ZURICH, Switzerland – What began as a routine training exercise almost ended in an embarrassing diplomatic incident after a company of Swiss soldiers got lost at night and marched into neighboring Liechtenstein.
According to Swiss daily Blick, the 170 infantry soldiers wandered just over a mile across an unmarked border into the tiny principality early Thursday before realizing their mistake and turning back.
A spokesman for the Swiss army confirmed the story but said that there were unlikely to be any serious repercussions for the mistaken invasion.
"We've spoken to the authorities in Liechtenstein and it's not a problem," Daniel Reist told The Associated Press.
Officials in Liechtenstein also played down the incident.
They are trying to shrug it off, of course. The overwhelming show of force – an entire company of Swiss troops outnumbers the Liectensteinian military by a ratio of 100 to 0. Because all they have in Liechtenstein is a small force of attack goats. But the Swiss are taking the long view here. They are not going to wait 132,000 years for the real crisis to develop.