United Arab Emirates 
United Arab of Emirates (UAE) Honor Guard in formation for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dem

(Re)introducing Conscription in the Gulf

From Soft Power to Nation-Building

(22.06.2023) Following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, more than 20 countries have suspended1 or abolished conscription.2 Most were either former Soviet States or within proximity of Moscow. Once the Soviet expansion came to a halt and the highly tense and militarized dual world order came to an end, civil-military relations that dominated that period began to change, ushering different demilitarization processes worldwide. In Europe, especially, this resulted in a shift in military priorities. After the elimination of the imminent threat, once military preparedness and military might become less pressing concerns for European and ex-soviet countries, their respective governments went on to reduce their military supplies as well as the sizes of their military personnel. This was mainly done by changing the military recruitment systems from compulsory to voluntary – in other words, abolishing and/or suspending conscription.