Swiss Hate War, but Want to Keep Big Army

Country votes 73% in favor of keeping the military draft

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 23, 2013 6:14 PM CDT

(Newser) – The paradox that is Switzerland: Due to its stance of neutrality, the country hasn't been in an international war in 200 years, yet it continues its policy of mandatory military conscription for young men. And that's the way the Swiss like it, apparently, with 73% of the country voting "no" to a pacifist group's proposal to abolish the draft and replace it with an all-volunteer army yesterday, Reuters reports. This is the third time the country has voted down similar proposals by the Group for Switzerland Without an Army: Both a 1989 idea to abolish the army altogether, and a 2001 referendum to replace it with a peace corps, were also rejected.

Swiss soldiers are seen on a walk near Belchen, Switzerland.
Swiss soldiers are seen on a walk near Belchen, Switzerland.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Martin Ruetschi, file)
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