Afghanistan considers conscription to meet security goals

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Sunday he is looking at instituting conscription to meet the goals of building an army of sufficient size to provide security without international help.
Karzai told a conference of the world's top defense officials in Munich that he wants to build and train an army and police force of 300,000 by 2012 that will be able to provide security for Afghanistan by 2015 without external help.
Within five years, "Afghanistan should be able to provide security for its people so we are no longer a burden on the shoulders of the international community," he said.
Karzai indicated, however, that international troops would still be needed, saying that the "war on terrorism ... is an issue separate from this security arrangement in Afghanistan."
He suggested that Afghanistan's volunteer system may not be able to provide the manpower necessary to meet his goals, and that an army of citizen soldiers could have other advantages.