Mass migration: Wake up, act. Reality as guidance

Commentary

me. There has been much dispute about the Army reforms and the so-called FDA. The abbreviation stands for Further-Development of the Army. But observers are not sure whether it is rather an actual systematic Further-Disarming of the Army.
Undoubtedly every realist knows that with about 30,000 available combat troops (many of the 100,000 men of the army are assigned to supply, transmission, transportation, air force and disaster relief), it would take only one small insurgence stemming from the opposite side of the Rhine, advancing to Winterthur, to finish off the Swiss army. Then it would be done. Thereafter everyone can go home. There will be no army left for the rest of Switzerland. Thank you for this progress.
Also, the army cannot be mobilised, this is a further damning indictment. Just a few years ago we had one of the best mobilisation sytems and we were able to mobilise 500,000 men within 2 days – equipped, trained and ready to defend. Additionally, at present we face an insufficiency of equipment and supplies. There are certainly people, who are responsible for today´s state of our army. The question is: Do they have the courage to admit accountability?
Rather than finger-pointing and looking back, it seems more important to look forward concentrating on the tasks ahead and supporting those responsible today. They have not caused all that mess. Reality is relentlessly taking its toll, and the army planners of the past failed. The army simply has to adapt. This will be a demanding effort. As we did in the past we have to think things through and act consistently. It is what it is: Neither NATO nor the EU will support Switzerland. On contrary, they are the source of our problems we are facing. The problem starts with the mass migration. The Swiss Border Guard is reaching its limits. The army needs to give them support. Through this the citizens will protect their state and Switzerland would return to normality. We have a good reason too, because we support a state that enables us to determine our modus vivendi through direct democracy. That is unique worldwide. If more needs to be done, then let us just do it. It is worth it. Together and united let’s tackle the challenges and clean up the stupidities of yesterday’s know-it-alls.     •
(Translation Current Concerns)

Army postpones refresher course for 5,000 soldiers because of refugees

Because the federal government expects that this spring more refugees will reach Switzerland, the army is positioning itself to support the Swiss Border Guard. Therefore the Refresher Course (RC) of 5,000 soldiers – consisting of mostly the military police – has been postponed.
On 26 February 2016 the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) confirmed a report of the Swiss newspaper “Blick”, that in January the refresher course for five battalions was postponed.
On request of the news agency sda the DDPS mentioned as an example that one battalion will do its service during the summer holidays, two months later than planned. For another one the RC was postponed for two weeks only. The Army issued readiness requirements for another two battalions. But the date on which the soldiers have to enlist for the RC remained the same.
The DDPS media office wrote: “The army is aiming to ensure that they have access to a roughly equal number of troops in service throughout the year who can thus be used for short term support operations in favour of the civil authorities.”
André Blattmann, Chief of the Swiss Armed Forces, explained to “Blick”, that if the Swiss Border Guard should be unable to cope with a great press of refugees, the army could mobilise up to 2,000 soldiers within 48 hours.
First of all, military police should support the border guards. If this is insufficient, first infantry conscripts will be mobilised and thereafter the RC battalions with the readiness requirements.
At the media conference on army reform, Blattmann had hinted at the possibility of mobilising additional units. On Friday the DDPS specified, that such a move would take time because another mobilisation “would have to be mandated and decided upon by the government and the parliament”.
In “Blick”, Blattmann had also outlined various possible missions for the soldiers, for example they could welcome refugees and take them to reception camps, or do service at the border.
On Friday the DDPS wrote, that “the army has not been commissioned yet”. The question of the tasks “is presently being discussed between the participating departments and authorities – Federal Department of Finance with the Swiss Border Guard, Federal Department of Justice and Police with the State Secretariat for Migration and DDPS with the army”.

Source: sda from 26 February 2016

(Translation Current Concerns)