Ireland seeks to join EU Naval Group Operation Sophia

Catalpast

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They'd better stay ofshore so. The DF are woefully ill equipped with the hardware necessary for battle.
I expect we would contribute Shore Parties - possibly from the Army Ranger Wing

But that is speculation

Another UN vote would be needed, + EU Council approval

+ an agreed military course of action

It aint gonna happen anytime soon

Meanwhile they keep on coming.....

We should not be there IMO

- as all we are doing is encouraging this Trade in Humanity

BTW I do believe going by that RTE documentary that was on earlier this year

- that the Irish Navy sinks the boats after all are taken on board

Methinks there is more to this than meets the eye...
 


Wascurito

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They'd better stay ofshore so. The DF are woefully ill equipped with the hardware necessary for battle.
Of course, it's impossible to predict what the circumstances would be but it's likely to be against the aforementioned people traffickers. Do you expect that they'll have heavy military hardware at their disposal?
 

Deadlock

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Totally agree - but it will be hard to get across such a mildly nuanced point what with the hyperbole from the usual gang here.

Our neutrality never meant much and is even more meaningless now. Who are we neutral between?
We were neutral "against" the UK! petunia
 

former wesleyan

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Of course, it's impossible to predict what the circumstances would be but it's likely to be against the aforementioned people traffickers. Do you expect that they'll have heavy military hardware at their disposal?
I have no idea. They'd need time to train with anything other than the small arms they have at the moment.
 

Catalpast

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We need to move towards Phase III ASAP

But I have my doubts that this will be anytime soon

Libya is too divided to do anything even if they wanted to

- and its clear they have other matters on their minds right now...

European navies have been co operating in North African waters these past 200 years or so

But never have they been used to ferry illegal migrnats into Europe!
 

ionsniffer

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Ireland will do as its told by the EU.

we will get involved in what we are told to get involved in.
 

sparky42

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I have no idea. They'd need time to train with anything other than the small arms they have at the moment.
The forces in Leb who've had Mowag's engaged seemed to have handled things alright, and then there's the Ranger's who just beat out other SF units including the Seals.
 

Catalpast

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I have no idea. They'd need time to train with anything other than the small arms they have at the moment.
We wont be asked to do anything too heavy

The people traffickers are a rag tag and bobtail outfit

- they will bolt if they think their hides on the line

In the age of satellite intelligence and drones

- there is no real need for heavy ground operations

- to take out these vessels
 

Boy M5

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RTÉ is reporting that Ireland is considering a change in the status of its naval migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe will bring proposals to Cabinet on Tuesday seeking approval for the country to join the UN mandated EU Naval Group Operation Sophia and the plan is for a motion to be put to the Dáil on Wednesday.

Such a proposal would be subject to the Triple Lock Mechanism meaning that it needs to be mandated by the UN, the Cabinet and the Oireachtas - hence the need for a Dáil vote.

Currently, Irish navy operations in the Mediterranean are based on a bilateral arrangement with Italy. Since 2015, Irish naval forces have saved about 16,000 migrants in the southern Mediterranean engaged in the hazardous trip across to Europe from Africa.

The aim of Operation Sophia (as described here) is to:
contribute to the "disruption of the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks in the Southern Central Mediterranean" by "efforts to identify, capture and dispose of vessels used or suspected of being used by smugglers".

So, Operation Sophia focuses on smugglers rather than on the rescue of the migrants themselves, even though saving lives can be a part of the mandate.

This is where it gets interesting: Operation Sophia is currently in what is called Phase 2. Phase 3 would involve a more combative approach to tackling the human traffickers including possible action on Libyan soil.

This isn't going to happen automatically and would require UN and EU approval. However, given the increasing flow of migrants across the Mediterranean this summer, it's easy to see how EU governments could decide that such an option is required.
This is a good move. Given our history we must do what we can to help these desperate people. Also help Italy a friendly country and EU partner.

We are neutral but we can still pull our weight - ARW was deployed internationally before.

Remember that our Navy is well skilled in pulling our warship and RIBs close to other vessels. Our sailors add value.
 

former wesleyan

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The forces in Leb who've had Mowag's engaged seemed to have handled things alright, and then there's the Ranger's who just beat out other SF units including the Seals.
I know all that . But hostile forces in Libya have armour and anti-tank weapons that would open a MOWAG like a sardine tin.
 

Wascurito

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I have no idea. They'd need time to train with anything other than the small arms they have at the moment.
As long ago as 2004, the Irish army rescued villagers held captive by government forces in Liberia in a situation and terrain that was as lot more difficult than Libya. So unless you think people traffickers would be more heavily armed, then I'm wondering what you're basing your analysis on.
 

Wascurito

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I know all that . But hostile forces in Libya have armour and anti-tank weapons that would open a MOWAG like a sardine tin.
Phase 3 wouldn't be a ground invasion of Libya.....! I imagine it would be a targeted and surgical operation with a defined aims and defined length of a few hours. And the aim would be people traffickers Anything else would be outside the scope of Operation Sophia.
 

Deadlock

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As long ago as 2004, the Irish army rescued villagers held captive by government forces in Liberia in a situation and terrain that was as lot more difficult than Libya. So unless you think people traffickers would be more heavily armed, then I'm wondering what you're basing your analysis on.
DAESH have been active in Libya. I'd imagine they have impressive hardware, and are also possibly implicated in people trafficking.
 

midlander12

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RTÉ is reporting that Ireland is considering a change in the status of its naval migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe will bring proposals to Cabinet on Tuesday seeking approval for the country to join the UN mandated EU Naval Group Operation Sophia and the plan is for a motion to be put to the Dáil on Wednesday.

Such a proposal would be subject to the Triple Lock Mechanism meaning that it needs to be mandated by the UN, the Cabinet and the Oireachtas - hence the need for a Dáil vote.

Currently, Irish navy operations in the Mediterranean are based on a bilateral arrangement with Italy. Since 2015, Irish naval forces have saved about 16,000 migrants in the southern Mediterranean engaged in the hazardous trip across to Europe from Africa.

The aim of Operation Sophia (as described here) is to:
contribute to the "disruption of the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks in the Southern Central Mediterranean" by "efforts to identify, capture and dispose of vessels used or suspected of being used by smugglers".

So, Operation Sophia focuses on smugglers rather than on the rescue of the migrants themselves, even though saving lives can be a part of the mandate.

This is where it gets interesting: Operation Sophia is currently in what is called Phase 2. Phase 3 would involve a more combative approach to tackling the human traffickers including possible action on Libyan soil.

This isn't going to happen automatically and would require UN and EU approval. However, given the increasing flow of migrants across the Mediterranean this summer, it's easy to see how EU governments could decide that such an option is required.
The 'increasing flow' is caused largely by the fact that the migrants know that they will be picked up by the LE Eithne or some other EU vessel and deposited with the hapless Italians. If the Irish navy were required to bring them to their home country, their mission would be ended tomorrow. In a recent interview on RTE, the LE Eithne commander readily stated that people traffickers were on his ship along with those rescued. The question as to why the Irish navy were facilitating this racket was of course not asked, though as a military officer I presume he would have had to decline to answer it.

My personal preference would be for the Irish navy not to be involved - not because of neutrality (which I regard as a meaningless shibboleth) but because I consider we have no national interest in trafficking African economic migrants, which is what we are effectively doing. If the mission is to be changed to one of actually actively trying to stop this trade and combat the traffickers at sea or in Libya, I would think that is mainly the Italians' business for obvious reasons and good luck to them. Why should we be involved at all? (other than to placate the do-gooding instincts of certain overly EU-enthusiastic FG ministers).
 

Wascurito

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This is a good move. Given our history we must do what we can to help these desperate people. Also help Italy a friendly country and EU partner.

We are neutral but we can still pull our weight - ARW was deployed internationally before.

Remember that our Navy is well skilled in pulling our warship and RIBs close to other vessels. Our sailors add value.
Much of the "analysis" on this thread (FW excluded) is from people who know nothing but somehow still feel they can adopt an attitude of knowing scepticism.
 

Catalpast

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I know all that . But hostile forces in Libya have armour and anti-tank weapons that would open a MOWAG like a sardine tin.
That's not who we would be engaged against

IN fact any ground operations would probably get the tacit approval of those who control the territory on which they are conducted

- in return for some kind of trade off you understand....:cool:
 

Wascurito

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DAESH have been active in Libya. I'd imagine they have impressive hardware, and are also possibly implicated in people trafficking.
See the post below. I think the people smugglers are almost exclusively corrupt coast guards and people in coastal towns who are using the migrants as their only source of money since the Libyan state collapsed.

We wont be asked to do anything too heavy

The people traffickers are a rag tag and bobtail outfit

- they will bolt if they think their hides on the line

In the age of satellite intelligence and drones

- there is no real need for heavy ground operations

- to take out these vessels
 


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