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In this book, entitled "Military Conscription: an economic analysis of the labour component in the armed forces", military conscription is regarded as an eco nomic policy to minimize the cost of labour in the armed forces. The economic cost of conscription becomes clear when we analyse the opportunity costs of conscription. If conscripts were free to choose whether to join the armed forces, many would not under the present day conditions, since for them the costs of conscription far outweighs the benefits. The principle of opportunity costs is always central in the economics of warfare. In this book the analysis begins with an investigation of these oppor tunity costs and then uses the results to analyse the formation of an all-volunteer force, which will in fact be achieved, if everything proceeds according to schedule, by 1998. Chapter one concentrates on the structure of the thesis. One of the cor nerstones is welfare economics. Welfare economics uses a mechanical view of the state. Translated to military conscription this means that the welfare of the conscript is a central point in the analysis of the economic aspects of military conscription. Also important is the fact that the concept of welfare concentrates on scarcity. Due to conscription the aspects of scarcity of labour in the armed forces are very weak, if not absent.