Army-At their meeting of delegates, which took place yesterday in Lucerne, the Swiss officers have supported the Gripen.
What matters most to them is to acquire new combat aircraft quickly.
At 52, Brigadier Denis Vaud Froidevaux yesterday acceded to the presidency of the Swiss officers. This is the first time in 20 years that Romand was elected to this function. He succeeds Colonel Hans Schatzmann.
Ueli Maurer, the Patriotic
"You're one of the best army in the world," rejoiced Ueli Maurer, Federal Councillor in charge of the defense yesterday to the Swiss Society of officers, meeting in an assembly of delegates in Lucerne. In his argument for the beauty of the Swiss army, he explained that the militia system guaranteed exceptional skills in human resources. "You could say that Switzerland is an army." In the process, he made a comparison with Spain and the United States. "In Spain, they must recruit mercenaries in South America. And the United States, there are ex-convicts who join the military! "In short, for him, the Swiss army, this is really the best in the world.
The Swiss officers (SSO) adopted a resolution requesting the Federal Council and Parliament "the rapid acquisition of new fighter aircraft." And according to testimony that "Sunday Morning" has gathered yesterday in Lucerne, where they attended the annual meeting of delegates of the SSO, the Gripen does not pose any problem for them. The important thing is best to acquire a new aircraft.
"Planning for the future development of the army, which provides an effective 100 000 troops and an annual budget of 5 billion francs in 2014, and the purchase of new fighter planes, must be guaranteed," said Hammered Colonel Hans Schatzmann, President of the SSO.
The Federal Council attacked
His speech about the annual report of the company has also taken on the appearance of repeated attacks against the latest twists political security of the country. He particularly wants the Federal Council, which he accused turncoat. "The Federal Council has proposed to Parliament to return to the solution of a maximum strength of 80,000 military personnel and an annual budget capped at 4.4 billion francs. The SSO application to the Federal Council to respect the decision of Parliament (note: a workforce of 100,000 soldiers and an annual budget of 5 billion francs in 2014) and implement it without any other condition. "
Hans Schatzmann and regretting the competition between the tasks of the state: "More army seems to mean the Federal Council for less education, less research, less public transport, fewer and fewer environmental resources our farmers. This populist argument, if not demagogic Federal Council, completely covering the financial-political reality. Past twenty years, no department, except that of defense, has had to make savings. "He is joined in this argument by his successor, elected yesterday as president, Brigadier Denis Froidevaux Vaud. This is the first Romand to access this function for 20 years: "In three years, the army has donated 900 million francs that she had not used. But these savings are not reallocated to new fighter aircraft! In addition the Federal Council requires a reduction of defense costs. So where did the money go? This is outrageous and dishonest. Because if you buy another plane that the Gripen, more expensive, we put the army to its knees financially.
This reasoning is shared by several officers. Just like the captain: "If this plane is good for Sweden, why would it not Lake Geneva to Lake Constance, especially as this is the cheapest?" Denis Froidevaux sees another advantage "We are defending a military trainer that uses and develops skills. It's perfect: a part of the maintenance of Gripen can be done in Switzerland with companies instead. "This poses a problem for officers rather, it is communication that has surrounded the advent of sulfur Gripen. "It was ambiguous and incomplete by the Federal Council and especially the Department of Defense. And here I speak not of the assessment process but the motivations of the choice of the aircraft, "Major Benoît Dumas analysis, committee member of the League of Fribourg officers. A vision that adheres Denis Froidevaux: "It was not very professional. We started by saying that this airplane was ideal because of its price. While he was primarily talking about our needs in terms of safety. "
Approached by "Sunday Morning" on the issue of communication, Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer, head of Department of Defense, who was also present in Lucerne, emerges as key: "There will be a new fighter aircraft, it agrees on that. As for communication, I do not think there was a problem. But there is a militia army, then there are so many opinions on the matter. "
Regarding the criticism of the SSO with respect to the Federal Council in terms of security policy, Maurer has set the record straight in plenum: "The Federal Council is only the tip of the iceberg. It's too easy to pick on him because there is a whole process downstream. "
The army chief, Andre Blattman, summarized in an aside that the Gripen was clearly "the optimal aircraft. In financial and operational