The finnish defense forces as part of a democratic society, Jaakko Valtanen, Chief of Defence (CHOD) of the Finnish Defence Forces between 1983 and 1990,

In 1999, General Valtanen held a presentation in Tampere at the concluding seminar of the research project “Democratic Security Building in the Baltic States”. The research project was organized by the Tampere Peace Research Institute and the University of Aberdeen. All the presentations held at the seminar, in addition to that of General Valtanen, were to be published after the seminar, but this was never done. Even though the presentation is already 17 years old and does not contain source references, the Department of Leadership and Military Pedagogy publishes the presentation, due to its important perspectives vis-à-vis Military Sociology as one of the disciplines of the Department…

Conscription ties the Defence Forces to society. Conscripts bring with them their outlook on life as well as social variation. As a matter of fact, through conscripts, society is ever present in the Defence Forces where it controls and observes the functions of the organisation and provides stimuli for its development. In this sense, conscription can be seen as democracy’s way of guaranteeing that the armed forces are not used against the will of the people and democratically elected state bodies…

For conscription, and thereby for the functioning of the entire defence system, it is vital that the Defence Forces continue to take into account the new phenomena in society and aim at adapting to them in a way that does not give rise to conflict with the goals that citizens see as important. On the other hand, the Defence Forces have to make sure that the requirements of military activities are clearly defined. Conscription is, even with some shortcomings, the most important defence potential of a small country. In addition, it is the most economical and the most suitable system for a democratic society. Läs  hela anförandet