Switzerland is a country located in central Europe and is known for its strong military and defense. The Swiss Armed Forces (SAF) is the military branch of the country and consists of three branches: Army, Air Force, and Swiss Armed Forces Medical Service. The total active personnel stands at around 20,000 with an additional reserve force of around 8,000 personnel. Switzerland has a higher defense budget compared to its GDP as it spends about 1.2% of its GDP on defense. The country also imports weapons from countries such as France, Germany, and the United States. Switzerland also has strong ties with other countries in the region such as Germany which allows them to cooperate militarily when needed. As a result of this strong military presence in the region Switzerland has become an important regional player in security issues and is able to maintain peace and stability within central Europe effectively. See naturegnosis to learn more about the country of Switzerland.
The defense is based on general military duty with an initial service of 18–21 weeks and subsequent 6–7 band exercises in 3 weeks, with a total of at least 9 months of training. The international cadre is, by international standards, very small and comprises 4,300 people. The entire war organization is based on mobilization, (2006) comprises a total of 210,000 men and is organized in a mobilization defense with mobile brigades and territorial units as well as 90 fighter aircraft. The material is modern and of Western origin, e.g. tanks Leopard 2 and F-18 fighters Hornet and F-5. The civil defense is well developed and comprises 105,000 men. Defense costs decreased in 1985–2006 from 2.1 to 1.0% of GDP. Switzerland has participated in UN peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia/ Eritrea, Georgia, Korea. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that SUI stands for Switzerland.
Switzerland’s international relations
Switzerland joined the UN from 2002. Switzerland is a member of most of the UN’s special organizations, including The World Bank, by the way Council of Europe, EFTA (but not EEA), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), World Trade Organization and OECD.
Switzerland is represented in Norway at its embassy in Oslo, while Norway is represented in Switzerland at its embassy in Bern as well as consulates in Zurich and Geneva.
- COUNTRYAAH: Do you know where is Switzerland on the world map? Come to see the location and all bordering countries of Switzerland.
Switzerland has a general conscription; 18 to 23 weeks of recruiting school, followed by five rehearsal exercises, each of 3 weeks duration. In 1996, Switzerland joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace program. Army and Air Force are not separate arms branches, but components of a common force.
The total force for the country’s armed forces is 21,450 active personnel, of which 18,500 conscripts (2018, IISS).
Countries The component of heavier material 134 tanks of a Leopard 2, 186 armored cars of the type CV90 and 914 armored personnel.
Luftkomponten has 54 fighters of a F-5 Tiger II, 31 fighter aircraft of type F/A-18 Hornet, 22 transport, 44 trainers, 45 helicopters and 16 moderately heavy drones (four systems).
In 2018, Switzerland participated in the NATO operation in Kosovo (KFOR) with 235 personnel, and in the EU operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR) with 21 personnel.
Bern, Canton and city in western Switzerland.
Canton of Bern
The canton of Bern is 6050 km2 and has 985,000 residents (2011). It is second largest in terms of area (after the Graubünden) and population (after Zurich). Slightly less than half of the acreage is used for agriculture, and it is especially the central Mittelland area that has significant agricultural production. The Jurassic Mountains border NV, and to the south the Bernese Alps (Bernese Oberland) rise. 1/3 of Cantonal area is covered by forest and about 1/5 is unproductive land above the forest boundary. The largest cities are Bern and Biel, both important industrial cities. Especially in the Bernese Alps tourism is of great importance.
Town of Bern
The city is the federal capital and capital of the canton of Bern; 125,700 residents (2011). The city is the financial and commercial center, where business and industry are dominated by administration and service. Chocolate, instruments, machines and chemical products are produced, but the city is devoid of real industrial districts. Bern is home to i.e. World Postal Union (UPU) and the Swiss National Library. The River Aare divides Bern, and 18 bridges connect the younger neighborhoods on the eastern shore with the rest of the city. The river valley has formed a natural protection and demarcation for the city’s three-way expansion. A city wall has protected the fourth and, as the city has expanded, has moved ever further to the west. The oldest town, Altstadt, lies on a peninsula formed by a winding (meander)) on the river and has retained its medieval street network with three parallel running streets connected by smaller cross streets. The well-preserved medieval towns are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Although Bern’s late-medieval cathedral is strongly contested in the cityscape, it is the interaction between elegant and regular 1700-century townhouses that rarely gives the city its feel. Gerechtigkeits-, Kram- and Marktgasse form the city’s central axis; around it lies the medieval street network with the characteristic interconnected archways and protruding roofs. The Cathedral of St. Vincent was built 1421-1573, the Baroque Heiliggeist Church dates from 1726-29, and the City Hall in Burgundian Bedouin was built 1406-17; Zeitglockenturm, the mighty bell tower, was originally the west gate of the city wall 1191-1256. Of the city’s many fountains, the Kindlifresser Well at Kornhausplatz is the most famous.
The Bern Art Museum is the most important in Switzerland after the Basel Art Museum, and it contains collections of Italian painting from the 1300’s and 1400’s. and Swiss art from 1400-1900-t. Niklaus Manuel Deutsch and Ferdinand Hodler; Paul Klee-Stiftung is a donation, founded in 1952 as a scientific and documentary center with about 200 paintings and 2000 drawings by the artist. There is also a historical museum as well as a post and telecom museum.
The city of Bern was founded in 1191 near the castle of Nydegg on the river Aare. The city became the German imperial sanctuary in 1218 and became subject to ever greater land; in 1353 it was admitted as a canton in the Swiss Confederation. In 1415, Bern conquered most of Aargau and in 1536 Vaud, leaving almost a third of Switzerland under the city’s control. Bern led the Edsforbundet in war against Karl the Bold in 1476-77 of Burgundy. In 1528 the Reformation was introduced in Bern. Political and economic power was increasingly concentrated with a few wealthy generals, leading to bloody uprisings 1653, 1723 and 1749, all of which were wiped out. In 1798, Bern was occupied by France, and Aargau, Vaud and Oberland became independent cantons; in 1803, however, Oberland was again subject to Bern. In 1831 a more democratic constitution was introduced and in 1846 direct suffrage. Bern became a university town in 1834 and at the formation of the Swiss federal state in 1848 the country’s capital.