THE SWISS REPORT: A special study for Western Goals Foundation
by Congressman Lawrence Patton McDonald, General George S. Patton, U.S.A. (Ret.) and General Lewis W. Walt, U.S.M.C. (Ret.)
Copyright © 1983 Western Goals
================= W E S T E R N G O A L S =================
309-A Cameron Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314 (703) 549-6688
Congressman Lawrence P. McDonald, Chairman
Western Goals Advisory Board
Rep. Jean Ashbrook, Vice Adm. Lloyd M. Mustin, Mrs. Walter Brennan, Mrs. John C. Newington, Taylor Caldwell, Gen. George S. Patton, Dr. Hans Sennholz, Rep. Philip M. Crane, Gen. John Singlaub, Gen. Raymond, G. Davis, Dan Smoot, Henry Hazlitt, Robert Stoddard, Dr. Mildred F. Jefferson, Rep. Bob Stump, Dr. Anthony Kubek, Mrs. Helen Marie Taylor, Roger Milliken, Dr. Edward Teller, Adm. Thomas Moorer, Gen. Lewis Walt, E.A. Morris, Dr. Eugene Wigner
Western Goals Executive Staff
Linda Guell, Director
John Rees, Editor
Julia Ferguson, Research
LETTER FROM THE CHAIRMAN
In the contemporary arena of political chicanery, reality counts for little and illusion is frequently king, but in the struggle for the survival of Western Civilization, it will be the real world, not illusions or delusions, that will determine which way the future will go. This basic truth is especially the case in areas of national defense. Politicians may play politics as usual right up to the time of actual conflict; after that point, only the mislabeled fool or dedicated traitor would continue the deception.
National defense matters present many real problems at both the policymaking and electorate levels. One such case may be found in the question of a draft as a means of supplying the necessary military manpower. A military service draft causes apprehension to eligible teenage males, and this is especially the case when the inequitable draft of the Vietnam War era is remembered.
The all-volunteer military force is an alternative to a draft, but it is an expensive way to go as illustrated by the fact that approximately 60 percent of the defense dollar goes to personnel and personnel related costs (by way of comparison, in the Soviet Union the comparable figure is 22 percent, thus leaving the lion's share for weapons development and production). Too, historically, there are serious questions as to whether a paycheck is an adequate substitute for patriotic fervor.
While Americans wrestle with the defense matters of growing costs, manpower needs, volunteerism vs. the draft, and even the matter of a national will, it is refreshing to note that there is one country that has adopted a formula that has resolved those same vexations. That country is Switzerland, and amazingly, the Swiss have successfully applied this national defense formula for centuries without the problems of popular division. To the contrary, the Swiss concept has promoted unity among the people of that small but mature nation.
The people of Switzerland are to be envied for their many achievements, and the policy achievement of a plan for armed neutrality could be a model either in whole or in part for those seeking a rational approach to survival problems.
The concept of armed neutrality was a policy favored by our Founding Fathers but the warnings and advice of Founding Father George Washington has been lost to Twentieth Century Americans. Perhaps even at this late date, we could find many answers to our current problems by observing the Swiss way of a total defense concept.
Lawrence P. McDonald
Chairman and President
"...to rebuild and strengthen the political, economic, and social structure of the United States and Western Civilization so as to make any merger with totalitarians impossible."
MAJOR GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON, USA (RET.)
Major General George Smith Patton was born December 24, 1923, in Boston, Massachusetts, the youngest of 3 children of Major George S. Patton, Jr. and Beatrice Ayer Patton.
General Patton graduated from The Hill School, Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He holds a Masters Degree in International Affairs from George Washington University. The General also attended the Armed Forces Staff College, the U.S. Army Armor School, and the U.S. Army War College.
General Patton served in Korea as Company Commander and volunteered for service in Vietnam, serving initially as Special Forces Operations Officer concurrently with an assignment at the American Embassy, Saigon. One of his several other Vietnam assignments included his service as Commanding Officer, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.
Peacetime missions include General Patton's service as follows: Headquarters and Student Company Commander and Commanding Officer of the Tank Training Center and 63rd Heavy Tank Battalion, respectively, in Germany (General Patton's career with the U.S. Army includes approximately 11 years European service alone); Company Tactical Officer with the Department of Tactics at West Point and similar duties at the Executive Department at the U.S. Naval Academy; Assistant Commandant of the U.S. Army Armor School in Fort Knox; Director, Security Assistance with Headquarters at the U.S. European Command; and Director of Readiness, HQ DARCOM.
The General's decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross with one oak leaf cluster; Silver Star with one oak leaf cluster; Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters; Distinguished Flying Cross; Meritorious Service Medal; several South Vietnam decorations, and the Purple Heart.
General Patton is married to the former Joanne Holbrook and they reside on their farm in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.
GENERAL LEWIS W. WALT, USMC (RET.)
General Lewis William Walt, who has seen more combat on the battlefield than any other living Marine, led combat troops in three wars, was a U.S. Marine Platoon Leader in the defense of the International Settlement in Shanghai, China in 1938-39, and retired from active service in the Corps on February 1, 1971.
During his active military career of nearly 35 years, General Walt was awarded 19 personal decorations for combat, including two Navy Crosses, our Nation's second highest combat award. He was also awarded two Distinguished Service Medals one as a Commander of the Marines and other combat troops in Vietnam, and one as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Following his retirement, the 4-star General served as Director of the United States Marines Youth Foundation and subsequently he headed up the U.S. Senate Investigation on International Drug Traffic. From September 1974 to September 1975, General Walt served as the senior military member of President Ford's Clemency Board, followed by his service as Consultant to the Department of Defense in the areas of weapons development and combat training.
General Walt, one of 12 children who worked his way through college, was born on a farm near Harveyville, Kansas on February 16, 1913. He graduated with honors from the Military Department at Colorado State University with a degree in Chemistry. His authored works include Strange War, Strange Strategy (1970); America Faces Defeat (1971); and The Eleventh Hour (1979).
The General Currently resides in Orlando, Florida with his wife June.
Western Goals wishes to express its sincere appreciation to the following individuals for their invaluable assistance in the presentation of this study:
1. Divisionnaire (MG) Edmund Muller
Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics
Federal Military Department
2. Colonel Jean Rossier
Chief of the Territorial Service
Federal Military Department
3. Colonel Philippe Zeller
Chief of Operations, General Staff
Federal Military Department
4. Hans Mumenthaler, Director
Federal Office of Civil Defense
5. Honorable G.A. Chevallaz
Minister of Defense
The Federal Council
6. Brig. General Heinrich Koopman and staff
Office of the Swiss Military Attache
7. Colonel George E. Thompson
The American Embassy
The Foundation wishes to say a special "thank you" to Charley Reese, Orlando, Florida, for his editorial assistance and contributions.
THE SWISS REPORT
Switzerland lies landlocked in Western Europe, a small densely populated nation of nearly seven million people. To the west lies France, to the south Italy and to the north and east, West Germany and Austria. By modern jet fighter, it is ten minutes from the Warsaw Pact nations of Eastern Europe. Since 1815 Switzerland has remained an inviolate island of peace in the midst of war. Even Adolph Hitler's Wehrmacht, which conquered all of Europe in the early months of World War II, chose not to attack Switzerland despite the fact that the small country was in the crossroads of Western Europe.
Switzerland is, of course, neutral, but it was not mere respect for its neutrality which kept the Nazi armies and others before it out of the tiny country. It was the determination of the Swiss people to defend their neutrality and the credibility of their means to do so. That determination remains alive today in the face of weapons of mass destruction. So, too, does the credibility of the means. Within 48 hours, the Swiss can field an army of more than 600,00 men, 100,000 more than the present army of West Germany. Today, it can provide shelter space for 85 percent of its civilian population and by the 1990s intends to have shelter space for the entire population. War supplies, medical supplies and food supplies are meticulously stored in more than 100 kilometers of tunnels. About 4,000 permanent obstacles and barriers and more than 2,000 demolition devices are now in place, ready to hamper and block an aggressor's progress. In short, Switzerland is an armed bunker.
Yet, there is no standing Army, no bunker mentality, no enormous drain on the Swiss economy, no militaristic threat to Europe's oldest and most fiercely independent democracy.
How the Swiss have achieved this credible deterrent to invasion is the subject of this report. The Swiss security system is unique as well as an example of what a democratic nation can accomplish by applying reason and logic to problems which have been realistically and carefully analyzed.
Niccolo Machiavelli, the 15th century Italian student of power, remarked of the Swiss, "They are the most armed and most free people in Europe." Indeed, Switzerland was born in the 13th century out of a desire to be free of domination by the Habsburg family. In 1291 three Swiss cantons signed the Perpetual Covenant which marked the beginning of the Swiss Confederation. In the 1300s, the Swiss fought several wars for independence with Austria and in 1499 Switzerland won its independence from the Holy Roman Empire.
The policy of neutrality originated in 1515 when the Swiss suffered a stunning defeat by the French, but that early neutrality did not save it from an invasion and occupation by the French under Napoleon in 1798. The Congress of Vienna of 1815 restored Swiss independence and guaranteed its neutrality.
Switzerland adopted a new constitution in 1848, modeled somewhat after the American constitution and this was amended in 1874 to increase the federal government's powers in military and court matters, although the cantons (equivalent to American states) generally retain considerably more power than American states.
The Swiss economy today is built around precision manufacturing, chemicals, banking, and tourism. It has one of the highest standards of living in the world and the land is criss-crossed by a 3,150-mile railroad network and 30,000 miles of hard-surfaced roads. Three major rivers have their origin in Switzerland the Rhine, the Rhone, and the Po. Most of the population and most of the agriculture are located in the plateau region between the Jura and the Alps. Swiss agriculture can produce only three-fifths of the nation's food supply, a factor carefully weighed in the Swiss security system planning. The nation is greatly dependant on imports for food and most raw materials for its industry, including oil, natural gas, and coal.
Since 1815 the Swiss have not fought in a foreign war, yet they have maintained the tradition of a citizen army and rifle and pistol shooting are among the nation's most popular sports with almost every village having a shooting range, over 3,000 ranges in all.
Today Switzerland maintains its neutrality, but practices what it calls solidarity participating in international humanitarian projects, offering its good offices in the resolution of disputes, and providing technical assistance to Third World countries. The Swiss participate in those international activities and organizations which do not require it to violate its policy of neutrality. Neutrality is central to Swiss thinking and, in fact, is the determining factor in the Swiss security system.
SWISS STRATEGIC THINKING
Divisionnaire Major General Edmund Muller, deputy chief of staff, logistics, summarized Swiss strategic thinking this way:
"Historical experience shows that if a nation is not able to defend itself and to protect its spiritual and material values, it will become, sooner or later, the target of power politics and force. Efforts to defend ourselves against force are therefore still necessary. These efforts must be integrated within a comprehensive security policy expressed in the form of clear guidelines. Our government is convinced that we can successfully undertake peace-keeping efforts in the future only if we can ensure at the same time our own security in a credible way. The security policy of a country is only credible if a realistic evaluation of the threats and a sober estimation of its own possibilities lead to the implementation of a concept capable of inspiring confidence at home and respect abroad."
The words, "credible", "respect", "realistic", and "planning" occur over and over in Swiss defense documents and briefings. To a remarkable degree, the Swiss government has approached its problems in a supremely logical manner, setting out basic premises and drawing the correct inferences.
The objectives of the security policy are set forth as follows: (1) preservation of peace in independence; (2) preservation of freedom of action; (3) protection of the population; and (4) defense of the territory.
Each of these objectives has been carefully analyzed and the choice of words is not careless. What the Swiss mean by "Peace in independence" is made clear in the following excerpt from a report of the Federal Council to the Federal Assembly:
"The preservation of peace no matter how much we are interested in it is not an end in itself. It can neither be separated from the preservation of self-determination nor can one be played off against the other. Our goal is peace in independence; both aspects are therefore of equal importance."
In defining preservation of freedom of action, the Swiss make clear they mean freedom from foreign pressures, which can be achieved only by having available a powerful means of resisting them and freedom from internal pressure generated by illegal means or the use of force.
Having defined their security policy objectives, the Swiss then proceed to examine the threat. In doing so, they include "the state of relative peace" along with indirect war, conventional war, war with weapons of mass destruction, and blackmail.
The following quotations from the same Federal Council report reveal not only the Swiss view of the present threats but provide an insight in their thinking processes:
"Today, peace does not correspond to the ideal and conditions usually associated with it. The general situation is characterized by continuous confrontations, also in those cases where there is no open employment of force."
"The danger of a breach of international agreement is always present. The collective security system envisioned by the Charter of the United Nations has not been allowed to become effective, particularly because of the lack of unanimity among the permanent members of the security council....today's state of relative peace is to a great extent due to the fact that the two superpowers neutralize each other. The balance of fear, maintained only by the mutual threat of annihilation, is not stable. It can be jeopardized by the excessive armaments efforts of one side, by technological breakthroughs as well as by irrational actions....under the protection of this relative balance of forces, powers and groups of powers attempt to enlarge their spheres of influence through political, economical, propagandistic and psychological pressures."
"Conflicts are increasingly being waged by indirect means; with the goal of influencing, weakening and finally overcoming the opponent through political, psychological and terrorist means....this type of warfare takes advantage of the increasing vulnerability of the modern state with its numerous vital facilities (such as power utilities, communication, transportation and information facilities). Those who resort to this kind of warfare, whether they act in the interest of a foreign power, a foreign ideology or out of anarchistic motives, take advantage of the frictions existing within a society, as well as of all forms of political and social malaise of certain population groups. By attempting to break up the existing liberal order through the paralysis of the public institutions, facilities and the democratic processes by way of defamation, intimidation and the employment of force, they hope to be able to achieve their goals."
"The possibility of blackmail exists at each level of conflict, taking advantage of the opponent's fear of the threatened actions. Blackmail acquires a particular dimension if it is exercised by nuclear powers. The authorities of the state against which the blackmail is directed could be put under intense public pressure and be forced to make decisions of such a magnitude as to be without historical parallel....the four levels of conflict are characterized by those methods and means which would, at each level, be predominantly employed. During large confrontations, the parties to the conflict will try to combine these methods and means acting simultaneously in a direct and indirect manner."
Thus, the Swiss take a hard look at the world and indulge in no escapist thinking. They recognize that they could become the victim of blackmail, of subversion, of a conventional or nuclear attack. Yet they also realize that because of their small size, they are not likely to be a primary target and therefore cannot justify a continued state of mobilization.
The Swiss see the military as only one component of a spectrum of strategic means to achieve their security objectives. Their foreign policy initiatives are a strategic means to defend their policy of armed neutrality, to provide access to raw materials and markets to exports. Social policy is a strategic means to provide the stability necessary to withstand threats. Economic policy is a strategic means of insuring that in times of crisis or war, the Swiss people can continue to exist. The Swiss Government has actually formed what it calls a war economy organization with the specific goals of planning for self-sufficiency in time of war. In this regard, Swiss citizens are required to maintain in their homes a two-month's supply of food; industrialists and importers are required to maintain war stocks of raw materials and food. Civil Defense is seen as the strategic means of insuring survival of the population. In short, the Swiss approach the problem of security with a totally integrated methodology that involves the entire nation.
THE MILITIA SYSTEM
The purpose of the military forces of Switzerland are two-fold: (1) to deter war by the principle of dissuasion; and (2) if deterrence fails, to defend the territory and the population.
"Dissuasion is a strategic posture which should persuade a potential aggressor to avoid armed conflict, by convincing him of the disproportion existing between the advantages gained from an attack on the country and the risks entailed. The risks which a potential aggressor must be made to perceive consists in the loss of prestige, military forces, war-potential and time, as well as in running counter to his ideological, political and economic interests."
The Swiss have no illusions about their ability to defeat a major military power. They could not have defeated the Nazi army which for a time considered invading Switzerland. They mobilized, however, and made it clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that if the Nazi army invaded, it would be fiercely resisted and that the tunnels and passes into Italy would be destroyed. In a classic example of dissuasion at work, Hitler's general staff recommended against an invasion on the grounds that the costs would be disproportionate to the gains.
The Swiss military forces are composed almost entirely of the militia. Only 800 out of 50,000 officers are professionals. They, and the recruits which happen to be training at any given time, are the only people in Switzerland on "active duty."
The Swiss militia system is unique and is not comparable to the present Reserve and Guard forces in the United States. The basis for conscription is the constitution, which mandates military service for every Swiss male from age 20 to 50 (55 in the case of officers). There are no exceptions. Conscientious objectors are given a choice between Army non-combat units and jail. Those physically unfit for military duty but employable are required to pay a tax. Women are not included in the compulsory military service system, but small numbers of them are accepted on a volunteer basis for non-combatant positions.
The universality of the Swiss system provides several advantages. It is fair and therefore enjoys popular support. In the 1970s a national referendum was had on the question of providing alternative service to conscientious objectors. The Swiss people defeated it by an overwhelming majority.
A second advantage is that the Swiss Army does not have to operate a vocational school system, training unqualified people in special skills which they take, as soon as their enlistment is completed, into the civilian market. The Swiss system operates in reverse. The Swiss Army, because everyone is obligated, can choose those people trained in their civilian roles for the military jobs which match their specialty. In the Swiss system, the burden of specialized training is on the civilian sector.
A third advantage is that every male, age 20 to 50, who is an elected official or civil servant in the government at all levels is also a member of the Swiss Army. This helps prevent the jealousy and hostility that armies sometimes confront in competing with other government services for their share of the public resources. The lack of separation between the army, the people, and the government is one of the unique and valuable characteristics of the Swiss system.
A fourth advantage is that Switzerland does not have a high proportion of defense dollars going to personnel costs. There are no military retirement systems (the 800 full-time officers are included in the civil service pension system), no veterans benefits, no massive payroll of a large standing army. There is a medical insurance program to take care of injuries or death while serving on active duty. Consequently, 50 percent of all Swiss defense appropriations can be directed toward the acquisition of weapons and equipment. A comparable figure is 30 percent in the Republic of West Germany.
At the age of 19, young men are given physical and mental tests in preparation for military service. By this age, most young men in Switzerland have already chosen their career paths and so permitting the Army to channel them into the proper slots. Some consideration is given to the recruit's preference and his locale, but the Army makes the final decision according to its own needs.
At age 20, recruits report for 17 weeks of training. The Swiss do not operate separate training facilities for recruits and then others for military specialties. Each training camp handles both the recruit's basic training and his military specialty. In other words, a young man destined for the medics reports directly to a medical training company; an infantryman to an infantry training camp.
At the end of the training cycle, the recruit, now a member of a militia unit with which he will stay in most cases for the duration of his obligation, returns home. He carries with him his rifle, an allotment of ammunition, uniforms, military pack, and CBR mask. He is responsible for the maintenance of this equipment and is inspected annually. Once a year he is also required to qualify with his personal weapon on a rifle range or face an additional three days of training. Once a year, he will report for three weeks of military training in a rugged field exercise set up as a problem the type of which his particular unit would face.
[Photo of a militiaman surrounded by a display of his equipment, and caption] Equipment (value $2,000.00). Every Swiss militia soldier has the above equipment ready at his home. (See opposite page for itemized list)
PERSONAL EQUIPMENT FOR MEN
No. Arming and Leathers
1 1 assault-gun with magazine and sling
2 1 cleaning-things for assault-gun
3 1 night-sight
4 1 bayonet with fitting
5 1 knife
6 1 belt
7 1 scabbard for bayonet
8 1 box with pocket-ammunition
9 1 helmet 71
10 1 pass-cup, ord 72
11 1 working-cup, ord 49
12 1 pass-uniform, ord 72
13 1 pass-trousers, ord 72
14 1 working-trousers, ord 49
15 1 coat
16 3 shirts with breast pockets
17 2 jerseys
18 2 black ties
19 1 pass-raincoat
20 1 pass-leather belt
21 1 trousers-belt (elastic)
22 2 pairs of march shoes
23 1 rucksack, mod 58/73
24 2 shoe-bags, grey
25 1 effects-bag, olive
26 1 supplies-bag, white
27 1 effects bag 58
28 1 haversack
29 1 canteen with cup
30 1 mess tin
31 1 spoon and 1 fork
32 1 cleaning things 67
33 1 ABC (atomic/biological/chemical) protective mask with
34 1 bag for ABC-protective mask
35 2 pairs of plugs for hearing protection, in boxes
36 1 service book with identity card
37 1 identification tag
38 3 pairs of epaulettes
The Swiss Army is organized into four Army Corps. Each Army Corps controls three Divisions. The Field ARmy Corps are composed of two Infantry Divisions and one Mechanized Division. The Mountain Corps has three Mountain Divisions. In addition, each Field Army Corps has some separate Border Defense Brigades and the Mountain Corps, separate Fortress Brigades.
These 12 Divisions plus the Air Defense Command constitute the elite. Young men aged 20 to 32 serve in these Divisions. Men of the "Landwehr", 33 to 42 years old, are found in the separate Brigades. Those in the "Landsturm", 43 to 50 years old, serve in the Territorial forces. Thus, the duties of the militiaman are adjusted as his physical capabilities change with age.
These elite field forces with the eight youngest classes of soldiers plus all Commissioned Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers are mobilized for three weeks of training each year. "Landwehr" forces train for two weeks every two years, and "Landsturm" units for one week every four years.
All officers are chosen from the ranks. A young man chosen to become an officer while he was a private must attend a one-month non-commissioned officers school. If he is successful, the soldier is promoted to corporal and, to pay off his new rank, he must serve as a group leader for a period of 17 weeks immediately following recruit school.
The requisite number of corporals to meet requirements are sent to officer training schools for four months. After successful completion of this school, he is promoted to lieutenant. This is followed by service as a platoon leader with another recruit training unit. After five years in grade, he will be promoted to first lieutenant.
After two years as a first lieutenant, he is eligible for promotion to captain. To be promoted to captain, a first lieutenant has to attend a three-week weapons school, a four-week tactical school and serve as company commander in a recruit training cycle. As a captain, he will command and administer a company.
After eight years, a captain can get promoted to major, and then, if he completes successfully special training, he may become a battalion commander. Subsequent promotions to lieutenant colonel after seven years as major and to colonel two years later depends upon individual ability and vacancies. The highest rank a militia officer may attain is that of brigade commander. Divisions and Army Corps are commanded by professional officers.
A first lieutenant or captain who desires to become a career officer has to attend a series of branch schools and then attend a one-year course at the Military Division of the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. To be eligible for selection as a member of the Corps of Instructors, an officer must have a civilian profession.
In peace time, the Swiss Army has no supreme commander. The Federal Council leads the army. The general chief of staff is the "primus inter pares" of the army staff. In case of war mobilization, the Parliament would select a four-star general as supreme commander.
Tours of Duty in Schools
(Recruits and Superiors)
Private Corp Lt Cap Major Colonel
1. RS 118 118 118 118 118 118
NCOS 27 27 27 27 27
2. RS 118 118 118 118 118
OS 118 118 118 118
3. RS 118 118 118 118
Tact 27 27 27
Shoot 20 20 20
4. RS 118 118 118
Tact 27 27
Shoot 6 6
5. RS 27 27
Days 118 263 499 664 724 765
RS = Recruit School
NCOS = Noncommissioned Officer School
OS = Officer School
Tact = Tactical School
Shoot = Shooting School/Course
The Swiss Air Force is composed of one Air Force, one Airbase and one Anti-Aircraft Brigade. All combat aircraft are ready for use and are stored in rock-covered underground bases containing fuel, ammunition, spare parts and repair shops. There is an automatic surveillance and guidance system to help engage the air defense and ground attack armaments.
The number of main weapons in the Swiss Army is as follows:
1,200 armored personnel carriers
900 artillery guns (self-propelled or mobile)
300 artillery tubes in fortresses
2,000 mobile anti-tank guns
300 antitank guns in bunkers
2,000 anti-aircraft guns
3,000 anti-tank guided missile systems
Thousands of grenade launchers and millions of mines are also on hand as well as 30,000 army-owned special vehicles and 50,000 civilian-owned vehicles tagged for mobilization. Each owner knows precisely where to bring his vehicle in case of mobilization.
These and other war supplies are stored in arsenals and underground facilities all over the country. They are stored by unit. A military unit, for example, will draw the same equipment from the same arsenal each year for its annual training exercise so that it becomes familiar with it, with its location, and can assist civilian maintenance personnel in spotting problems.
The Swiss logistics system is a work of genius and is tailored to the requirements of a militia army in a neutral country which, if it fights, cannot count on allies for re-supply or assistance.
Of 17,000 civil servants in the Ministry of Defense, 10,500 are in logistics. In 1981 the budget was 800 million Swiss francs and it maintains 5,500 buildings and installations, 600 war bases, 170 maintenance facilities, and more than 100 kilometers of underground facilities.
These underground facilities not only contain stores of ammunition and other war supplies but also underground repair facilities for tanks, artillery pieces, electronics equipment and vehicles. The value of the Swiss Army inventory is 12.8 billion Swiss francs.
The Swiss Army maintains 40 military hospitals, ten of them underground completely equipped, spotless and ready. They are used only for training purposes. When the Swiss purchase a weapons system from abroad, they purchase enough spare parts for both the life of the system and for war reserves. This is to insure continuity of use in a war even though Switzerland is cut off from the original source of supply.
They also practice the principle of commonality so that military, civil defense, and police equipment are the same. An example of Swiss ingenuity applied to logistics is the storage of perishable medical supplies for war-time use. These supplies are obtained from pharmaceutical companies, stored, and then at the appropriate time, returned to the pharmaceuticals for sale in exchange for fresh supplies for storage. By arrangement, the Swiss government would actually pay for the supplies only in the event of their consumption during a war.
Once mobilized, the Swiss Army would fight as a conventional force. Swiss military doctrine calls for meeting the aggressor at the borders and waging total war. This is a departure from earlier doctrine which in World War II called for abandoning the plateau area for the mountain fortresses.
In the event of mobilization, the 4,000 permanent obstacles and barriers would be activated and the more than 2,000 demolition devices already built into key bridges and tunnels would be set off. Industrial machines would be disabled; water levels in the more than 900 dams lowered; fuel tanks burned.
The Swiss terrain a hilly plateau region between two mountain ranges would necessarily channelize the aggressor's attacks. These obvious avenues of approach are heavily fortified and would be defended from built-in positions and by mobile forces of the three Army Corps backed up by the Air Force. The Swiss plan is to make every inch gained by the enemy a bloody and costly gain. In the event main units of the Army are destroyed, Swiss doctrine calls for continued passive and active resistance by means of guerrilla warfare.
This combination of powerful resistance by conventional forces, continued resistance by guerrillas, and the self-destruction of Switzerland's industrial, communications, and transportation networks constitutes the strategy of dissuasion. The message to the potential aggressor is clear: after a bloody, expensive, time-consuming war, he will have gained nothing of value. He will be faced with occupation of a hostile area, denuded of economic or transportation value, and continued resistance by a determined and armed population.
The armed population is no bluff. Swiss militiamen are not required to turn in their weapons upon completion of their obligation. It is said that every Swiss home contains at least three weapons, for not only is there the militia system, but there is a long tradition of civilian ownership of firearms and, as pointed out before, rifle and pistol shooting are virtually the national sports of Switzerland. There are few restrictions on the Swiss purchase, ownership or carrying, of firearms. An armed occupation force would indeed be literally faced with the prospect of a Swiss rifleman behind every tree.
THE TERRITORIAL SERVICE
A unique component of the Swiss Army is the Territorial Service. It has no equivalent in the United STates and so deserves special attention in this report.
Within the army itself, the Territorial Service operates as logistical units, but it is much more and is the main link between the army and the civilian sector. It is composed of those men in the "Landsturm" who are 43 to 50 years of age as well as some younger men assigned to it for Air Raid Rescue Battalions.
The duties of the Territorial Service can be summarized as follows: (1) It has the mission of providing warning services to both the Army and the civilian population in case of danger from air, atomic, biological and chemical weapons as well as dam bursts; (2) it is responsible for coordinating the lowering of the water level of hydroelectric reservoirs and for other measures concerning the electrical supply system; (3) it has the mission of caring for internees, prisoners of war and refugees; (4) it provides military police to assist civil authorities when necessary; (5) it is responsible for the military economy service to supply all the goods needed by the army from the civilian sector and to handle the dismantling or destruction of civilian economic assets that could be used by the enemy; and (6) to protect important and vital installations.
The Territorial Service is primarily designed for war, but portions of it can be mobilized in peacetime to assist civilian authorities with non-military catastrophes.
Structurally, the Territorial Service is designed to parallel the Swiss civil government structure. The basic civilian unit of the Swiss Confederation is the canton. Some of the larger cantons are divided into districts. Cantons are grouped together to form Territorial Zones.
At the level of a district (a portion of a canton) there is a District Civil Staff and a Territorial Regional Staff; the Territorial Service equivalent of the canton is called a Territorial Circle. Here again, the military staff works with the civil staff. At the Territorial Zone level (groups of cantons), there are also parallel civilian and military staffs.
To make this relationship clearer, we might imagine a United States military service which had a command structure at the level of the Federal Government, at the level of the Federal Regions, at the state levels, and at the district levels within the states with the missions of providing domestic intelligence, security for key installations, control of the economy in time of war, and assistance to the civilian authorities in handling disasters and civil disturbances. There is, of course, no such organization in the United States.
The Swiss have not only clearly defined the missions of the Territorial Service but also the rules under which it operates. For example, the needs of the army take precedence over the needs of the civil sector. The Territorial Service can assist the civil sector only on the request of civilian authorities and, even then, authority and responsibility for civilians remains with the civil authorities. In other words, in the event of a catastrophe, the Territorial Service is not authorized to step in and take over operations, but only to provide assistance to civil authorities under their direction.
On the other hand, in the event of war, the Territorial Service's first obligation is to the army and under those circumstances it would override, if necessary, the civil authorities in the event of a conflict of interests. It is also the Territorial Service which provides the manpower earmarked for use by civil defense.
Some critics of the Swiss system have expressed the belief that the possession of nuclear weapons has made the strategy of dissuasion obsolete. These are, to be sure, those critics who view nuclear war as an offense for which there is no defense.
The Swiss do not agree. Recalling on of their strategic objectives as protection of the civilian population, the Swiss government has realistically assessed that objective in light of nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare. Their answer was to embark on an extensive civil defense program with the idea of accomplishing two of their strategic objectives protection of the population and maintaining freedom of action. They reason that an extensive and useable civil defense program will give the Swiss government the means to withstand nuclear blackmail, thus preserving freedom of action.
Hans Mumenthaler, director of the Federal Office of Civil Defense, put it this way: "Lack of protection (for the civilian population) means an impairment of our freedom of decision and lacking freedom of decision is rightly felt as an unfree condition."
The latest Swiss laws pertaining to civil defense were revised in 1978 and they have made remarkable progress. To date, the Swiss have shelter space for 85 percent of the population and by 1990 plan to have 100 percent of the population covered. In many cases, there will be two shelter spaces per person one at the place of work and one at home.
Swiss law requires compulsory participation in civil defense for all males aged 20 to 60 with exemption only for military service. Consequently, most of the civil defense personnel are over 50. There is presently a mandatory five-day introductory course and two days of annual training. Swiss officials believe this is not sufficient and, even though supervisors train more extensively, they would like to see the training schedule expanded for everyone.
The law requires that communities have full responsibility for enforcing federal and cantonal civil defense regulations. Each family is required to provide a shelter at home and all new construction, even of commercial buildings, must provide shelters built to federal specifications. The confederation subsidizes the construction of public shelters, but not private ones.
Private shelters are required to withstand one atmosphere of overpressure while public shelters are built to withstand three atmospheres (one atmosphere equals ten tons per square meter). In other words, the Swiss opted for blast shelters that are rather simply shelters adequate for protection against fallout. A shelter built to withstand three atmospheres of overpressure could theoretically provide protection for people within nine-tenths of a mile from ground zero with a one-megaton explosion.
Public shelters are equipped with independent water, air filtration, communications, food, and medical supplies and private citizens are required to stock food for two week's duration.
The Swiss have spent, since 1970, 5 billion Swiss francs on civil defense and are currently spending at the rate of 210 million Swiss francs annually. Mumenthaler says this is a ratio of about $1 for every $8 spent on defense. He estimates that for the United States to have reached the same level of protection, would have required the expenditure of $85 billion.
Public support for civil defense is widespread. Mumenthaler explains, "We are mountain people and we are used to living with danger but we are also used to preparing for it."
Several key decisions were made in approaching the problem of civil defense. One was to discard the idea of evacuation. Not only are warning times for Switzerland practically nil, but Swiss authorities reasoned the country is too small for evacuation to be feasible. Evacuees would hinder other military operations and would likely be no safer. Therefore, the Swiss opted for "vertical as opposed to horizontal protection." This dictated the construction of blast-proof shelters.
Another was the adoption of the principle that every inhabitant must have an equal chance of survival. The Swiss seem to be meticulous about the principle of equal sharing of both responsibilities and privileges. The first obligation of every Swiss is to their country.
Because of the proximity to likely opponents, the Swiss have adopted the strategy of ordering people into the shelters as soon as political or military tension reaches a critical level. From that point on, only key workers would leave the shelters until such time as there was an actual attack or the situation became less tense.
Finally, the Swiss made a basic decision to separate civil defense from the military operations. The office of civil defense operates under the Minister of Justice and Federal police. While some 30,000 troops from the Territorial Service would be made available to civil defense, primarily for fire-fighting and rescue work, it is not a fighting organization nor does it replace normal civilian rescue and emergency aid organizations during peacetime. It can be mobilized for peacetime rescue work, but this is clearly a secondary mission.
Switzerland, a small country with limited resources, has conceptualized, planned, and implemented a rational security policy which provides maximum effect with minimum expenditures. The militia system, being both universal and a part of the constitution, has wide public acceptance. It allows mobilization of a large army without the draining costs of a large professional army. the personnel savings have been invested in redoubts, barriers, equipment, storage facilities, hospitals, and weapons.
To a remarkable degree, the Swiss require private sector participation in the defense effort. These private contributions are estimated to equal the annual government expenditures. By integrating their security policy to include foreign policy, social policy, defense, civil defense and economic measures, the Swiss have, in effect, oriented their entire public effort toward the end of security for their nation and their people.
The Swiss General Defense system provides a high dissuasive value and credibility to this small, neutral country in the heart of Europe. In case of war Switzerland would not attract the more powerful nations who might consider Switzerland to be a military vacuum. On the contrary, Switzerland can activate the densest defense system on the ground and in the air on short notice in Western Europe.
Thanks to Civil Defense as well as intricate economic preparedness, there is a high degree of survivability even in a modern war of long duration. The most important factor remains that the overwhelming majority of the Swiss have a strong will to defend the country against any aggressor. They are prepared to fight, and will fight whenever and whomever necessary.
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| | | National Defense | Council | | CHIEF OF THE DEPARTMENT -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Military Defense OF DEFENSE Committee | | | -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Chief Military | Attorney | | | -- -- -- FEDERAL MILITARY ADMINISTRATION | | | | -- -- -- Topographical Service | | -- -- -- Military Insurance | | -- -- -- Gymnastics and Sports School | | -- -- -- Chief Field Commissioner | | | -- -- -- ARMAMENT TECHNOLOGY PROCUREMENT | | | | -- -- -- Deputy | | -- -- -- Staff | | -- -- -- Technological Division | | -- -- -- Commercial Division | | -- -- -- Army Works Division | | | -- -- -- TRAINING & EDUCATION GROUP | | | | -- -- -- Staff | | -- -- -- Chief of Arms Infantry | | -- -- -- Chief of Arms Mechanized Troops | | -- -- -- Chief of Arms Artillery | | -- -- -- Adjutant General | | | -- -- -- GENERAL STAFF SERVICES GROUP | | | | -- -- -- Staff | | -- -- -- Chief Engineers & Fortifications | | -- -- -- Chief Telecommunications | | -- -- -- Surgeon General | | -- -- -- Chief Veterinary | | -- -- -- Chief Supplies | | -- -- -- Chief Transports and Repairs | | -- -- -- Chief Air Protection Troops | | -- -- -- Chief Ordnance | | | -- -- -- AIR AND ANTI-AIRCRAFT COMMAND | | | -- -- -- 4 ARMY CORPS
On peace... "To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace."
in his first annual address to Congress on January 8, 1790
"War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest thing. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares about more than his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
John Stuart Mill