I was reading the Irish neutrality thread in GD, and noticed that neither Sweden nor Switzerland are members of NATO. What happens if they get into a serious scrum with or some other country, like one of the Baltic nations for example, that comes looking to kick Swiss or Swedish ass? Do they feel their neighbors will protect them? Who will come to their aid? Are there protection treaties they have with their neighbors that are outside of NATO agreements?
I can’t speak for everyone, but nearly nobody here takes the concept of “Sweden being attacked” seriously. It’s just not something people think could happen at all.
Since Sweden and Switzerland are only share borders with other Western democracies it is more or less inconceivable that they would be attacked.
I wouldn’t put it past the Norwegians. A bad batch of Ikea furniture in Oslo, and the next thing you know Norwegian navy battleships are lobbing shells on Stockholm.
There’s also some territorial disputes, like the third pew to the left at Christ the Savoir Lutheran Church in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
FYI, Ireland is also a non-NATO member.
Treaties for military assistance are usually reciprocal - which would violate the neutrality of the respective country (main European neutral countries: Austria, Finland, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland)
Neutral countries’ defence is supposed to be up to their own military, which must not only defend the country against an attack but also deny other countries the use of the neutral country’s territory/waters/airspace in a conflict with a third party. A case in point was the Iraq conflict where Austria had to deny permission for transit of US matériel from Germany destined for Iraq - they do allow transit when there isn’t a war in the offing.
… whereas Ireland has allowed the US use of Shannon Airport during this conflict, to the outrage of much of the Irish public.
An attack from Switzerland can only happen from the east (at least at the present time). So if Switzerland would be taken, the flanks of both Italy and Germany would be exposed. As this obviously is not in the interest of neither, both countries would support Switzerland as good as possible. Also Switzerland has a rather big army which while not professional is not all too bad.
Isn’t it a legal requirement that every man must own and be able to operate a gun in Switzerland? That would be some formidable
resistance force if Switzerland ever was invaded.
Would that be those guys on bicycles I saw last summer, and that oh-so-secret secret base set into a cliff, hidden by not very convincing rock-effect doors?
Yes; pretty much every able bodied man does a period a military service, and is sent home with an assault rifle and ammo. Though recently they passed an alternative civil service options for concientous objectors. The Swiss can mobilize 360,000 soldier in 24 hours, which, in addition to their prepared defensive postions and mountianous terrain, makes them very difficult to invade.
DreadCthulhu is pretty near. Not quite every man has to do military service, there is an alternative called civil service for conscientous objectors. It is 1 1/2 times longer than military service and consist mostly of helping out in old peoples homes and such. Then there is another alternative called civil protection service. Those are responsible for the upkeep of official air raid bunkers and are also responsible for putting out fires during war.
On 1st of Jan 2004, the Armee XXI reform goes into effect. This means a troop reduction from 360’000 to about 140’000 (plus 80’000 reservists).
This is mostly achieved by reducing the time of service and not by recruiting fewer people. So, about 60% (just a wag) of the male population are able to operate an automatic rifle and about 400’000 have one at home (including 50 rounds of ammo). As the military has introduced a new rifle a few years ago, they have a surplus of old rifles (normally you have to give it back when you are mustered out ). So now everyone that goes takes part in a shooting contest for 3 years in a row before getting mustered out gets one of the old rifles for free.
So in short, yes, everyone who invades Switzerland would get a pretty hard time as even the old guy across the street might have a rifle and knows how to use it.
Also the bridges leading to and from the important alp passes are prepared such that they can be blown up if the need arises. Plus they have already inbuilt tank obstacles
Ticker, in Armee XXI there will be no more bicycle soldiers. They will share the same faith with the carrier pigeons which were phased out a couple of years ago. Train soldiers will be phased out too (has nothing to do with trains, they are soldiers equipped with horses which carry supplies to remote outposts). Actually all these are not as stupid or backwards as you might think. There is a lot of mountaineous terrain around here. So a good way to carry ammo around there are still horses. But those kinds of units were rather rare anyway. We have soldiers on skis too
The “official” Swedish defense policy isn’t to win, only to make it a pain in the ass to attack, to the extent that an attacker will realise it is unprofitable. As soon as we are attacked we are supposed to blow up all our infrastructure and go hide in the woods pretty much.
The army has been continually downsized, we have a not-so-hot militia and most men in the country has done military service since it is compulsory (I refused).
What we will reall do if Norway attacks is of course to surrrender immediatly and demand that they occupy us, then request welfare and live off their oil money for the rest of our natural lives.
Of course it is unlikely that we will be attacked. Our neighbours, Norway and Finland are important to us, and we to them, w/r/t trade etc. Also, the cultures are very simmilar, Norweigans speak almost the same language, many finns know swedish (they are taught in school) and there’s a VERY big contingent of immigrants from both those countries here. Naturalised and not.
Our old defense scenarios focused mainly on USSR attacking, which sort of made it pointless to actually try and win. When the only realistic aggressor has the biggest army in the world, and you… ehh… don’t, there’s not much you can do.
My personal battleplan involves quickly getting to the city library and learning to say “Welcome russian liberators! Please take my sister as an offering of gratitude and spare my life!” in Russian. Unles I happen to have enough money on me to go to Brazil.
Wow. Even the French would put up a couple weeks of fighting . . .
Yeah well, they’re stupid.
Sweden could be attacked by Russia. I believe I read that there were some contingency plans for Russia to invade Sweden to make it easier to get to Norway should WWIII break out. Not to mention Sweden has valuable raw materials and Russia’s political situation is not exactly settled. A fall back into fascism is not out of the question.
Since the US has been inclined to come to the aid of a nation like Kuwait, I’m pretty sure we’d probably aid Sweden.
While Sweden was officially neutral during the cold war (and we still claim to be), it was a neutrality strongly in favour of NATO.
It has been revealed now that there were inofficial “treaties” or promises of aid between Sweden and the Western allies in case of a Soviet attack.
It would also have been in the interest of NATO to prevent Sweden from falling to a Soviet attack. Should Sweden fall Norway would be hard to defend. Bases in Sweden would also enable Soviet bombers to reach further into the Atlantic and hit shipping from the US to Europe.
So for Sweden the strategy was to have a defence strong enough to make an invasion take so long that outside aid could arrive. One on one we would of course never have been able to defend against the entire Soviet armed forces.
True, but you wouldn’t have to assuming the Soviets were occupied on the Central Front. According to my Quick and Dirty Guide to War from 1985, Sweden’s military power on the front facing Finland was about the same strength as what the Soviets were likely to be able to bring to bear. Your government probably planned it that way as a deterrence.
Yes, so the evil russkies would of course have to set up a situation where they can attack Sweden without opening up the central front at the same time.
There are quite a few books on that theme.
Still even if we did have fairly good armed forces back then, the Swedish government(s) during the time did not take any chances and made deals with NATO while publicly claiming neutrality.
Everyone who has done military service in Sweden will be familiar with the scenario for excercises. The enemy was never named but for some strange reason the scenario tended to be about an unnamed attacker coming from the east …
Wow. And we wonder why there’s such a yawning gulf of understanding between the US and Europe on how to deal with security and defense issues.
Is there a cite for this? Not that I don’t believe you, just that I’d like to see more.