Dutch government end National service

National service has been given its marching orders by the Dutch government, ending a 187-year tradition that in recent years had foisted long-haired conscripts on a conservative military machine.

The Defence Minister, Joris Voorhoeve, said conscription no longer fitted with the army's post-Cold War role in a world where peace-keeping had taken over from combat. The Netherlands joins France, Russia, Argentina and South Africa which have all ended conscription in the past three years. Reuter - Amsterdam

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