Referendum – No to halving the Swiss Armed Forces! (Development of the Armed Forces DEA)

“The Swiss Federal Constitution states that the main purpose of all government tasks is ensuring the security of its citizens and territory and the most important task of all is to avoid war!”

Referendum – No to halving the Swiss Armed Forces! (Development of the Armed Forces DEA)

In the course of his business dealings throughout the world, the author was told time and time again that Switzerland was the most peaceable country and at the same time the most able to defend itself. This opinion was shared not only by educated and well-travelled people but also by those accustomed to a simpler lifestyle, some even in China! Today, the world is jeering at what they consider to be the “richest country in the world”, which doesn’t want to spend money on its own security. So for instance in an article dating from 21 February 2014 the Indian newspaper “Business Standard” aptly put it this way: “It is so easy to make fun of Switzerland that this would be quite unsportsmanlike.”
Since the beginning of this century, our armed forces have been reduced to a third of their former size. Now, even this third is being halved. Large stocks of fully operational weapons are being sold off, scrapped or abandoned, as well as the bigger part of our fortified and subterranean facilities. All this is worth several billion Swiss Francs. The army is now to consist of combat troops of only 30,000 men (two mechanised brigades). The remaining 70,000 men are to stand by for operations in Rüfenen (Muren) or to take on simple security tasks. The mountain infantry will be disposed of.
We are being told that the times of big combat units are over. Let me present a small selection of examples to illustrate that the contrary is true. Why do 300,000 Korean and 17,000 US soldiers conduct manoeuvres together for weeks? Why does Singapore, a country the size of the canton of Glarus, have an army of 220,000 men (182 Leopard tanks, 50% more than Switzerland), a big air force (131 fighter jets, 19 attack helicopters), a fleet of 8 submarines and more than 60 medium-sized and small battleships? Why did Saudi Arabia host a troop manoeuvre with far over 150,000 men for several weeks not long ago? Why does Russia’s large army have over 2,800 battle tanks and further thousands of armoured vehicles (mechanised infantry combat vehicles, armoured artillery), as well as four airborne divisions (Source: strategische-studien.com)? And why do big units (up to 155 000 men each time) train being ready for a mission within three days, while covering a distance of often more than a 1,000 kilometres? Why does Finland keep 400,000 soldiers ready for the event of war? Why does Vietnam keep an army of 500,000 men? Why did France mobilise 100,000 men – police and military forces – after the Paris terrorist attacks?
The Swiss Federal Constitution states that the main purpose of all government tasks is ensuring the security of its citizens and territory and the most important task of all is to avoid war! As recently as during World War II, all of the forces battling in West Europe considered an attack on Switzerland – and, as hardly anyone knows – so did the US. Ultimately, due to the strength of the Swiss army, those plans were discarded. So, in spite of its known weaknesses, that strong army prevented a war.
Are our people aware that our elite is preparing to abandon our neutrality by means of a gradual accession to the NATO? For instance, a Swiss-hosted conference took place in Zurich on 16/17 February 2016 with 100 officers from the NATO command, the 28 member states and also from Switzerland as a member of Partnership for Peace, as well as from the NATO interoperability platform. On 10 March 2016, the “Basler Zeitung” published a report headed “Switzerland plans a breach of its neutrality” about the renewed participation of Swiss troops in a training exercise along with another 12 Western armies in East Germany. This exercise will take place from 8 June to 24 June 2016. Are we as a people not able to see how quickly world wide tension is mounting, how countries are rearming themselves? For the first time in 200 years, we will be drawn into a military conflict or into widespread, chaotic and violent collapses of countries, because we are – by our own fault – defenseless. Is that what we really want?
Please sign the referendum so that our people may have the final say about WEA. (http://www.armee-halbierung-nein.ch)

Gotthard Frick, Bottmingen

“Permanent neutrality is a principle of Swiss foreign policy. It is a generating source of peace and stability in Europe and beyond. It ensures the country’s independence and the inviolability of its territory.“
http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/aussenpolitik/voelkerrecht/neutralitaet.html

www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/aussenpolitik/voelkerrecht/neutralitaet.html

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