Swiss Army Trains For French Invasion Based On Debt That Can Plausibly Happen

The Swiss Army conducted exercises in the event of a French invasion. Their idea of a French invasion: Plausible.

Swiss Army Soldier

The Swiss Army:  Protecting the Swiss against those damn Frenchies since 1300 (Image Source: Flickr: dongga BS)

The Schweizer Armee/Armée suisse/Esercito svizzero/Armada svizra, also known as the Swiss Army or Armed Forces, must maintain a level of readiness in the event of invasion against its neighbors, even though they are all at peace and are even part of one union with a common currency and similar laws that Switzerland is not.  The Swiss Army, who do not make their namesake knives (though a Swiss company does make them), did military exercises last month regarding a possible invasion by the French.  However, not only did the invasion scenario seem completely plausible, but hit too close to home for the French: An invasion caused by bankruptcy.

Switzerland has every reason to be prepared for invasion: The confederate nation maintains a long-standing policy of neutrality towards any and all world powers or political factions, to the point of even refusing to become a member of the United Nations until approximately 11 years ago.  This conveniently makes it possible for the nation to be a staging ground for major treaties such as the Geneva Convention, but also cause it to be a tough spot to be in during a war, as was evidenced in World War II.

The scenario of the Swiss Army fighting, an invasion from France, though, comes something like this: The Fifth French Republic, under the crushing weight of debt burdens caused by the Great Recession and the Euro crisis of the last five years, would dissolve itself, splitting into smaller French-speaking nations.  One of those new nations, which the Swiss envisioned to be called Saônia because reasons, would invade the French-speaking portion of Switzerland, which includes Geneva and Lausanne in order to recover money they believed stolen by the Swiss during the last five years.

If this feels even a bit familiar, you are not alone: While the military exercises, known collectively as Operation Duplex-Barbara, were drawn up in 2012, the French has since been showing some money troubles: French debt nearly matches the country's economic output, with taxes taking up nearly half that output.  The situation, while near as bad as Greece or Spain, is pretty painful for the French, and bankruptcy is now a plausible possibility, even if it is in the double digits in terms of odds.  Furthermore, the French government, along with other Western nations, are taking a far more aggressive stance in targeting tax evaders in these troubling times, and may take on the secretive Swiss banks in due time.

Now, the French have not spoken on the matter, focused more on their ailing economy than somewhat-plausible military invasions.  However, this is not the first time the Swiss Army have imagined completely plausible scenarios to defending their nation: In 2012, their military exercise was built on the premise that the Euro's collapse (a very real possibility then) would cause a mass influx of refugees in Switzerland.

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