Thread: Surely not!
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Old 03.08.2007, 21:01
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Re: Surely not!

The thing here is that the swiss knife is a symbol of the country's pride. Military equipment is in many countries exempt from usual tendering procedure. I suspect a face-saving compromise will be worked out on these grounds. At the end of the day, it is the responsibility of the swiss procurement executive to get the best equipment possible within spec and constraints on budget, wherever it comes from. Knives are approaching commodity status and have little in terms of maintenance or logistics to worry about. I remember reading a similar discussion recently about army uniforms...


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From the Guardian article:
'It is credited by everyone from balloonists and astronauts to surgeons and pilots with saving lives and is the official pocket knife for 16 armies around the world, including the US military.

'It has also prompted many jokes, perceived as it is as the weapon of choice for the military of neutral Switzerland. The US comedian Robin Williams once quipped: "How can you trust an army that has a wine opener on its knife?" '

If the US military can use it, then that shows the knife is seen as a useful tool -- not a symbol of nationalism or whatever.

It's chuckle-inducing though to see the right-wing politicians get their knickers in a twist over it.

The Swiss Army then has to decide -- are they keeping it because it's useful or because it's an important national symbol? If Taiwan, Bulgaria or China can make it well at a fraction of the price, why not buy it from there (even though it feels all wrong)? Economics or Swiss pride is on the balance - which way will it tip?

Anyone else has a similar feeling that the Swiss Army will strike a compromise with Victorinox or another Swiss manufacturer?
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