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The Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291 as a defensive alliance among three cantons. In succeeding years, other localities joined the original three. The Swiss Confederation secured its independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499. A constitution of 1848, subsequently modified in 1874, replaced the confederation with a centralized federal government. Switzerland's sovereignty and neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers, and the country was not involved in either of the two world wars. The political and economic integration of Europe over the past half century, as well as Switzerland's role in many UN and international organizations, has strengthened Switzerland's ties with its neighbors. However, the country did not officially become a UN member until 2002. Switzerland remains active in many UN and international organizations but retains a strong commitment to neutrality.


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Military

Military branches
Swiss Armed Forces: Land Forces, Swiss Air Force (Schweizer Luftwaffe) (2010)

Military service age and obligation
19-26 years of age for male compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; every Swiss male has to serve at least 260 days in the armed forces; conscripts receive 18 weeks of mandatory training, followed by seven 3-week intermittent recalls for training during the next 10 years (2012)

Manpower available for military service
Males age 16-49 1,828,043
Females age 16-49 1,786,552 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
Males age 16-49 1,493,509
Females age 16-49 1,459,450 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
Male 46,562
Female 42,585 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures World Ranking: 129
1% of GDP (2005 est.)


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  Switzerland (Bern):


  GPS points from Switzerland (Bern)

Ferret Canton Du Valais

Filzbach Switzerland (general)

Oberentfelden Aargau

Schamsertal Kanton Graubunden

San Gottardo Switzerland (general)

Grundbach Kanton Bern

Oberhegi Kanton Thurgau

Chatelaine-geneve Switzerland (general)




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