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Neutrality in the early Cold War: Swiss arms imports and neutrality

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Cold War History
Issue number1
Number of pages25
Pages (from-to)25-49
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date20/04/11
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The aim of this article is to assess the sustainability of neutrality in the early Cold War. This issue is examined through the study of Switzerland's armament policy. The Swiss were able to maintain their status of a permanent neutral after the Second World War, and thus succeeded in upholding a centuries-long policy. Their armed neutrality, however, required modern weaponry. In search of this material Switzerland turned to the West, while refusing to purchase weapons from the East. The paper argues that Switzerland's self-imposed policy of armed neutrality increased Swiss dependence on western armaments, and thereby endangered its neutrality status and policy.