View Full Version : Realistic thinking ??

9th June 2003, 21:11
Don't jump all over my case on this one, I'm just throwing it out there to provoke some discussion.

Is the neutrality issue just an excuse to underfund the DF? If Ireland were to "take sides" then the DF would have an obligation to "show up" with some manpower and equipment to fight a modern war. By remaining neutral, the govt. can cheaply sit on the fence and ignore the DF.

However, who is gonna attack Ireland. Ireland is not a main player in world events. Ireland does not threaten anyone and nobody is threatened by Ireland. Despite some minor differences of opinions Ireland is a Western country and obviously aligns itself with the UK, USA, NATO, etc. There's not much chance that any Western country has any military interest in Ireland. And I think it's safe to say that the UK,US etc would come to our aid in another scenario.

So, realistically we don't need MBT's, jet fighters/bombers, "battleships" etc.

Should the DF concentrate on the job that do best, internal defence/security. Undoubtedly they are very good at this role, among the best, second maybe to Israel or even the UK. Should the funding be directed at improving these aspects of the force, equiping a real Army aviation service with appropriate helicopters and transports as required, not jet fighters. More armored cars/cav-type vehicles, not MBT's. Better personal issue equipment, even full nissue for its reserves. Fund full integrated training for PDF and RDF and maintain standards year round eg, ammo, range time etc

9th June 2003, 21:26
Strummer, do you even read the other posts? That's what everybody has been saying on this thing for ages... :p

9th June 2003, 21:29
Soory, Yook,
I'm kinda "discombobulated" at the moment, "her indoors" is about to drop child, so I don't know whether I'm coming or going !!!!!!

9th June 2003, 21:47
damn it dude.

thats all we need. Another one of you!!!

hang on. Didn't you have her mowing the lawn about 2 weeks ago? you evil bastard...

10th June 2003, 01:11
She'll do what she's told or else feel the back of my hand........!!!!:D

But back to the topic......Should the PDF just cease altogether with the military posturing/posing and just give in to the fact that they are more or less a Gendarmarie (sp). Forget about battle plans etc and focus on the internal security. Be like that outfit in France, or the Italian Carabinieri, a militarized police?

10th June 2003, 10:41
<font face="tahoma" color="#ff9900">Mowing the Lawn is good for a Pregnant woman!! Gets the Muscles worked out and good breathing exercises pushing it around the Garden!!

Anyway yes Neutrality should be abolished! De Valera introduced it Practically on his own, it no longer has any Political or Economic Repercussions, we are part of the Second biggest Political, Cultural and Economical Alliance in the World so why not admit it and Join the EU "Army" The Treaty of Rome mentions a common defence policy and Ireland Sifgned up to this in what 1970??. Lets face it the EU is becoming a World Power we have Significantly raised our profile within the EU Politically and Economically. And our sit on the Fence attitude that every government has taken since De Valera makes us a Laughing Stock!!

Who are we Switzerland??


10th June 2003, 10:59
Scrap the whole army and replace it with 5000 ARW and 5000 full on reserve.

Let the police worry about all the shite money transfers etc.

10th June 2003, 12:16
Well I do think we should be a gendarmerie, but still part of an european alliance.
While Irelands territorial integrity is not threathened, our interests are something that can be threathened,... ie: the EU.
If an EU partner were to be attacked this would indeed have major implications on our economy and currency, it would be a bit like what would happen in mayo if cork were invaded. Mayo and the rest of Ireland would be affected, even if they themselves were not attacked.

Neutrality is also a convenient method of avoiding difficult questions and taking responcibility for nasty things that have to be done in Western interests (some neicessary, some not).
ie: we like oil, but we are prepared to let the yanks and brits fight for it so that we get our supply, and yet not have the moral guilt over how it was acquired.

We will very soon play our part though, neutrality has had it's time as a useful catchphrase and it just does not work in a globalised economy and in the modern world.

10th June 2003, 13:38
Hmmmm head in sand, I don't suppose anyone cares for an independent state's legal requirement to maintain a defence?
I suppose if you want we could always renounce our independent status.

10th June 2003, 15:00
Well the way I see it, we could be an excellent Gendarmarie, or a very mediocre defence force. Now I'm not talking about the quality of the men and women there when I say mediocre, but more the size, equipment, support and training. We are to put it bluntly not equipped to deal with a major military confrontation.
And the fame of our forces in UN missions has been leapt upon by successive governments to encourage shaping the forces for peace keeping duties rather than warfare (essentially because it's an excuse for a small defence force with minimal force projection capabilities)- ie: cheap.
A reversal of this trend is unlikely to succeed considering how much more cost effective the peace keeping/gendarmerie model is.
At present we are in limbo between the two models and not masters of either.
Considering the budget available and the political mood, we are not likely to be masters of the Warfare model any time soon.

10th June 2003, 15:06
Once you get rid of a defence capability,however limited, it's almost impossible to get back.
Our security situation is fairly benign now, who's to say what it'll be like in 25 years?

In 1918 they thought WWI was the war to end all wars........

C-Q, is there a legal requirement for an indepent state to maintain a defence? Other than the traditional requirements of countries that formally declare themselves neutral in a given conflict to maintain their status, i don't know of any.

10th June 2003, 16:08
No I think it is just the neutrality thing.

10th June 2003, 16:21
Neutrality should be abolished! De Valera introduced it Practically on his own

At the risk of going off-topic (I promise I won't discuss it further here) I would like to point out that the neutrality policy was overwhelmingly approved by the Dail, to say it was all De Valera's idea is inaccurate.

10th June 2003, 16:44
Iceland has no army, only a police special forces team.
defence is provided by the US,.... I suppose you could say that they outsourced their defence;)

10th June 2003, 17:08
Originally posted by FMolloy
At the risk of going off-topic (I promise I won't discuss it further here) I would like to point out that the neutrality policy was overwhelmingly approved by the Dail, to say it was all De Valera's idea is inaccurate.

Some spoke out against it in the Dail too. The point is, I suppose, that neutrality might have been in the national interest then, but is a bit of a blight on the nation's ability to manage its affairs in the world now.

10th June 2003, 17:22
C-Q, is there a legal requirement for an indepent state to maintain a defence? Other than the traditional requirements of countries that formally declare themselves neutral in a given conflict to maintain their status, i don't know of any.

There is in the Treaty of Westphalia anyway, which forms the basis for all international laws.
The only countries I know of without any army are domininions and protectorates i.e. Belize, Swaziland.
I believe this whole gendarmerie model was born from the Free State, and then maintained by a civil service who where always overly attached to the neighbours.
THis might also explain why our interpretation of neutrality is so different from everyone elses.
Eldavido they already have that service, it's called emigration, there are allegedly some units in the BA where being Irish is a major advantage, units other than the Irish regiments.

10th June 2003, 17:32
It's probably fair to mention that the Treaty of Westphalia was signed in 1648 and ended the Hundred Year War. It has perhaps been overtaken by events since then.

Costa Rica abolished its army in 1948.

10th June 2003, 17:52
Em, actually unless the nation state has been abandoned in the last half hour its not quite irrelevant just yet.
Costa Rica is a de facto if not actual US protectorate which repays its defence with the provision of land for training and testing.

paul g
10th June 2003, 19:22
While its not called an army, Costa Rica's national guard looks like one, and is equipped and functions like an army. Iceland doesn't have an army, but its population is less than 150,000 people, rather hard in that situation to have a regular battalion, also their nearest neighbours are the penguins on Greenland. The Caribineri have a really stupid uniform,
and most of their functions are actually similar to the Guards. Personally I think we need to have an army, end of story, although not necessarily liker the one we have now.

C-Q your dislike for civil servants is making me slightly worried, some are actually quite nice you know. A man in your position will end up looking at at http://www.publicjobs.ie

De valera didn't have anything to do with making ireland a neutral state, though it was a policy he espoused from pre-truce days, in fact neutrality as oficial government policy was introduced by Cuman na gael in 1922.

11th June 2003, 12:31
The Treaty of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years war, not the hundred years war ... and its still damn important because it established a legal basis for what would become the nation state. Its practical importance as a functioning legal document now is limited, but it does have an important role as the first document where a lot of the things we take for granted stem from.

11th June 2003, 12:59
Thirty or Hundred Year War, what's the friggin difference, they were all ages ago :D

I'm not doubting for a second the importance of the Treaty, but do it's provisions on defence have any legal effect now? That is the point of this little diversion from the main topic, is a country obliged to provide a defence, at times other than when it has declared itself neutral in a specific conflict?

The Magna Carta was an important document too, quoting it as current law in court wouldn't be a great plan though.

11th June 2003, 13:48
Civil servants; It's the culture not the people I have a problem with.

I merely stated that the treaty of Westphalia was the basis for modern international law, I did not claim that it was a current and binding document.

11th June 2003, 14:41
Not having heard of the treaty of Westphalia, this thread prompted me to research it. Thanks to the internet (how were we ever able to live without it) I was able to get my hands on a translation. There is much talk about the spirit of the treaty being a basis for the recognition of nations but the treaty itself is basically an agreement to stop fighting, a division of land among the parties, and an amnesty for those who fought.

I certainly didn't find anything about neutrality (except 1 paragraph which told a specific city to stay neutral in all conflicts from now on) or the legal obligations on defending the neutrality.

11th June 2003, 19:26
Iceland may not have an army but does have a small coastguard which clashed with the Royal Navy in the '78 Cod war. (A bit of ramming and a few shot across the bow which came to an abrupt end when a Icelandic ship nearly sank a British ship by ramming it). I am not sure what the current status is but about 10 years ago Iceland had 14 US F-15 Fighters as well as Dutch P-3 orions and US E-3 AWACS along with a few hundred US Marines based in Keflavik. They are a member of NATO> The fact that they have not standing army is irrelevant. They have still a lot of military clout.

11th June 2003, 19:39
And as the Cod war shows, they are not afraid to use it whenever they have to