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120 Irish troops to join EU battle group

Dohville

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Mar 19, 2010
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Hardly the fault of the Defence Forces though. More the fault of the Governments non-defence policy.
 


PES Activist

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In what way are they more "ethical" then other armies? it could be argued sitting in the fence in terms of military geo politics and letting others historically provide for your security is not very ethical at all.
Thanks for your comment, Aspherical123.

The question of deployment and "military geo politics" is a matter for the Irish government and not the Defence Forces.

You are right, however, to interrogate my use of the term "ethical" to describe our Defence Forces as it easy to get carried away with romantic notions of troops in blue helmets standing between suffering refugees and violence and genocide. The truth is more prosaic and infinitely more complex.

However, I base my comment about our troops on the track record they have assembled in many different theatres across the world, particularly during their most dangerous missions in Africa and Lebanon. There are numerous examples of the heroism that ordinary Irish soldiers have demonstrated in the teeth of sustained shelling and missile attacks from Israeli-supported militia in Southern Lebanon and also under fire in Africa, in Congo especially.

Our troops have never been used in wars of aggression or illegal military adventures. They represent an important part of the front-line in defending and extending international law in the countries in which they have served. Likewise, their record of engagement with local communities and the avoidance of any suggestion of preying off local people, as other blue-beret soldiers have done, also stands to them.

It's important not to be taken in by any easy narrative about "our boys (and girls!)" in uniform, but it is also appropriate to recognise their humanitarian service and the professionalism and distinction with which they have served the most vulnerable of our global human community.
 

sidney higginbottom

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i wonder if someone could enlighten me on two issues?

i) if the Irish republic is required by its own laws to have a supporting UN resolution in place before it can send more than 12 troops overseas, what is the mechanism for sending 30 soldiers on a 6 month attachment to the NoBG HQ element in Sweden, when presumably there's no UN resolution supporting the concept of EU battlegroups or their need to be physically joined up at some stage to ensure they actually work?

ii) on a rather more intellectual/moral level, what is the justification for a UN resolution if the proposed deployment is requested by the recognised government of that country?

i can understand - don't agree with, but understand - the logic of making a principled decision that Ireland won't employ force in a country that hasn't asked for it unless that force is asked for and sanctioned by the UN, but i can't understand any rationalé for deciding that if, for instance, FYRoMacedonia asked Ireland for a peacekeeping force to oversee/implement an internal peace agreement, and the government of Ireland agreed, as did the Dáil, why that would be anyones business but Ireland and FYRoMacedonia's.

if your neighbour invites you to dinner, or asks for your assistance in building a shed, and you're happy to oblige, you don't seek the permision of your local council or neighbourhood watch commitee...

puzzled.
 

PES Activist

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Hi Sidney

In answer to your first question, The triple-lock requirement does not apply to training or general logistical activities related to Ireland's membership of an EU battle group. The triple-lock applies only to what are called "peace support missions", i.e. active deployment of Defence Force personnel overseas in furtherance of a UN resolution. The Defence Forces involvement with the Nordic Battle Group is governed by a Dáil resolution passed in 2007.

I think your second point is just a tad too abstract. If there was no triple lock and we essentially left it to the Government/Dáil to determine when Irish troops could be used in foreign missions then we'd open up the possibility of such troops being used in unacceptable circumstances. The government's bad faith on the WEU and the transport of US troops through Shannon during the illegal invasion of Iraq point up the folly of trusting Fianna Fáil to maintain an ethical defence policy.

Making the deployment overseas of the Defence Forces dependent, in part, on a UN resolution is not the ideal solution, but in the circumstances and given our recent history it is the most effective way, short of a constitutional amendment, of ensuring that our troops are only used on peace-keeping/making missions.
 

peterc661

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Jun 8, 2010
Messages
83
The term now is 'peace-enforcement' - it's exactly what Irish troops did in Congo in the 1960s and Kosovo, Liberia and Chad - all under UN mandates. It simply involves more robust 'rules of engagement' than 'peacekeeping'.

And once again, we are not 'neutral' - we are 'non-aligned' militarily. There is a very big difference.
+1
 

peterc661

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Jun 8, 2010
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You don't leave the house much, do you.
You have definitely never been to the curragh, where no semi-d exists.
Do you even know what a soldier earns?

And yes soldiers will be in favour of the EU Battlegroup because it allows them to do their job, instead of just being confined to guarding the assets of corrupt banks at home. People do not join the army to be Bank Guards.
+1
 

Aspherical123

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Mar 8, 2010
Messages
2,579
Thanks for your comment, Aspherical123.

The question of deployment and "military geo politics" is a matter for the Irish government and not the Defence Forces.

You are right, however, to interrogate my use of the term "ethical" to describe our Defence Forces as it easy to get carried away with romantic notions of troops in blue helmets standing between suffering refugees and violence and genocide. The truth is more prosaic and infinitely more complex.

However, I base my comment about our troops on the track record they have assembled in many different theatres across the world, particularly during their most dangerous missions in Africa and Lebanon. There are numerous examples of the heroism that ordinary Irish soldiers have demonstrated in the teeth of sustained shelling and missile attacks from Israeli-supported militia in Southern Lebanon and also under fire in Africa, in Congo especially.

Our troops have never been used in wars of aggression or illegal military adventures. They represent an important part of the front-line in defending and extending international law in the countries in which they have served. Likewise, their record of engagement with local communities and the avoidance of any suggestion of preying off local people, as other blue-beret soldiers have done, also stands to them.

It's important not to be taken in by any easy narrative about "our boys (and girls!)" in uniform, but it is also appropriate to recognise their humanitarian service and the professionalism and distinction with which they have served the most vulnerable of our global human community.

Most countries provide troops to the UN, the republic provides a tiny fraction of UN troops, to hear some you would think the republic was some sort of major player in providing troops and humanitarian service, at most it provides around 400. Countries like Nigeria, India etc provide tens of thousands.
 

Éireann go Brách

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May 17, 2010
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Most countries provide troops to the UN, the republic provides a tiny fraction of UN troops, to hear some you would think the republic was some sort of major player in providing troops and humanitarian service, at most it provides around 400. Countries like Nigeria, India etc provide tens of thousands.
You have to calculate per capita and per GDP to get accuate data
to compare countries contributions.

Irelands oversea commitments where far higher than 400. We often at over
1000 overseas(not all in same place)
Over 30,000 personnel have served in Lebanon and 6000 in congo.

As for Nigeria and India
if you look at UN site they give data for fatalties for UN missions
India 139
Ireland 90
Nigeria 110

http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/fatalities/documents/StatsByNationalityMission 2.pdf
 

Aspherical123

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You have to calculate per capita and per GDP to get accuate data
to compare countries contributions.

Irelands oversea commitments where far higher than 400. We often at over
1000 overseas(not all in same place)
Over 30,000 personnel have served in Lebanon and 6000 in congo.

As for Nigeria and India
if you look at UN site they give data for fatalties for UN missions
India 139
Ireland 90
Nigeria 110

http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/fatalities/documents/StatsByNationalityMission 2.pdf
Thats for the Lebanon.

1,000 thats nearly 2 battalions, when was that? the verage deployment has been 400-500.

There have been over 60 UN missions since WW2. Lebanon was one.

Irelands role has been valuable but no greater then most other nations and lesser then nations who fought in Korea etc.
 

Dohville

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Mar 19, 2010
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Cargo Ship left Cork bound for Sweden this afternoon loaded with equipment for this exercise.
To me, it would make a lot more sense for the Naval service to have a ship capable of carrying this cargo. The vessel used was a medium sized general cargo ship, with vehicles in the hold, and containers lashed to the deck.

Photos were in todays examiner(not available online).
 

Fantasia

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Nov 5, 2005
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917
Since when do peacekeeping troops do battle? The term Battlegroups itself gives the lie to the government's ongoing claims that our neutrality is not affected.
exactly and notice they are not described as protection groups or defense groups.
 

Dohville

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Would you prefer they were called "combined flower and goodwill distribution group"?
 

Aspherical123

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exactly and notice they are not described as protection groups or defense groups.
Battlegroup......An improvised force, usually of battalion or brigade strength, drawn from different units for a particular operation.

Its potential mission is not known, apart from it being a rapid reaction force, thus it cant just be called a peace keeping or protection force.
 

captainwillard

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Mar 2, 2010
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Can you imagine those overweight troops from St Paddys day march offering protection? Hilarious thought. Lads, just point the hurleys and shout babng bang.
 

firefighter

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Sep 21, 2010
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how "rapid" can the Oireachtas approve such missions? An officer friend of mine told me that he was taught that under Lisbon the authorisation proceedure has now been streamlined.
 

Aspherical123

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how "rapid" can the Oireachtas approve such missions? An officer friend of mine told me that he was taught that under Lisbon the authorisation proceedure has now been streamlined.

EU battlegroups are on a 7 day notice of potential deployment.
 

Aspherical123

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Can you imagine those overweight troops from St Paddys day march offering protection? Hilarious thought. Lads, just point the hurleys and shout babng bang.
In the last 10 yrs the Irish army has come on a hell of alot in terms of both training and equipment, training with EU battlegroups will further increase its experience.
 


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