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American military program VS Switzerland's military program?

 
 
Reply Wed 20 Jun, 2012 01:36 pm
I admire Switzerland's resolution to keep peace in a clever way.
Switzerland does not have a standing army. The militia is composed of citizens, where it is compulsory for the healthy ones to partake in military service. The government issues rifles to these citizens, and the rifles are kept in their homes.
I've heard rumors that even Hitler was afraid to enter Switzerland during WW2.

Isn't that the intent of the Second article of the amendment to the constitution, to have an army program similar to Switzerland?(Don't hold me on this)

So how do these citizens of Switzerland stay proficient and ready for combat? (Are there weekly or monthly training programs?)

And should America follow suit Switzerland's military program?
And will such a program be less expensive than the current American military program?
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Jun, 2012 02:05 pm
@aspvenom,
I'm not familiar with Switzerland's ongoing training, but there is this old saying: Switzerland doesn't have an army; Switzerland is an army.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jun, 2012 02:10 pm
@aspvenom,
aspvenom wrote:

So how do these citizens of Switzerland stay proficient and ready for combat? (Are there weekly or monthly training programs?)


They first do 18 or 21 weeks of basic training (depending on troop category) and then they have to do a number of service days which increases with rank starting at 260 days for privates. Once this figure is reached they don't have to do any more training. Most work off their service days obligation in annual 3-week-refresher courses but it is also possible to do the whole number of service days at one time. Whichever way the obligation is worked off, once that has happened no more refresher courses are required.

0 Replies
 
George
 
  3  
Reply Wed 20 Jun, 2012 02:19 pm
They make a hell of a pocketknife.
Irishk
 
  3  
Reply Wed 20 Jun, 2012 02:24 pm
@George,
And tanks...
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_I4Snyzw2IMM/R8ZFKu6KLHI/AAAAAAAAAZI/F9-sAM85lVg/s400/SwissArmyTank.jpg
Swiss Army Tank
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jun, 2012 02:26 pm
aspvenom
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jun, 2012 02:42 pm
@Ceili,
ROFL
Even the Swiss will find that funny
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InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Jun, 2012 03:37 pm
The US and Switzerland have vastly different purposes for their military programs.

Switzerland's strictly for defense of the country.

The US' is for defense and also offense. It not only defends its country, it takes war to other countries.
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Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jun, 2012 03:49 pm
@aspvenom,
How wonderful it would be if we could run a film of an alternate Earth in which ridiculous arguments are actually played out.

Right now there are millions of people who condemn America for not taking an interest in their suffering.

Who would they look to for help if we had adopted the enlightened defense policy of a tiny mountain ringed country like Switzerland?

The ignorance or stupidity inherent in the origninating post in this thread is breathtaking, and yet how much worse are the fools who play off it with anti-American mini-rants?
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jun, 2012 03:50 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
BTW - That means you infrablue.
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jun, 2012 04:10 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
What means me, finn?
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jun, 2012 05:21 pm
@InfraBlue,
You're pretty clever...guess.
0 Replies
 
aspvenom
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Jun, 2012 05:46 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
Right now there are millions of people who condemn America for not taking an interest in their suffering.


I am aware of the realpolitik which leads to the "offensive side" of our military.
It is debatable if whether such a great power leads to a responsibility of monitoring and passing judgment on the actions/ matters of foreign nations. When keeping aside the ideologies of which America was founded by, as well as the morality that is held by the commoners, citizens like me speculate whether foreign relations by the government is simply realpolitik. This debate, which I see, seems to gain momentum when politicians suggest that the conflict in the east is to bring democracy and liberation, and the citizens question the validity of the politicians claim and wonder if such a long residence in the east is in connection with power hunger, and aspects regarding resources, oil, to give an example.
The numerous suspicions and conspiracy theories arise in the midst of the politics and war, however, I understand that the explanation regarding international involvement by America is not as simple as blaming the government in engaging in realpolitik.
I also understand that the motives for international movement are more complex than realpolitik, and require the analysis of three universal traditions that all nations hold: power tradition, cooperative tradition, and the tradition of integrating morality, however, the long-term implications looks to be tragic. Look at our national debt, housing market/ economy right now.

I wonder if the stability of the Switzerland's economy is in correlation in how they manage themselves in the international matter; I think, more likely.

Quote:
The ignorance or stupidity inherent in the origninating post in this thread is breathtaking, and yet how much worse are the fools who play off it with anti-American mini-rants?

It is debatable whether the thread is inherently "stupid."
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Jun, 2012 05:55 pm
@aspvenom,
The Swiss can pull off that neutrality act because 1) they really don't occupy land that is critical to an enemy and 2) they are willing to fight for land that is not all that valuable. It is just easier for people to go around than waste time fighting there. The US was very isolationist until WWII was in progress for two years. The willingness of the US to get involved internationally is something that has occurred within the lifetime of my parents.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Jun, 2012 07:10 pm
The Keltic tribes which entered Italy and subsequently took and occupied Rome in circa 390 BCE entered Italy through the Great St. Bernard Pass, in what is now Switzerland. Although there is dispute about exactly where Hannibal crossed the Alps, most modern scholars believe that he crossed at the Little St. Bernard Pass, for which there is archaeological evidence (Carthaginian coins, in fact). Wherever he actually crossed, there is no doubt that he crossed through what is now Switzerland. Ceasar invaded Gaul by marching through the Great St. Bernard. In fact, the central Swiss plateaus were occupied by several Keltic tribes in a confederation which the Romans called the Helvetii. In the year before Caesar invaded Gaul, the Helvetii had attempted a migration into southwest Gaul. Narbonensis, with its important port of Massilia (now Marseilles) had been an ally of the Romans even back in the day when the Romans were just a pack of hillbillies with delusions of grandeur. Caesar used the attempted migration of the Helvetii as his casus belli to invade Gaul.

Throughout the period of "barbarian" migrations into Italy, what we call Switzerland was the most convenient road to invade, avoiding the dangerous coastal route. In the middle ages, Switzerland became an important area of trade routes to avoid piracy at sea, and brigands by land. It was in the interest of the Swiss to keep the roads safe because they made a lot of money from merchants, and even more from pilgrims going to Rome or beyond to the Holy Land.

The French tried several times to invade Switzerland--having no feudal overlords, the Swiss looked ripe for the plucking. The Swiss were having none of that, and nothing came of those attemprs. The Austrians did overrun Switzerland, and the Swiss chronically rebelled against Austrian rule (and hence, the legend of William Tell).

In the War of the Austrian Succession, the French invaded Piedmont by marching through southwestern Switzerland, which the Austrians had attempted to prevent by trying to march across Switzerland. The Swiss were happy with neither of them, and they actually impeded the Austrians enough that the French made it down out of the mountains to defeat the Italians before the Austrians could come to their aid.

In the Wars of the French Revolution, French armies routinely marched across Switzerland or occupied it to threaten the Austrians in Italy. After Napoleon had taken northern Italy, Alexander Suvorov lead a Russian army into Italy in 1799, and stunned the French with a series of victories in Italy. With his supplies running short, no help from home and the failure of promised support from the Austrians, Suvorov retreated into Switzerland. He then fought a brilliant fighting retreat which had people comparing him to Hannibal.

The Swiss were fed up by then. It was after the Napoleonic Wars that the Swiss set up their system of a citizen militia. The archaeological evidence is that the Alps (and what we think of as Switzerland) has been an important trade route for thousands of years. It has been a crucial military cockpit for thousands of years, too. We may think of Switzerland as having no importance, but the Swiss don't agree. Neither does history.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jun, 2012 10:53 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

...even back in the day when the Romans were just a pack of hillbillies with delusions of grandeur. ..


Funny you should say that since the Italians have opera, and the hillbilly music of the US supposedly evolved from Irish music. If I'm wrong, don't blame me; however, this is the popular conception, as told to me by someone that was (you guessed it) Italian.

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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jun, 2012 02:38 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
... It was after the Napoleonic Wars that the Swiss set up their system of a citizen militia. ...
Indeed, it was after the Napoleonic Wars the the Swiss Federation took control over the militia, which existed since the late Medieval time, in literally all confederate ("eidgenössisch") municipalities, with cantonwide alliances. (Those are called "Defensionale"/"Défensionaux", and exist at least since the second half of the 16th century.)
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joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Thu 21 Jun, 2012 03:28 pm
@aspvenom,
aspvenom wrote:
I've heard rumors that even Hitler was afraid to enter Switzerland during WW2.

The Germans didn't need to invade Switzerland. After the fall of France, they and their Italian allies controlled all of the territory surrounding Switzerland. Furthermore, it's always useful to have a neutral country handy, in case one wants to stash some money for after the war, especially if that neutral country contains a lot of citizens who are sympathetic to one's cause.
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Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Thu 21 Jun, 2012 03:48 pm
@aspvenom,
The notion that there is something potentially instructive, to the US, in comparing the military and foreign policies of Switzerland and the US, is without merit.

You might as well try and instruct President Obama by suggesting he compare his duties with those of the President of a High School Mathletes Club.
Ceili
 
  0  
Reply Thu 21 Jun, 2012 04:16 pm
Well, that's kind of arrogant. Are you saying the US can't learn anything from other nations or perhaps the Swiss are too insignificant? Anti Swiss.. hmmm
0 Replies
 
 

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