Buenos Aires Times

argentina ARMED FORCES

Defence Ministry drafting bill to create 10k-strong military reserve unit

Reserve officers would receive remuneration to train one to two times per year, for a total of 15 to 28 days, according to the draft bill.

Thursday 3 January, 2019
President Mauricio Macri and Defence Minister Oscar Aguad.
President Mauricio Macri and Defence Minister Oscar Aguad. Foto:Noticias Argentinas

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The Defence Ministry is penning a draft bill to create a reserve unit for the Armed Forces composed of up to 10 thousands civilians.

The force would receive training and be at the behest of the Armed Forces, the Clarín newspaper reported Tuesday.

Reserve officers would receive remuneration to train one to two times per year, for a total of 15 to 28 days, according to the draft bill. They would only be called on in the event of a military conflict.

The Defence Ministry wants the bill to pass Congress before the October general and presidential elections. 

Sources clarified that the proposal does not include underlying plans to enlarge the Armed Forces, for which a mechanism is already in place in the form of voluntary service. 

Argentina discontinued obligatory military service, or la "colimba", in 1994. Once completed, a young man was automatically part of the country's reserve force.

Defence's plan would also seek to encourage young professionals to enlist in order to supply the Armed Forces with greater knowledge about technology and cyber crime.

In 2018, the Macri administration controversially passed a presidential decree allowing the military to provide logistical support to security personnel along the country's border. It is the first time since the 1976-83 dictatorship that the Armed Forces are allowed to participate in internal security. 

The Armed Forces suffered major budget cuts since the return to democracy in 1983, which many interpret as punishment for their human rights crimes during the dictatorship.

-TIMES/PERFIL

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