Swiss army faces big cuts
Switzerland plans to cut its army by a third by 2020, Defence Minister Ueli Maurer said Sunday.Geneva -- Switzerland plans to cut its permanent army by a third by around 2020, Defence Minister Ueli Maurer said in an interview published Sunday.
"Today, we have 120,000 full-time soldiers and 80,000 reservists. In 10 to 12 years, the army will consist of 80,000 full-time and 40,000 reserve soldiers," Maurer told weekly newspaper SonntagsZeitung.
Cuts will also be made to heavy weapons, powerful guns and tanks in a bid to modernise the force, he said.
"Times have changed," Maurer said, adding that a war in Europe involving armoured vehicles was unlikely.
"Our army must become the most modern possible and be well-equipped and -trained," he said.
The defence minister, a member of the right-wing Swiss People's Party, added the reductions would begin around 2014 or 2015.
Switzerland has not been directly involved in an armed conflict since the 19th century.
AFP / Expatica