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National Security, Swiss-Style

Discussion in 'Legal' started by xd9fan, Jun 12, 2007.

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  1. xd9fan

    xd9fan Member

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    National Security, Swiss-Style

    by Nick Bradley


    Contrary to popular belief, history has repeatedly shown that societies do not need full-time, government-funded militaries to defend themselves – a heavily-armed populace will suffice. Let us look at Switzerland. Since 1291, Switzerland has defended itself through the use of a heavily-armed populace and a robust militia. Throughout the past 800 years, the Swiss citizenry has defended their liberty against threats both foreign and domestic.

    A Revolt against Taxes and Inflation

    During the Thirty Years’ War, the Swiss Confederation was the only major power to abstain from hostilities. As a result, the Swiss economy boomed from the wartime drop in productivity, selling agricultural products at high prices to war-ravaged countries (similar to the US agricultural boom during World War One, with agricultural output almost doubling). However, Swiss cities spent much of their resources building fortifications, such as bastions, to protect from invasion. The redirection of resources away from productive, commercial endeavors towards security reduced the tax base for the Cantonal governments. Additionally, the war’s heavy financial burden caused France and Spain to suspend payment to the Cantons for mercenary services rendered.

    In order to maintain revenue, the Cantonal governments began raising taxes. In order to keep wealth local, the city governments responded by debasing their currencies to reduce the real amount of tax payments to the Cantonal governments; Berne, for example, arbitrarily reduced the value of the copper Batzen by 50%, while other areas practiced coin clipping. At the same time, European agricultural prices plummeted with the economies of southern Germany returning to pre-war production levels. Swiss monetary authorities reacted to the price reductions by further debasing the currency.

    In reaction, the Swiss peasantry demanded a return to previous levels of taxation and an end to inflation, which Swiss authorities refused to do. As a result, an armed Swiss peasant revolt swept through the country, forcing authorities to eventually accede to their demands.

    The Helvetic Republic

    During the French Revolution, radical French ideology infected much of the Swiss elite, particularly in the French-speaking Western Cantons. Swiss leadership acceded to French demands in 1798 and established the Helvetic Republic. The Radicals, backed by the occupying French Army, abolished the Cantonal governments and established a centralized state. The citizenry, particularly in the Catholic Cantons, rose up and challenged the centralized state and the French military presence through both armed and passive resistance. In 1803, Napoleon introduced the Act of Mediation, which restored the Cantons and removed all French troops from Switzerland.

    20th Century

    In the 20th Century, Switzerland deterred invasion and forced involvement in both World Wars with its rugged terrain, a heavily-armed populace, and a policy of relative non-intervention. Prior to WWI, the German Kaiser asked in 1912 what the quarter of a million Swiss militiamen would do if invaded by a half million German soldiers. In response a man from Switzerland replied: "shoot twice and go home".

    During the Nazi invasion of France, the Luftwaffe violated Swiss airspace over 200 times; the Swiss responded by forcing down Luftwaffe aircraft and even shot down 11+ Luftwaffe aircraft. The Third Reich responded by sending in saboteurs to destroy Swiss airfields, an unsuccessful endeavor. Shortly thereafter, Hitler called the Swiss "the most despicable and wretched people, mortal enemies of the new Germany" and began immediate plans for the invasion of Switzerland, known as Operation Tannenbaum.

    Hitler abandoned Operation Tannenbaum after it was realized that an invasion of Switzerland was untenable, with 20% of the civilian population voluntarily mobilized to defend the country – including old men and young boys, with Swiss women manning anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) pieces and running the civil defense corps. The Third Reich also realized that there was no central government to target, nullifying the strategy of blitzkrieg; most Swiss citizens did not even recognize the authority of the Federal President, and any surrender by the Federal Government would have been ignored in the Cantons.

    The Swiss also defended their sovereignty against Allied aggression as well. After US aircraft began accidentally bombing Swiss towns near the German border, the Swiss Air Force enacted a policy of forcing down single Allied aircraft and shooting at Bomber Formations (some have speculated that the bombings were not accidental and were designed to force Switzerland in the Alliance; during the war, the Swiss flaunted Allied and Axis sanctions by smuggling to the surrounding Axis powers). As accidental bombings persisted, the Swiss government declared that any further accidental bombings would be declared acts of war. Although Switzerland never declared war on the Allies, the Swiss Air Force forced down 23 aircraft in a three-day period in July of '44. In total, 1,700 US airmen were interred during the War and a few US aircraft were even shot down (this chapter of WWII history is entirely missing from US textbooks).

    The "Swiss Model", American Revolutionary Principles, and Private Antiterrorism

    The Founding Fathers of the American Revolution were inspired Swiss freedom. John Adams praised the Cantonal system, which prevented a despotic central government from emerging, gave citizens the right to vote in local elections, and where every citizen had an inalienable right to bear arms. Patrick Henry applauded the Swiss militia system for preserving Swiss independence with the need for a "mighty and splendid president." In fact, some argue that the Swiss militia system was the inspiration for our own Second Amendment.

    Impressive efforts by the Swiss public over the years just goes to show that voluntary self-defense efforts by a population can deter even the most aggressive of enemies. What if we applied Swiss-style defense here in the United States?

    The US government could arm all 90 million adult males, age 18–64 with an M-16 and 1,200 5.56mm rounds (40 30-round magazines) for a one-time cost of about 1% (7 1/2 billion dollars) of the cost of our current annual combined security budget ($750B+). Terror threats could by quickly identified by private intelligence agencies such as Total Intelligence Solutions; voluntary civil defense corps would begin patrols of neighborhoods and offer assistance/protection to any victims if an attack actually occurred. If foreign retaliation was necessary after a terrorist or military attack, private military companies (PMCs), such as Blackwater USA or Triple Canopy, could rapidly expand their force strength by hiring local militia units and collecting financial contributions from corporations and patriots. Fourth-Generation Warfare expert and creator of the Global Guerillas blog, John Robb, envisions a future privatized security apparatus:

    Then, inevitably, there will be a series of attacks on U.S. soil. The first casualty of these will be another institution, the ultrabureaucratic Department of Homeland Security, which, despite its new extra-legal surveillance powers, will prove unable to isolate and defuse the threats against us. (Its one big idea for keeping the global insurgency at bay – building a fence between Mexico and the United States, proposed in a recent congressional immigration bill – will prove as effective as the Maginot Line and the Great Wall of China.)

    But the metaphorical targets of September 11 are largely behind us. The strikes of the future will be strategic, pinpointing the systems we rely on, and they will leave entire sections of the country without energy and communications for protracted periods. But the frustration and economic pain that result will have a curious side effect: They will spur development of an entirely new, decentralized security system, one that devolves power and responsibility to a mix of private companies, individuals, and local governments. This structure is already visible in the legions of private contractors in Iraq, as well as in New York's amazingly effective counterterrorist intelligence unit. But as we look out to 2016, the long-term implications are clearer.

    Security will become a function of where you live and whom you work for, much as health care is allocated already. Wealthy individuals and multinational corporations will be the first to bail out of our collective system, opting instead to hire private military companies, such as Blackwater and Triple Canopy, to protect their homes and facilities and establish a protective perimeter around daily life. Parallel transportation networks – evolving out of the time-share aircraft companies such as

    Warren Buffett's NetJets – will cater to this group, leapfrogging its members from one secure, well-appointed lily pad to the next. Members of the middle class will follow, taking matters into their own hands by forming suburban collectives to share the costs of security – as they do now with education – and shore up delivery of critical services. These "armored suburbs" will deploy and maintain backup generators and communications links; they will be patrolled by civilian police auxiliaries that have received corporate training and boast their own state-of-the-art emergency-response systems. As for those without the means to build their own defense, they will have to make do with the remains of the national system. They will gravitate to America's cities, where they will be subject to ubiquitous surveillance and marginal or nonexistent services. For the poor, there will be no other refuge.

    This is what the Founding Fathers envisioned when they called for a robust militia, strong protection of the right to bear arms, and warned against standing armies. With the removal of the false assurances provided by the security state, Americans will need to take responsibility for their own security – personal security; we should follow the fine example the Swiss have set, an example that inspired our own revolutionary founders.

    Perhaps this is what Ron Paul–style national security would look like.

    June 11, 2007

    Nick Bradley [send him mail] is an analyst in the United States Air Force and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Strategic Intelligence at American Military University. Comment on his blog, Confessions of a Right-Wing Libertarian.
     
  2. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

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    Got a link?
     
  3. xd9fan

    xd9fan Member

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  4. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    The US government could arm all 90 million adult males, age 18–64 with an M-16 and 1,200 5.56mm rounds (40 30-round magazines) for a one-time cost of about 1% (7 1/2 billion dollars) of the cost of our current annual combined security budget ($750B+).

    The problem with this is there is no mandatory military training in the US as there is in Switzerland.
     
  5. jselvy

    jselvy member

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    "The problem with this is there is no mandatory military training in the US as there is in Switzerland."

    It should be part of the High School curriculum. Like Driver's Ed.

    Jefferson
     
  6. S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

    S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Member

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    Yeah, that policy would work great for the US. We would wait until the enemy had invaded, and was burning our cities, and then we would grab our M16's and drive them out! GO WOLVERINES!!!

    Switzerland is in a unique position, with terrain that precludes easy access by the enemy and no strategic value whatsoever. Tyrants need a safe hidey-hole for their money, why would they mess with Switzerland?

    Applying the Swiss military model to the US is nothing but Libertarian nonsense.
     
  7. eric_t12

    eric_t12 Member

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    maybe libertarian nonsense, but having a well-armed, well-educated populace is DEFINATELY a positive for a nation. both of the aforemention reasons should be self-explanatory, and i definately DONT mean that they need to be educated by any institution, or the state.

    my parents taught me more about life than any school ever did. the school just helped me with math.
     
  8. Titan6

    Titan6 member

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    The Swiss have seen their share of terrorist bombings but they will never see an invasion unless the left succeeds in disarming the populace as they have been attempting to do lately. Part of the reason that the banking system has been so successful is the fact that the country has not had a war in over 200 years. This says safe to a lot of people.

    I was unaware that the "accidental bombings" were that numerous. I did read a novel once about a pilot who was interred there during the war after he was shot down.

    Could it work here? Sure. It would take a lot of work though and include a total reworking of the education system in this country and a change of attitude on the part of political leaders that I don't see happening. It is too bad really. It would make the country more secure, cost less than our current system and improve the citzenship of our country. But the fed would have to decrease in size, and that won't ever happen.
     
  9. 30 cal slob

    30 cal slob Member

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    look i love the swiss and everything, but it's not like they're going to need a huge standing army/navy (?)/airforce as long as they have no foreign policy.

    i mean, for the most part, the are still formally (!) neutral on a lot of things.
     
  10. MrRezister

    MrRezister Member

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    I tend to agree with SPECTRE on this. Arming the US Population would be pretty much useless. (But cool.) Having an armed citizen-militia would be fine in case of a full-scale invasion, but where will those invaders come from? Mexico? Canada? Atlantic? Pacific? Parachute in "Red Dawn"-style? By the time any invading force got here, our military would have been legitimately deployed to intercept them.

    Of course that would only work if our military wasn't spread out as thin and far away as possible. While the troops are away, winning the hearts and minds of potential enemies overseas, I guess it's a great time for an invasion!
     
  11. MrAcheson

    MrAcheson Member

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    Could it work? I doubt it. The US is in an entirely different strategic situation than Switzerland. Among other things, the US needs a Navy because we have large coastlines and are directly dependent trade by sea.

    The reason we moved away from an emphasis on militia is that it never really worked. Militia performance during the revolution was poor and it wasn't any better in the War of 1812. And, as mentioned above, we already needed a Navy so why shouldn't we have a standing Army?
     
  12. Mikee Loxxer

    Mikee Loxxer Member

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    SPECTRE is right on this one.
     
  13. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    It'll never happen to Switzerland. Who in their right mind would bomb a country with all those beautiful women. :D


    [​IMG]





    Besides, I'm scared to death of a country full of men armed with these:


    [​IMG]
     
  14. S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

    S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Member

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    Please don't misunderstand, I believe that an armed populace is useful as a last line of defense, and an enormous dissuader to a foolhardy invasion attempt on US soil. Japan noticed our proliferation of citizen marksmen and never seriously considered an invasion of the continental US.

    But a citizen militia can't be a front line fighting force. We might win with sheer numbers, but look at the Soviet losses in WW2 to see why it's not the best solution.

    EDIT: Just to be clear, I'm a conservative with some Libertarian leanings. But I have to part ways when Libertarians promote isolationism.
     
  15. jselvy

    jselvy member

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    Still wouldn't it be great to get up one morning and get a package in the mail with your very own M-4, M-9 and 1200 rounds for each with a note that says "Courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security?"

    Jefferson
     
  16. xd9fan

    xd9fan Member

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    Our foreign military intervention policy needs massive change.
    I also understand the logic of a well armed population to be a check on our OWN Govt as well as foreign invasion.

    Military nonintervention IS NOT isolation.....God I love the spin:rolleyes:

    somethings telling me their is a massive difference btwn the Soviet people and the swiss.....
     
  17. MrRezister

    MrRezister Member

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    But, but, but... if we're not out killing potential bad guys 24/7, we're leaving ourselves WIDE OPEN to terrorist attacks! Lord knows they'll never be able to attack us here if we give them an easy target in their home countries, right? Since we can't get anyone to seriously consider watching the people who come into the country, our only other option is to use our massive military force to go out, find bad guys (and potential enemies) and squash them before they ever get to our shores. We are the U. S. of Frickin' A. We can't afford to be on the defensive. We have to kill all the bad guys until whoever is left likes us. [flag wave]
     
  18. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    The author..........from Ron Paul's meetup site. Kinda young, but enthusiastic.


    Nick Bradley

    http://ronpaul.meetup.com/172/members/4309135/


    member_1946065.jpg


    Location: Omaha, NE us

    Link: Right-Wing Libertarian

    Introduction:
    "I'm 26 and in the Air Force and I fear the Republic may already be dead. I've been a hardcore Old Right Conservative/Liberta rian for years now and I think that Paul is the only candidate that can salvage the country and restore the Republic. "

    Stats:
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    nick bradley's Meetup Groups:
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  19. oobray

    oobray Member

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    I thought this was interesting. However, when I started looking up Swiss laws regarding RKBA... They pretty much DO NOT recognize a RKBA. There are very few laws governing who can purchase a weapon or what type of weapon. But in order to take it out of your home you must have a "purchasing license" and it must be unloaded. If you wish to try and get a "license to bear arms" good luck. According to this site your chances are very few, and getting fewer.
    While that article makes thier defense system sound good, I'm not so sure about where they are headed as far as RKBA.
     
  20. ServiceSoon

    ServiceSoon Member

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    Actually, the Swiss model is exactly what the founding fathers had in mind for the USA. The founders were strongly against standing armies during times of peace (this is evident in many past documents). Unfortunately, like a lot of the USA’s original political principals, this philosophy has been ignored and our military budget continues to be many times higher than any other country.

    I hate to sound like a pacifist (because some people here will call me feminine), but can you imagine all of the technological and medial advances that could have been made with ¼ of our military budget over the last 50 years?
     
  21. atblis

    atblis Member

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    Interesting

    I think the Switzerland model most certainly would not work here. Too many stupid people (and they're getting what they deserve).

    Switzerland had a few more things going for them than an armed populace and mountainous terrain.
     
  22. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    While the United States is no Switzerland, we already have a fairly large portion of the population that's armed with military-grade firearms (i.e. us).


    In our case, an armed citizenry comes as a response to a need, not a desire. Take a look at the L.A. riots from the early 90's. People were scrambling for guns (but unfortunately had trouble procuring them legally, as they had shot themselves in the foot with their waiting period laws) as a result of the violence spilling out onto the streets. I'd imagine that any kind of enemy invasion would invoke the same kind of response.
     
  23. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    Who are they?
     
  24. buzz_knox

    buzz_knox Member

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    This is a bit of a chicken and egg situation these days. The banks are safe because the country hasn't gone to war. The country hasn't gone to war because the banks were where the people most likely to invade kept their money, and Switzerland was also where combatants could meet and do business, with each other or third parties.

    Switzerland's terrain and populace make invasion a very dicy proposition, but the primary reasons for invading are also the primary defenses against invasion.
     
  25. budney

    budney member

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    You're ignoring the deterrent factor. What idiot attempts to invade a country whose citizens are armed to the teeth? If you read the article, you'll note that Hitler considered invading Switzerland--and changed his mind.

    There is unfortunately no alternative, unless you think that slaughtering people who haven't done anything to us, because we think they might do something to us in the future, is moral. But if it is moral, we should start right here at home: poor black teen-aged males, for example, are more likely to commit crime than any other demographic. We should preemptively execute them.

    --Len.
     
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