Switzerland, Intelligence and Security
Switzerland, Intelligence and Security
Switzerland has a long tradition of neutrality, abstaining from active participation in World Wars I and II. This policy of neutrality extended to abstaining from membership in international organizations and prohibiting the sharing of some intelligence information with foreign nations. On September 10, 2002, the Swiss Confederation joined the United Nations as a member nation, ending a fifty-five year span as an observer mission. Although Switzerland has cooperated with humanitarian, economic, legal, and intelligence operations with neighboring foreign nations and the United States, it is not a member of the European Union or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Swiss government agencies, financial institutions, and military branches of service recognize three national languages, German, French, and Italian. Some canton governments use a fourth national language, Romansh. The varied linguistic ethnicities in the country require national services to operate equally in all of its official languages. The multi-lingual nature of the Swiss Confederation and its citizens adds a unique dimension to Swiss intelligence and security forces.
Switzerland's intelligence services effectively dissolved intelligence community distinctions between internal and domestic security and intelligence operations. The recent creation of the Swiss National Security Council, part of the Swiss Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection, and Sports, facilitated communication and cooperation among various agencies in the intelligence community, giving each independent agency equal access to information and resources. The National Security Council has jurisdiction over civilian and military intelligence and security issues, further uniting various branches of the intelligence community.
The Strategic Intelligence Service is charged with directing and conducting foreign intelligence operations. Its charge is the protection of Swiss banking, economic, political, technological, and military interests abroad. Data collected by the agency is reported to the political and military leadership of the Swiss Confederation via the National Security Council. The Strategic Intelligence Service traditionally works in conjunction with other Swiss agencies, but has increasingly cooperated with adjacent nations in the European Union.
The Armed Forces Intelligence Service trains most Swiss intelligence agents. The agency provides military intelligence units should the army be needed in domestic affairs or called to active duty. Within the armed forces, political and security information is gathered by the Air Force Intelligence Section which conducts internal surveillance of the Swiss intelligence community.
Switzerland's most populous agency in the intelligence community is the Federal Office of Police. The Federal Police are Switzerland's main counterintelligence force, conducting both internal and external surveillance. The Federal Office of Police works closely with other agencies to ensure domestic security.
"Switzerland, Intelligence and Security." Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence, and Security. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/switzerland-intelligence-and-security
"Switzerland, Intelligence and Security." Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence, and Security. . Retrieved January 18, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/switzerland-intelligence-and-security
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.