August 09, 2004

The Unthinkable? It Damn Well Should Be Unthinkable.

"We do have an incredibly large number of weapons dispersed among our citizens but it's part of our liberal tradition and the great confidence that the state places in its citizens,"

That damn sure wasn't George W. Bush. That was Swiss Defence Ministry spokesman Philippe Zahno talking about why he was against the unthinkable: a proposal to eliminate Swiss conscription into the militia.

There are several factors which have kept Switzerland from having to actually call out the militia in the last 150 years, but make no bones about it the Swiss militia was a major reason why they didn't need to muster in anger.

Hopefully the Swiss will maintain the good sense they've had for several centuries & maintain their militia system. If not expect the next major european conflict to involve some other country using Switzerland as a strategic base whether they like it or not.

A militia sysetm isn't perfect. There are many problems with it just as there are problems with any system thought up & manned by humans. Sometime soon I'll try to get around to posting my thoughts on the elevence of a militia in the 21rst century. I hope to be able to point to Switzerland as a good example for a few of my points, but that will depend on the tenacity of the Swiss themselves.

Posted by Publicola at August 9, 2004 05:54 AM
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