Junta’s conscription plan will only hasten the end of military rule in Myanmar

A transfusion of young blood will do little to save the country’s mortally wounded regime, and could precipitate its demise

Three years into its disastrous rule, Myanmar’s military junta continues to come up with ways to deepen the misery of the country’s people. The latest, announced last weekend, is a plan to replenish the diminished ranks of its armed forces by conscripting civilians into active service. This scheme, enabled by a law enacted by a previous regime more than a decade ago, is intended to save the overstretched military from collapse. It is more likely, however, that it will accelerate its already rapid decline.

The reason for the move is no mystery: Myanmar’s brutal and once seemingly invincible army has suffered a long string of defeats in recent months. Since the launch of Operation 1027 in northern Shan State in late October, anti-junta forces have. . .

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