Will Switzerland join NATO

Why are Sweden, Finland, Austria and Switzerland not members of the NATO?

Sep 2015
3
Durham, England
As a neutral country, Switzerland can hardly be a member of a polarised military bloc.

None of the others have exactly displayed great militaristic ambitions and territorial desires in relatively modern (mechanised) times - even Austria only participated in WW2 after the Anschluss and under German control. All of them together would not pose a serious military threat to anyone so why would they go to the huge expense of being part of NATO?

In reality, if Russia attempted to invade them, they know NATO would step in and provide a better defence than they could ever afford. And who else would be their natural enemies?
In reality, if Russia attempted to invade them, they know NATO would step in and provide a better defence than they could ever afford. And who else would be their natural enemies?
But honestly that is the problem isnt it? How can we legitimately expect help from the NATO if Russia attacks while simultaneously refuse to do the same should Russia invade some other country?
Finland didn't join NATO because it wasn't an option, it was part of the Soviet sphere of influence and it's independence was conditional on deference to the Soviet union, a policy called finlandization.

Sweden collaborated with NATO extensively during the cold war, but didn't join NATO partly due it's history of balancing the interest of the Western powers and Russia against each other which kept it out war during the 19th century.
But the most important reason, was the Soviet relation to Finland. The threat of Sweden joining NATO, kept Russia from forcing Finland into the Warsaw pact. The massive disadvantage off NATO air bases just over the sea from Lenin and Kaliningrad, kept Finland free and reduced regional tension.
Nov 2011
5,921
Hercynian Forest
Among the mentioned countries, Austria is the most surprising for me. Its neutrality [if I remember well] came from the US - USSR agreement after the end of the occupation in 1956. But Vienna decided to remain neutral, also after the end of the Soviet block.
The "eternal neutrality" of Austria is written in their constitution. Of course, the international situation has changed, and probably nobody, in particular not Russia, could do anything if they changed their constitution. Still, it would require some legislative work.

Instead, the Austrians have decided to re-interpret their neutrality by restricting it to military alliances. This allowed Austria to join the European Union and even to participate in some military missions.

What advantages would Austria have from NATO accession? Actually, there would be no advantages, but only disadvantages. Austria is surrounded by countries that pose no military threat to her, neither now nor in the foreseeable future - so it would not gain in regard to security. However, it could get involved in US-led military adventures, or be criticized not to participate in them, and it would have to listen to lectures from the Pentagon about how much to spend for their military.

Neutrality has also helped in shaping the city of Vienna as a major center of diplomacy; today, it is one of the headquarters of the United Nations, and it is the seat of the OSCE and OPEC.
Why has noone mentionned Ireland?

It occupies a pivotal place in the Atlantic. If it joined NATO the co-alition would be significantly strenghtened, if only by limiting it participation to US forces using its facilities, should it wish for historic reasons to avoid British personnel on its territory.
Note that in most "Red Storm Rising" type of World War Three scenarios it has generally been assumed that Sweden ultimately would militarily assist NATO.

Switzerland there was no point. It wasn't in the invasion path of a possible Soviet attack into Western Europe. And given it managed to avoid Nazi attack in World War Two they probably figured they could deal with the Soviets.
Finland didn't join NATO because it wasn't an option, it was part of the Soviet sphere of influence and it's independence was conditional on deference to the Soviet union, a policy called finlandization.
You seem to have somewhat misunderstood the situation. Main reason was the Finnish-Soviet treaty of 1948 in which Soviets finally recognized Finland as neutral country - though at the cost of Finland agreeing to stay out of other power blocks as well (then again Finns had seen in 1939 that the western help did amount to practically nothing so it wasn't at the time much of a loss).

However the fact remains that the Finnish military didn't really prepare for anything else than acting against further Soviet aggression during the Cold War - it was the sole perceived potential enemy. And for example had no qualms in 1960s to drop live depth charges (not just sounding charges like more recently) close to Soviet subs trespassing the Finnish waters.
Sweden collaborated with NATO extensively during the cold war...
If you imagined that Finns didn't collaborate extensively with NATO as well you are in for a surprise. The whole Finnish signals intelligence branch was practically built using nothing but (then) top of the line western technology and used to eavesdrop the Soviets.
...forcing Finland into the Warsaw pact.
That couldn't have happened without a full scale war - unlike some seem to imagine Finland was very cautious as to what it would accept from the Soviets and what it didn't. And which is also the reason why the Finnish military essentially trained (and sort of still does) the soldiers to operate in small isolated independently operating units with low maintenance requirements - essentially it is geared for guerrilla warfare.