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Switzerland to radically boost defence spending as security threats increase

by editor

Other European countries have been beefing up their military spending in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Switzerland’s government plans to boost its defence spending by up to 19% over the next four years, the country’s defence chief says, as Europe confronts a rapidly worsening security situation.

Laying out medium- and long-term projections for military spending, Defence Minister Viola Amherd, who also holds the rotating Swiss presidency this year, said that as a result of cost-cutting measures over the last 30 years, “the army has been weakened,” and it would take time to make up lost ground.

Explaining the plans, Amherd cited a rise in global instability, including wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, and gaps created when Swiss authorities cashed in on a peace dividend from the fall of the Berlin Wall decades ago.

“For the first time, we are indicating how the army must evolve in the next 12 years,” she told reporters on Wednesday, declaring that the weakening of Swiss defence was “not an accusation, but a fact, which can be traced to the fall of the Berlin Wall.”

The Swiss military plans to raise the ceiling on defence spending to 25.8 billion Swiss francs (€27 billion) between 2025 and 2028, up from 21.7 billion francs in the previous four-year period.

Switzerland’s government plans to use the extra funding to develop and upgrade radar systems, short-range missile defence, its tank fleet, missiles used by ground forces and cyberattack defence capabilities, among other things.

Word of the planned increase came as the government announced a major budget deficit for 2023 and an across-the-board 1.4% spending cut in all government departments besides defence over the next three years.

In recent years, Swiss authorities have raised the alarm over rising threats in cyberspace and spying activities within the country itself.

Many member states in the EU and NATO, two blocs that Switzerland has never joined, have been beefing up their military spending since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

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