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Military bosses are bracing themselves for a doomsday scenario where an accidental clash with deadly Russian forces in Syria and the Baltic turns into total war.

And if a full-blown conventional conflict breaks out it will not be long before your call up papers fall through the letterbox.

Already Lithuania and Finland is rushing through a draft and Latvia and Sweden is considering reintroducing conscription.

It comes after the Russian military conducted war games to seize Swedish, Danish and Finnish islands. It's feared this is part of Moscow's plan to seize the Baltic states.

Russia already conscripts men into its armed forces and is set to mobilise 150,000 reservists to Syria which were conscripted into the military earlier this month.

Refusing to serve would be severley punished, probably with a jail stretch.

In the US evading the draft carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and/or a fine of $250,000 (£164,000).

All men in the States over 18 have to sign up for a military service that could be activated at any moment.

Several years ago the idea of being drafted into the armed services would have been laughable.

Think conscription and its Second World War Tommies soldiers in tin hats and itchy looking uniforms.

Yet with Putin on the warpath the prospect is all too real – and you could soon be transported into something straight out of the Call of Duty console games.

Emergency laws could be passed through Parliament to call men up. But because time would be of the essence, the Prime Minister would probably make the decision.

According to a CIA profile, the UK could muster 14,856,917 men aged up to 49.

It's unclear whether all woman would be called-up, but those without kids may be considered given females now serve in the forces.

Military experts point out that only TOTAL war would mean conscription – but some believe even a minor clash could quickly escalate into a full blown war.

All this comes after Russian leader Vladimir Putin continues on the warpath.

Parts of eastern Ukraine and Crimea are under his cosh – and now Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania fear the same is about to happen to them.

In Syria, Russia has declared war on rebels trying to topple the country's President Bashar Assad, who are in turn backed by the US-led coalition.

The confrontation essentially puts Moscow and Washington on opposing sides in a conflict for the first time since the COLD WAR.

Meanwhile as Syrian airspace becomes congested with Russia's military hardware, western leaders are losing sleep over a potential clash of warplanes, helicopters, drones, missiles and artillery.

US and Russian combat aircraft from both nations came so close they could easily see each other, a US defence spokesman told reporters in Washington DC today.

Conscription may be more likely because a crippling manpower shortage is currently blighting UK forces – even before a major war has broken out.

Since the banking crash and the ensuing austerity drive, the Army has lost 20,000 troops.

Today former commanders revealed that the Royal Navy and RAF might be forced to draft in servicemen and women from other friendly nations like the US, Australia and France.

At least 4,000 more staff are needed to run the UK’s two new aircraft carriers and the nuclear submarine fleet – crucial pieces of kit in any fight against Russia.

Britain for its part been playing hardball, warning it will shoot down Russian planes if threatened.

And only last week, the UK government announced it was deploying ground troops to the Baltic to deter a Russian invasion.

Worryingly, British diplomats are even talking about Nuclear war games where Russia is the foe.

But before you go shopping online for bullet proof underpants, experts we spoke to say that that military conscription is the last resort.

Warfare expert Peter Quentin from the Royal United Service Institute said if the balloon went up it would be all hands to the pump – but he believes that Russia would want to avoid total war as much as NATO.

The most likely scenario Mr Quentin predicts is a short, sharp and limited bust up between Russia and NATO – possibility involving a cyber attack.

He said: "Russia’s strategic aim of being influential in the global community, so not wanting to isolate itself but force its way back to the table rather than a drawn out, attritional ‘total war’ requiring national mobilisation.

"So the risk is not a long-term war by design, but a drawn out security crisis or short-sharp confrontation of professional forces as a result of miscalculation, neither of which requiring mobilisation of civilian populations."

Wars are now so high-tech that military bosses prefer to have highly trained professionals rather than a bunch of hapless conscripts – regardless of their Call of Duty gaming skills.

Tory MP Colonel Bob Stewart, who sits on the UK's defence select committee and has spent decades in the army during the Cold War, says a war with Russia would be all out and would involve conscription like the Second World War.

But he believes the prospect of this happening is "very remote".

He said: "I think Russia is flexing its muscles."

When asked, the MoD was tight lipped about any intention to reintroduce conscription or increasing tensions with Russia.

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