Despite being one of the most stable and economically vibrant countries in the world, primarily as a result of its refusal to join the Euro, Switzerland is preparing for mass civil unrest in central Europe that could spill over its border, by mobilizing troops to deal with potential disorder.
The Swiss military is adding four new military battalions to its army that will be spread around the country for the purposes of dealing with the fallout from any widespread disorder that could arise from the crumbling Eurozone.
“Minister Maurer, accompanied by whispers from the top uniformed leadership in Switzerland, is trying to raise awareness that Europe’s massive fiscal-cum-political crisis could get very unpleasant, writes John R. Schindler, a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. “Swiss military exercises in September, called STABILO DUE, were based on EU instability getting out of hand. The Swiss have stayed out of the EU – one more thing the very prosperous Swiss are gloating about these days – and they certainly don’t want EU problems spilling over into their peaceful little country.”
Maurer is concerned that the massive decline in European militaries since the end of the Cold War could leave countries vulnerable to insurrections and even race wars.
Schindler notes that if the ire of Muslims is raised a couple of notches above the anger that was stirred as a result of the YouTube “film” which insulted the Prophet Mohammad, immigrants in European countries could rise up.
“It’s commonly held by European security insiders that if the next Anders Brievik were to target Muslims, not fellow Europeans, things could get unimaginably ugly very quickly,” he writes. “It is difficult to see how Europe’s much smaller militaries could cope with massive civil disturbances. (And don’t ask Uncle Sam for help, since the very last thing the Pentagon wants is to get dragged into any riot suppression – particularly putting down Muslim uprisings – anywhere in Europe.)”
Switzerland maintains a trained army of 200,000 troops, a massive amount considering the nation’s tiny population. All military age males are also mandated to complete basic training, meaning the country can rely on a huge militia in times of crisis, a fact many historians cite when explaining why Hitler refused to invade Switzerland during World War Two even though it was surrounded by Nazi-occupied bordering countries.
Europe has been rocked with riots and unrest over the last three years, tensions that have only increased in recent months. France, Britain, Italy, Greece, Portugal and most recently Spain have all witnessed scenes of unprecedented disorder.
A growing underclass as the gap between rich and poor widens allied with harsh austerity measures which punish those least responsible yet most vulnerable to the economic collapse have fanned the flames of discontent.
In Spain, which was devastated by huge riots last month, youth unemployment has risen to exceed 50%, while benefits have been slashed. Overall unemployment stands at a staggering 25.1 per cent. Compare that to Switzerland which has an unemployment rate of just 2.8 per cent and the foresight of the Swiss in staying out of the Euro is admirable.