According to a military strategy expert at Zurich University Switzerland’s army is “archaic”, reported 20 Minutes.
Speaking to the SonntagsZeitung, Albert Stahel, a professor of military strategy, said that faced with an attack like the one in Ukraine Switzerland would only be able to resist for a few days. The Swiss military would have no chance fighting with its outdated equipment.
Switzerland’s anti-aircraft guns were acquired in 1963 during the Vietnam war, and its armoured personnel carriers and self-propelled artillery guns, which are from the 60s and 70s, can be found in some military museums. Switzerland’s Tiger military jets are old too. The 40-year-old aircraft would stand no chance against a modern adversary. Even Switzerland’s department of defence admits this. In addition, Switzerland has no attack helicopters.
In a recent interview, Thomas Süssli, the head of Switzerland’s military, said he thinks Switzerland would be able to resist an attack for several weeks, far longer than professor Stahel’s estimate of a few days.
Colonel Dominik Knill, head of the Swiss Officers’ Society, highlights deficiencies in food and equipment. He has asked politicians for funding to upgrade and develop Switzerland’s military. In an era where brut military force is being used in ways that flagrantly break international laws on wars between states we need to insure we have all means available, said Knill.
The website Global Firepower places Switzerland 32nd on military power in a ranking of 142 nations. Switzerland is just ahead of Norway and just behind Algeria. The ranking looks at geography, personnel, military equipment, infrastructure and external finances.
Switzerland has significant political borders in relation to its land area and relies heavily on conscripted reserves with a relatively small active military (24,000). In addition, the website says Switzerland scores poorly on military equipment with no dedicated attack aircraft, no rocket projectors and no towed artillery.
At around US$ 240,000 per capita, Switzerland has one of the highest levels of external debt in the world. This means its public finances are highly reliant on the goodwill of foreigners. It also relies entirely on the outside world for oil, a risk if supply lines are broken.
Compared to Ukraine, Switzerland is significantly weaker on nearly every measure, according to Global Firepower. Ukraine, with a ranking of 22nd has far better equipment and more than 60% more active military personnel.