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  1. #551
    Lt Colonel Buck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buck View Post
    The full story will never get published for fear of the crusty backlash.

    "So let me get this straight. The army used actual weapons to shoot people?!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Mick O'Toole View Post
    I did my bit today. I am now in Groundhog myself...

    *Mick makes a bollocks out of Buck

    Made a bollocks out of me No complaints though.
    I knew a simple soldier boy.....
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    And no one spoke of him again.

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you'll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

  2. #552
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    Really proud of the way our Defence Forces personnel have carried out their role. It is amazing that Enda Kenny and co are up in arms about the change of terms / mandate and are now so publically worried about the security of the our people and Equipment. Where did they think that they were sending them to, Mosney?. I have never served in an army but surely it is not the worst thing that could happen to get a bit of action in a skirmish. Would like to see in depth details made available. Cant understand how 43 Fijian soldiers were kidnapped. Sure those guys are scary enough even without their weapons.

  3. #553
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    An interesting discussion on a number of points. Firstly I think we should be careful about comparisons between ourselves, our nearest neighbour and HM forces. The reality is that the People of the UK expect a good old war every generation and will wholeheartedly support it, it comes with being a global player with significant military resources and a colonial / expeditionary past .

    We have different cultures particularly in respect of military service and employment of military resources due to our shared history .... Whilst I dearly love and cherish the political class, there is one thing that they are very much in touch with it and that is public opinion. Don't forget we had to insert some gobblety gook about neutrality / conscription into the referendum to get the Nice treaty passed as research had showed that one of the principle reasons it had failed first time was a belief it created a European army. Whether we like it or not ( and I think most of us here don't) , the Irish population don't want to see their military engaged in hostile action overseas and taking significant casualties. We are happy with touchy feely UN ops and a little shot of NATO every now and again with even our ISAF deployment usually framed as CIED lads only, ie non combatants generally out there saving lives, which is considered more palatable.

    In fairness our Press Office types do a good job and it's not credible to think that anybody in uniform can contradict the Minister or govt, either on or off the record. press officers have been moved sideways ( shafted) in the last for such transgressions. The Minister was out on Friday talking about reviewing our involvement in UNDOF followed up by the Taoiseach.....that's game , set and match against anyone in uniform saying anything different.....the politico has now set the agenda ( which in fairness is his job).

    Mick is a great supporter of the DF ( to his and his newspapers great credit), but a lot of the incidents have already been reported from the last rotation and if you add the incidents in the last couple of days we get today's article. That said, always great to read something positive and please keep up the good work.

    As soldiers we want to do our job first ..... And secondly we want to be appreciated by the public , unfortunately I would be surprised if our involvement with UNDOF is not coming to an end ( the mandate is of course to separate Israel and Syria, not rub shoulders with any passing rebel group) .... UNDOF may have outlived its utility and raisin d'être ( love using the French words) .

    We have to accept that all this publicity about Irish soldiers doing a great job overseas has led to our minister and Taoiseach publicly talking about withdrawing them from the op. It makes me wonder if the Fijians hadn't been kidnapped ( creating the international news story) and we had 'only' done the job of extracting the Filipiinos under fire and returning fire..... Would our political masters be talking about withdrawal now ? I don't think so ..... as Ropebag identified It's the way that smaller countries like Ireland operate, not right or wrong, just different.

    Don't expect any SF ops to release the unfortunate Fijis , they are in militant heartland now so an op is tactically impossible and strategically that sort of aggressive action in a PSO scenario would be counter productive and would lead to significant and far worse reprisals against the wider force unless we accept UNDOF is finished and withdraw it first.

    Seen as I'm ranting well, it's important to remember that criticising the UN is de facto criticising the international community, you can't say the UN is useless without accepting the problems come from the membership and that includes everyone..... From the UK , the US , France through Ireland to Burkina Faso and Indonesia etc etc. the UN fails to act because that's exactly what it's member will by their actions and inactions .

    Rant over , apologies!

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  5. #554
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    I wonder if we would continue to contribute if the UNSC passed a resolution giving UNDOF the mandate to prevent the Syrian Civil War spreading into the AO (ie UNDOF had to confront/disarm rebels etc)?

    I strongly believe that this is a ploy to the UN, why? The situation hasn't greatly changed (similar things were happening prior to our participation).

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  7. #555
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    I suppose Dev you are heading into a classic mission creep issue there, UNDOF is to monitor a ceasefire and police a de militarised zone between Syria and Israel. I reckon that adding the rebel factor ( there are over 1,000 such groups ) would be a step too far and further complicate a terminally ill mission.

    As for the militants motives, they were global news for a couple of days to highlight their existence and aims. they also could probably do with less UN types around, make their ops a lot simpler if they only had one team operating in their AO .... This kidnapping is pushing UNDOF closer to the edge which is ultimately of benefit to the rebels....

  8. #556
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Booted Man View Post
    I suppose Dev you are heading into a classic mission creep issue there, UNDOF is to monitor a ceasefire and police a de militarised zone between Syria and Israel. I reckon that adding the rebel factor ( there are over 1,000 such groups ) would be a step too far and further complicate a terminally ill mission.

    As for the militants motives, they were global news for a couple of days to highlight their existence and aims. they also could probably do with less UN types around, make their ops a lot simpler if they only had one team operating in their AO .... This kidnapping is pushing UNDOF closer to the edge which is ultimately of benefit to the rebels....
    I'm suggesting that the Government possibly want that

  9. #557
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Booted Man View Post
    I suppose Dev you are heading into a classic mission creep issue there, UNDOF is to monitor a ceasefire and police a de militarised zone between Syria and Israel. I reckon that adding the rebel factor ( there are over 1,000 such groups ) would be a step too far and further complicate a terminally ill mission.

    As for the militants motives, they were global news for a couple of days to highlight their existence and aims. they also could probably do with less UN types around, make their ops a lot simpler if they only had one team operating in their AO .... This kidnapping is pushing UNDOF closer to the edge which is ultimately of benefit to the rebels....
    Nail on head. The government seems to be asking the right questions, and making the right statements for once. It was heartening to see a Defence Forces matter take headline news yesterday on Six one and the 9 o clock.
    UNDOF is not UNIFIL. The UNDOF mandate is very limited in allowing UNDOF troops to engage with those who see fit to attack them.
    The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was established by Security Council resolution 350 (1974) PDF Document of 31 May 1974 to:
    Maintain the ceasefire between Israel and Syria;
    Supervise the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces; and
    Supervise the areas of separation and limitation, as provided in the May 1974 Agreement on Disengagement.
    By Israel and Syria, the mandate means just that. The armed forces of those states, not some knob jockey from Essex with his Pakistani cousins each with an AK 47 and a Shemagh bought locally, intent on forcing their misguided brand of islamo fascism on the world. If UNDOF engages these individuals it goes outside the mandate, and the minions at UNHQ will not support them when the tables turn. (See UNPROFOR in Srebrenica as a past example).
    So the government is saying to the UN- will you let our troops protect themselves against all aggressors in the UNDOF AO, and will you provide them with the necessary tools to do so. Keep in mind that the Irish contingent out there is the heaviest armed force in UNDOF. So without going into OPSEC country, we all know what is NOT available to UN troops coming under attack there.

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  11. #558
    Space Lord of Terra morpheus's Avatar
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    due to UNDOF restrictions - no heavy weaponry or decent AT
    "He is an enemy officer taken in battle and entitled to fair treatment."
    "No, sir. He's a sergeant, and they don't deserve no respect at all, sir. I should know. They're cunning and artful, if they're any good. I wouldn't mind if he was an officer, sir. But sergeants are clever."

  12. #559
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    www.twitter.com/mickthehack


  13. #560
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    If the opposition have mortars/RPGs/Dshkas, then the Irish need to tool up to at least equivalent level. Ignore the Israelis, who are the real opponents of the UN having any kind of heavy weapon and bring it in in the diplomatic bag if you have to.

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  15. #561
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    If the opposition have mortars/RPGs/Dshkas, then the Irish need to tool up to at least equivalent level. Ignore the Israelis, who are the real opponents of the UN having any kind of heavy weapon and bring it in in the diplomatic bag if you have to.
    i've no idea if the Israeli thing is true, but supposing it is its the Israeli's who effectively allow UNDOF to function - casualties etc.. go out via Israel, and Israel has in the last week provided UNDOF with both ISTAR and direct fire support. offending them might be somewhat self-defeating...

    either UNDOF has its mandate widened, is significantly up-gunned and continues to have the support of Israel and Syria or its finished.

  16. #562
    Lt Colonel Buck's Avatar
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    They could do with cage armour at the very least...
    I knew a simple soldier boy.....
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    And no one spoke of him again.

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you'll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

  17. #563
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    Thanks for uploading the video Mick - it's a wake up call that the public needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    either UNDOF has its mandate widened, is significantly up-gunned and continues to have the support of Israel and Syria or its finished.
    Agree that it's finished without Israeli & Assad support - the question is, what does widening the mandate mean, given that the threat to the UN is from the rebel factions - who are a common enemy to both Israel & Assad.

    What's achieved by being there?

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  19. #564
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buck View Post
    They could do with cage armour at the very least...
    certainly, but the best defence is not to have someone shoot at you in the first place - and the best way to achieve that is if the guy thinking about doing the shooting knows he'll disappear in a greasy pink cloud within seconds of pulling the trigger.

    up-armouring the force will do nothing for dismounted patrols or blokes in camps being mortared - constantly manned artillery with counter-battery radars and robust ROE's however will.

    not having the wagons painted bright white would probably help as well...

    http://http://www.diy.com/nav/decor/...250ml-12067547

    B&Q do deliveries.
    Last edited by ropebag; 3rd September 2014 at 12:04.

  20. #565
    Lt Colonel Buck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    certainly, but the best defence is not to have someone shoot at you in the first place - and the best way to achieve that is if the guy thinking about doing the shooting knows he'll disappear in a greasy pink cloud within seconds of pulling the trigger.

    up-armouring the force will do nothing for dismounted patrols or blokes in camps being mortared - constantly manned artillery with counter-battery radars and robust ROE's however will.

    not having the wagons painted bright white would probably help as well...

    http://http://www.diy.com/nav/decor/...250ml-12067547

    B&Q do deliveries.
    To be honest, (in my opinion) I think they haven't gone for the cage armour because it could be seen as "too warry". Likewise with the camo paint. The paint isn't a massive issue - I think it's not the worst idea that they're very easily identifiable as UN vehicles - at the very least (and this is an extreme long shot), it may make the Israelis and Syrian Army think twice about firing. If either of those lads see camo armoured vehicles tooling around on hilltops near by, they might easily mistake them for rebels, they wouldn't have that excuse when they're UN white (not that that's stopped Israel before).

    And as for the fella shooting at you - I think that's a dead argument. We're talking about bucks that think that strapping a suicide vest to a ten year old and sending them to the nearest market is just gravy. Likewise, these are chaps that think that blowing themselves up or taking 12.7mm therapy is the best way to die. If they can fire off an RPG at a Mowag and die in the process, they're over the moon, our lads aren't.
    I knew a simple soldier boy.....
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    And no one spoke of him again.

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you'll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

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  22. #566
    Lt Colonel Buck's Avatar
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    I agree with a stronger ROE and counter batteries though.
    I knew a simple soldier boy.....
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    And no one spoke of him again.

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you'll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

  23. #567
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    You couldn't make this up - this fella is in charge of Irish soldiers out there:



    http://www.timesofisrael.com/filipino-force-defied-un-commander-in-golan-crisis/
    Last edited by Mick O'Toole; 3rd September 2014 at 13:37.
    www.twitter.com/mickthehack


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  25. #568
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick O'Toole View Post
    You couldn't make this up - this fella is in charge of Irish soldiers out there:



    http://www.timesofisrael.com/filipino-force-defied-un-commander-in-golan-crisis/
    the UN gets two types of senior officer on secondment - the type the donor country wants to show off, and the type the donor country wants to keep away from anything important.

    i wonder which bracket our freind falls into...

  26. #569
    Rittmeister Herald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick O'Toole View Post
    You couldn't make this up - this fella is in charge of Irish soldiers out there:



    http://www.timesofisrael.com/filipino-force-defied-un-commander-in-golan-crisis/
    It would be interesting to know who ordered the FMR out to rescue the first batch of Filipino troops, I believe the COS there is a Filipino Colonel, while the Mission Commander is Maj Gen Singh Singha.

  27. #570
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    The Israelis have vetoed heavy weapons before, on the basis that they might be used against them and their pals. Fortunately, some of the UNIFIL contingents ignored that and brought in the likes of TOW missiles and decent mortars...also, I'm not overly gone on bigging up the Mowags, which are essentially lightly-armed large white boxes and it might be no harm to add slat armour to them. Personally, I'd be a little more reassured if there was a 30mm Mowag there.

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  29. #571
    C/S Tempest's Avatar
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    Mistake to de-comission the AML90's without a replacement. They make people think twice.

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  31. #572
    Lt Colonel Buck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest View Post
    Mistake to de-comission the AML90's without a replacement. They make people think twice.
    The big gun is nice alright but surely they're a bit dated from the IED/RPG point of view?

    I'm speaking from a position of complete ignorance here btw (wouldn't be the first time says yous), but surely something more modern, albeit with a slightly smaller boomstick is a better option?
    I knew a simple soldier boy.....
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    And no one spoke of him again.

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you'll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

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  33. #573
    Viking HavocIRL's Avatar
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    I don't think I'm being unreasonable by saying I think everyone should be issued an Iron Man style exo-skeleton when headed overseas
    To close with and kill the enemy in all weather conditions, night and day and over any terrain

  34. #574
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    grrrrrrrrr.....

    whats that i hear you ask? its a great big fcuk off Leopard says i.

    (thats a 62 tonne Leopard 2A6 Main Battle Tank for those of you wondering if i've been at the crackpipe this morning...) @Mick O'Toole - if i was a curious chap, i might be interested to know why the Irish Ministry of Finance - err... i mean the Irish Army is one of the very few European Army's who undertake peacekeeping operations without taking a few hugely intimidating MBT's with them... i'm sure there's an excellent doctrinal explanation.

  35. #575
    Lt General Barry's Avatar
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    If the troops can't be adequately armed because of the mandate and won't be adequately led by UNDOF HQ then I'm not seeing why they should be there.

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