Switzerland May Have to Deploy Troops in Response to Euro Crisis
The Nobel Peace Prize winning European Union notwithstanding
Coming on the heels of the European Union being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize is the news that Switzerland is preparing its military to respond to possible escalations of violence related to the Euro crisis. "I can't exclude that in the coming years we may need the army," Switzerland's defense minister, Ueli Maurer was quoted as saying. NBC News also reported Maurer questioned how long "money alone" could quell the crisis. The Swiss Defense Ministry is not ruling out deploying troops:
"It's not excluded that the consequences of the financial crisis in Switzerland can lead to protests and violence," a spokesperson told CNBC.com. "The army must be ready when the police in such cases requests for subsidiary help."
It doesn't appear that the Swiss are taking this as a too-far-removed possibility:
It launched the military exercise "Stabilo Due" in September to respond to the current instability in Europe and to test the speed at which its army can be dispatched. The country is not a member of the union or among the 17 countries that share the euro.
Swiss newspaper Der Sonntag reported recently that the exercise centered around a risk map created in 2010, where army staff detailed the threat of internal unrest between warring factions as well as the possibility of refugees from Greece, Spain, Italy, France, and Portugal.
Switzerland, which did not join the United Nations until 2002, by a referendum that only narrowly passed, has not been in a state of war since the Treaty of Paris in 1815, a treaty predating even some of the modern nation-states now in crisis in the European Union, which the Swiss also have no plans to join. In his foreign policy address last week, Mitt Romney ruled out the possibility of war in Europe thanks to the Marshall plan. Reason's Matthew Feeney pointed out Romney's right, even if only because few countries in Europe are even capable of waging a war. Whether they're capable of resolving their crisis except through "money alone" remains an open question, as Switzerland's maneuvers highlight.