Via Mattias Svensson, scourge of the Swedish nanny state, comes this editorial from the Ukraine. At the Kyiv Post, the paper's publisher Jed Sunden, citing Milton Friedman, advises Ukrainians to embrace the "military reforms" of Yulia Tymoshenko which includes the abandonment of conscription:
All of [Tymoshenko's critics] are overlooking the most important reason to end the draft in Ukraine. As Milton Friedman, the great economist and political thinker pointed out, there is simply no justification for a democratic government to force conscription on its young men during peacetime. As he wrote in "Capitalism and Freedom," "the appropriate free market arrangement is volunteer military forces; which is to say, hiring men to serve. There is no justification for not paying whatever price is necessary to attract the required number of men. Present arrangements are inequitable and arbitrary, and seriously interfere with the freedom of young men."
Everything that Milton Friedman wrote about the draft in reference to the United States in the 1960s and 70s resonates deeply in reference to the draft here in Ukraine. The present status of conscription in Ukraine is simply a substantial forced tax on the least educated citizens.
Meanwhile, the poorest, least educated young men are denied freedom and forced to pay a tax on their meager earnings by working basically for free. To quote Friedman again, "When a young man is forced to serve at $45 a week, including the cost of his keep, of his uniforms, and his dependency allowances, and there are many civilian opportunities available to him at something like $100 a week, he is paying $55 a week in an implicit tax."
Former Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar (close enough) won the 2006 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty.