Poland could call up men with no military experience to take part in compulsory army training, under new regulations governing who can be drafted into uniform.
The legislation, signed into force by Ewa Kopacz, the Polish prime minister, is the latest measure in Poland designed to improve the capabilities of its armed forces amid mounting concern over Russia's intentions in Central Europe.
Under previous draft rules, the armed forces could only call up personnel who had served in the military, but now any able-bodied male could be drafted in times of crisis or for specialist peacetime training deemed necessary.
Poland ended national service in 2008 in favour of developing small but highly trained professional armed services.
But since war broke out in neighbouring Ukraine and relations with President Putin (left) in Russia - Poland's historical foe and still a nation few Poles trust - plummeted, Poland has scrambled to strengthen its military. The country has embarked on a lavish defence spending spree to buy new heavy arms and equipment.
At the beginning of March the country launched a campaign to get people to join the 20,000-strong national reserve, the Polish equivalent of the UK's Territorial Army.
Defence experts are also considering establishing a part-time national guard, based on the US model, to provide local defence and, in particular, counter the threat posed by Russian irregular forces. (© Daily Telegraph, London)