Swiss Wargame Invasion by Fictional Dijonnais Militants

Justifying massive military expenditures and a program of universal conscription isn’t easy in a time of peace, but the Swiss military has managed to keep it up even though they don’t face any conceivable military threats, and indeed haven’t faced any in decades.

But being the head of a conscript military with no enemies is kind of boring, so at least for the sake of wargames, they had to make one up.

So get this: France has split up into multiple warring statelets, and somehow the Duchy of Burgundy is independent for the first time since 1477 and falls on hard economic times. And they’re pretty sure it’s Switzerland’s fault, because banks.

So a totally fictional militant faction, the Brigade Libre Dijonnais (BLD), based in the totally fictional future statelet of Saonia, which is named after the Saone river but is itself based on the borders of an ancient duchy, invades Switzerland outright, with an eye on robbing banks.

Swiss officials defended the wargame, saying that maintaining the nation’s military credibility required preparing for the “threats of the 21st century.” In practice, it seems the wargame centers more on the threats of the mid-15th century.

31 thoughts on “Swiss Wargame Invasion by Fictional Dijonnais Militants”

  1. “So get this: France has split up into multiple warring statelets…”

    hehe, the french are revolting.

  2. I don't know what Switzerland's annual defense budget is, but I'm sure it's a small percentage of that country's gross national product, unlike what the USA spends to maintain its enormous empire and perpetual wars. Switzerland has wisely remained neutral for the last 200 years or so, including in both World Wars. While I personally don't believe in conscription, Switzerland's militia-style army has effectively maintained its country's security without resorting to war and every soldier/citizen is required to have a military-issue rifle and ammunition in his home, ready to be called to action at a moment's notice. All things the United States should still be doing if the Constitution were still being followed by the US government.

    1. Yep, the conscript army is pretty well integrated and accepted in society. It's like country-wide scouting organization, and why not. Sure they are going overboard with setting up underground lairs in the mountains, mortaring the snowline on weekends, buying F-18s and even a quick aborted attempt to build the Bomb, but they are "gnomes" after all.

      As for France randomly hitting neighbors considered as "too banky" and "unfair" and "tax havens" relative to their decrepit tax-and-spend state, don't be too dismissive. At least on the rhetorical front, they are somethings going pretty far. Germany's politicians are also in on that kind of trip. State doesn't like it when the protection money is moved abroad.

      1. The Swiss military couldn't credibly claim to be setting up major defensive plans against France though. Instead of the plausible scenario of France getting more and more hawkish and attacking them Napoleon-style (and overrunning them Napoleon-style) they had to invent a crazy future scenario where Burgundy reemerges as an independent state 350 years after t has had any distinct national identity, breaking effortlessly away from a nation that is in growing financial turmoil, then somehow gives rise to a non-state actor paramilitary faction that is big enough to credibly sack major cities but for some reason thinks robbing banks in a foreign country is their best bet.

        The whole scenario underscores just how ridiculously far one has to go to imagine a scenario where Switzerland's conscript military could conceivably even get into a border skirmish with an enemy that isn't either so small it daren't attack or so overwhelmingly larger than them that it overruns them outright and turns the issue not into one of military defense but of Iraq-style insurgency.

      2. The Swiss tried to develop nuclear weapons? Interesting, I didn't know that. When did this happen?

  3. It's less than 1% of their GNP. However, they do engage in slavery to keep that number down. After all, what is conscription if not the appropriation of free individuals to avoid paying them? Slavery for a fixed period. But slavery just the same.

    If it's anything like Austria, the lack of a plausible purpose for their military- their last action was shooting strikers in 1875- means that the enslaved "troops" are demoralized and find the whole exercise pointless. It's a pointless waste of resources, even for a country that has resources.

    1. The Swiss like conscription.
      Just last week it was reported "For the third time in almost a quarter-century, neutral Switzerland has overwhelmingly voted to maintain its conscription army. Voters in all 26 cantons (states) rejected the military service referendum Sunday — by a margin of 73 percent opposed to 27 percent in favor."
      Adopting the Swiss requirement (as Werner notes above) that "…every soldier/citizen is required to have a military-issue rifle and ammunition in his home…" would be a clever way to do an end run around the NRA in the US to have all guns issued on a "single payer" basis and registered.. After all, the 2nd Amendment gives the right to "keep and bear" arms – not to own them.

  4. Maybe Switzerland should just contract with a private security contractor instead of all this silly national self-defense stuff. Blackwater, maybe? Or "Xi" or whatever they're calling themselves these days.

    Seriously, this is where doctrinaire libertarians miss the forest for the trees. The Swiss have the freedom and neutrality that they have precisely because they have a republican form of government, which includes broad participation in both politics and national defense. By a libertarian analysis, conscription abrogates natural, individual rights. But even if the U.S., for example, never again used conscription, it would still be an empire that invades other countries, bombs innocent civilians abroad and maintains a police state at home.

    1. This is what I was thinking when reading this article. While the US has invaded 70 nations since 1776, resulting in the deaths of 82 million people, Switzerland has invaded exactly zero nations in the same period, and has instead invented the Red Cross.

      Switzerland practices direct democracy, meaning that while we were wringing out hands to see if our current dictator would use illegal aggression against Syria, in Switzerland they would simply vote on such an issue.

      If the US were that democratic, US aggression against Syria would not be an issue because it would have simply been voted down by the public.

  5. The US Empire has troops throughout Europe. What would happen if the Swiss were to defy US edicts regarding trade, finance, and information privacy?

    Because of advances in military technology, Swiss independence faces a more formidable threat now than it did circa 1940.

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