Carrot and Stick
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said recently that South Korean men are working in ``high-paying, regular, and professional sectors compared to women.''
It may interest current jobholders to know that since December 2008, when the U.S. economy slipped officially into recession, four out of five jobs that have disappeared in America have been lost by males.
The carrot of exemption from compulsory military service is extended to the strongest athletes (which is to say, soccer players who compete at the international level don't have to serve in the armed forces).
Basically, that same carrot is extended to the weakest women; presumably, the ones who don't have babies. (Statistically, for the one gold medalist woman who has three babies in South Korea, and two silver medalists who have two each, there are five bronze medalists who have none at all.)
Yet, Sung Seung-hwan, the lawyer representing the Ministry of National Defense, says, ``having well-trained soldiers and high-end weapons is much more efficient in maintaining national security than just increasing the number of female soldiers; women should be taken care of because they deliver babies.''
Czarist Russia had a system of conscription wherein all men on reaching the age of 21 entered the active army for five years. They remained in the reserves for 18 years thereafter.
The stick in World War I Germany was harsher, men who refused induction were confined with the insane; and the stick was used so often and in such a way that they all died.
When the United States ended the draft in 1973, pay and other benefits were improved ― the carrot replaced the stick. One year after the draft ended, the strength of the U.S. armed forces was at approximately its programmed level.
As illustrated by last week's cyber attacks against the Republic of Korea, a country depending on reserve forces tends to be vulnerable to surprise attack. Its weapons and equipment are likely to be obsolescent.
Its armed forces are essentially manned by amateurs. Although the system gives sufficient basic training, it provides insufficient time for technical training.