World IN BRIEF : SWITZERLAND : Voters Turn Down Abolition of Army

From Times staff and wire reports

Swiss citizens voted to keep their army as the best way of maintaining their nation's neutrality, even though the highly mobilized force has scarcely fired a shot in anger during its four centuries of existence. A proposal to abolish the army by the year 2000 was rejected by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. Although it has only about 1,800 full-time military personnel, Switzerland can mobilize 625,000 trained soldiers in 48 hours--more, it says, than West Germany. The initiative drive had sparked a fierce debate on the usefulness of the army in a small, neutral country.

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