make bad choices in life, but it’s how you recover from those and which path you end up taking." Although it’s unclear what sort of bad choices the Prince might have made had he not experienced military life, I find it really hard to buy the line that young men need the short, sharp shock of a spell in the Armed Forces to keep them on the straight and narrow.I come from a country that still has mandatory conscription.It’s not hard to detest this idea, as under any amount of scrutiny it appears for what it is: unpractical, socially destructive and costly.With the most modest of calculations, a soldier costs north of £1,000 per month (in the US every active officer and soldier cost around 2,000 per year).In an interview last weekend, Prince Harry suggested the UK re-introduce National Service."Bring back National Service – I’ve said that before.I don’t know where I’d be without the Army,” the Prince, who has served in Afghanistan twice, said."I did it [joined the Army] because since I was a kid I enjoyed wearing the combats, I enjoyed running around with a rifle, jumping in a ditch and living in the rain and stuff." He added: "Without a doubt, it does keep you out of trouble.