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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by sofa View Post
    Number of years back 80s I think, Our old Congo foe the Belgium's caught a Irish priest red handed with detonators for supply to your own terrorist. For some reason the Belgium's wanted rid of him fast, so they stuck him in the back of a C130 with a number of troops (Think in case of a British intercept ) With the intension of dumping him back here. We did not have the ability to detect or stop them doing it.
    Not sure what happened in the end.?
    I believe it was Parkray timers (a small mechanical time about the size of a watch face) he got caught with...a suitcase full of them.

    They were used in the manufacture of TPU's and UVBT's.

    The loyalists couldn't source them...so they used mechanical egg timers in their devices...

    Edit to add this link... http://sydvintage.tumblr.com/post/45...ought-this-was

    He calls them memo-park...they were always parkray to me...or maybe I'm losing the plot...
    Last edited by spider; 5th April 2018 at 18:33.
    'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

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  3. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by spider View Post
    I believe it was Parkray timers (a small mechanical time about the size of a watch face) he got caught with...a suitcase full of them.

    They were used in the manufacture of TPU's and UVBT's.

    The loyalists couldn't source them...so they used mechanical egg timers in their devices...

    Edit to add this link... http://sydvintage.tumblr.com/post/45...ought-this-was

    He calls them memo-park...they were always parkray to me...or maybe I'm losing the plot...
    His name was Patrick Ryan, he was a priest with the pallotine order. Basically the Belgians were afraid that he'd die on them when he went in hunger strike after they arrested him for ira activities do they stuck him in a c130 and flew him to Dublin, seemingly the plane had a bunch of Belgian commandos on board in case the raf tried to intercept it. He was never extradited to the u.k I met him about ten years ago at a probation service conference when he was working with traveller groups in the Dublin area

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  5. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul g View Post
    His name was Patrick Ryan, he was a priest with the pallotine order. Basically the Belgians were afraid that he'd die on them when he went in hunger strike after they arrested him for ira activities do they stuck him in a c130 and flew him to Dublin, seemingly the plane had a bunch of Belgian commandos on board in case the raf tried to intercept it. He was never extradited to the u.k I met him about ten years ago at a probation service conference when he was working with traveller groups in the Dublin area
    Nice to see he was doing his bit for society...
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

  6. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul g View Post
    His name was Patrick Ryan, he was a priest with the pallotine order. Basically the Belgians were afraid that he'd die on them when he went in hunger strike after they arrested him for ira activities do they stuck him in a c130 and flew him to Dublin, seemingly the plane had a bunch of Belgian commandos on board in case the raf tried to intercept it. He was never extradited to the u.k I met him about ten years ago at a probation service conference when he was working with traveller groups in the Dublin area

    Thanks for the reply.

    To me its one example why we should be able to put a least one intercepter in to our airspace

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  8. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    Nice to see he was doing his bit for society...
    Sarcasm I presume, he still hated the English with a passion

  9. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishrgr View Post
    Great debate all, Dev, I agree with your point of "can be we neutral anymore". That's my assertion, the traditional definition of neutrality in the 21st century is largely irrelevant when the threat is trans-national, non government actors. Regardless of where you are in the world and what your status is, the bad actors simply see westerners (infidels or whatever as pointed out above), not "Irish peacekeepers". The people with the guns and IED's don't go "hold on, don't fire, sure it's just the Irish, they're not colonials", I would suggest they don't really care at that point.
    And yet we're successfully serving with the UN in places like Lebanon and Syria, as we have been for decades, disproving your point.

    As regards Joining a "gang", yes, the big guys in the gang will always have more of a say, be it NATO or the EU (in it's various forms) or whatever. I suggest being a member of the alliance is better than not. If you are in the club, at least you have some degree of influence and say in matters as opposed to shouting from the outside.
    We will have no say, but be compelled to go along with whatever the big powers decide (like the disaster that was Iraq). This is not an improvement from our point of view.

    Whatever got us to this point, WWII, War of Independence, fine, noted, now lets move on. Declan Powers article was a good analysis, talking about the issue is fairly spot on, although I'm still opposed to the triple lock, it's silly. It's letting the UN security council dictate our foreign policy, the Dail should decide on Irish military deployments, no one else.
    Powers' 'analysis' had numerous logical and factual flaws, let's not puff it up too much here.

    And let's recognise that what you're specifically endorsing is that in the matter of war, we should allow NATO to decide for us, instead of only getting involved in situations recognised by the international community as being of concern to everyone. What you're suggesting is that we surrender our independent foreign policy to whatever motivates the American president of the day (see current example).

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  11. #57
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    Ireland does not have an independent foreign policy. Apart from anything else, it allows all the permanent members of the UN Security Council (France, China, Russia, UK, USA) a veto on where it deploys it's armed forces, regardless of the will of the Dail.

    Mind you, this might be a rather convenient and cynical cop-out, as there will be very little of real geopolitical importance, requiring an (expensive) input into anywhere there is a real risk of prolonged msjor fighting that one or other permenant member will not veto.
    Last edited by Flamingo; 9th April 2018 at 16:06.
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

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  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaithiDub View Post
    And let's recognise that what you're specifically endorsing is that in the matter of war, we should allow NATO to decide for us, instead of only getting involved in situations recognised by the international community as being of concern to everyone. What you're suggesting is that we surrender our independent foreign policy to whatever motivates the American president of the day (see current example).
    Article 5 of the NATO Treaty only obliges that when one nation is militarily attacked that it is considered an attack on all, it is a mutual DEFENCE pact. It does not mean that if the US or the UK decide to invade another country that NATO goes along with it. The Germans were nowhere to be seen during the first Gulf War with Iraq. The French famously stayed at home for the second Gulf War . Each nation big or small has the right to join such actions but they are never forced too. And before anyone brings up ISAF, this was not a NATO action, it was an action which was placed under the command of NATO. A technical but vital difference.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    Ireland does not have an independent foreign policy. Apart from anything else, it allows all the permanent members of the UN Security Council (France, China, Russia, UK, USA) a veto on where it deploys it's armed forces, regardless of the will of the Dail.
    The Security Council and the UN General Assembly are infinitely preferable to getting caught up in Anglo-American disasters like Iraq, which the rest of the world saw coming.

    Mind you, this might be a rather convenient and cynical cop-out, as there will be very little of real geopolitical importance, requiring an (expensive) input into anywhere there is a real risk of prolonged msjor fighting that one or other permenant member will not veto.
    Yeah, yeah, whatever. We'll stick with the UN, you can keep NATO, and let's weigh up where the moral authority lies in the respective histories of both organisations, shall we?

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaithiDub View Post
    The Security Council and the UN General Assembly are infinitely preferable to getting caught up in Anglo-American disasters like Iraq, which the rest of the world saw coming.



    Yeah, yeah, whatever. We'll stick with the UN, you can keep NATO, and let's weigh up where the moral authority lies in the respective histories of both organisations, shall we?
    I don’t really care if Ireland joins NATO or not. But waving the “Neutrality” card and claiming the moral high ground from it as a cover for simple laziness and lack of moral courage by the political class and those who elect them is simple hypocrisy.
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

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  17. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    I don’t really care if Ireland joins NATO or not. But waving the “Neutrality” card and claiming the moral high ground from it as a cover for simple laziness and lack of moral courage by the political class and those who elect them is simple hypocrisy.
    Apparently you do care, or there wouldn't be all this pontificating about how we have a 'lack of moral courage' (need to join NATO) etc.
    Last edited by DaithiDub; 9th April 2018 at 17:43.

  18. #62
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    The North Atlantic Treaty actually isn’t inconsistent with Bunreacht na hEireann in that it recognises that disputes should be solved in a peaceful manner.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaithiDub View Post
    We will have no say, but be compelled to go along with whatever the big powers decide
    NATO uses consensus decision making - all decisions have to be acceptable to all (there is no voting)

    And let's recognise that what you're specifically endorsing is that in the matter of war, we should allow NATO to decide for us, instead of only getting involved in situations recognised by the international community as being of concern to everyone. What you're suggesting is that we surrender our independent foreign policy to whatever motivates the American president of the day (see current example).
    see above plus NATO is purely for self defence.

    You’ll say what about Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan..... all authorised by the UN

    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    Ireland does not have an independent foreign policy. Apart from anything else, it allows all the permanent members of the UN Security Council (France, China, Russia, UK, USA) a veto on where it deploys it's armed forces, regardless of the will of the Dail.

    Mind you, this might be a rather convenient and cynical cop-out, as there will be very little of real geopolitical importance, requiring an (expensive) input into anywhere there is a real risk of prolonged msjor fighting that one or other permenant member will not veto.
    Incorrect, the UNSC decides where it would be possible for use to deploy troops overseas (should the Government and Dail wish to).

    To look at it another way, often before a war there will be trade sanctions in the lead up to it..... that is an EU competency!

    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    Article 5 of the NATO Treaty only obliges that when one nation is militarily attacked that it is considered an attack on all, it is a mutual DEFENCE pact. It does not mean that if the US or the UK decide to invade another country that NATO goes along with it. The Germans were nowhere to be seen during the first Gulf War with Iraq. The French famously stayed at home for the second Gulf War . Each nation big or small has the right to join such actions but they are never forced too. And before anyone brings up ISAF, this was not a NATO action, it was an action which was placed under the command of NATO. A technical but vital difference.
    +1

    And mutual defence doesn’t say it has to be armed aid either “....will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking ...such action at deemed necessary, including the use of armed force....”


    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    I don’t really care if Ireland joins NATO or not. But waving the “Neutrality” card and claiming the moral high ground from it as a cover for simple laziness and lack of moral courage by the political class and those who elect them is simple hypocrisy.
    which as often as not isn’t even a statement of condemnation

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  20. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    The North Atlantic Treaty actually isn’t inconsistent with Bunreacht na hEireann in that it recognises that disputes should be solved in a peaceful manner.

    NATO uses consensus decision making - all decisions have to be acceptable to all (there is no voting)

    I wonder. NATO themselves say on their website that they reserve the right to go it alone with making war on other parties, outside of any international sanction (such as the UN).

    As to whether or not it's an American-run organisation, I'm old enough to remember how NATO stocks were able to be opened to the British, on the QT, during the Falklands War by the US.

  21. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaithiDub View Post
    I wonder. NATO themselves say on their website that they reserve the right to go it alone with making war on other parties, outside of any international sanction (such as the UN).

    As to whether or not it's an American-run organisation, I'm old enough to remember how NATO stocks were able to be opened to the British, on the QT, during the Falklands War by the US.
    Only fair that America gave permission to release head on attack sparrow missiles from stocks as France supplied Exocets to the other side.

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  23. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by sofa View Post
    Only fair that America gave permission to release head on attack sparrow missiles from stocks as France supplied Exocets to the other side.
    The Argentinians really should have equipped and used them off their British-supplied Type 42s.

  24. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaithiDub View Post
    Apparently you do care, or there wouldn't be all this pontificating about how we have a 'lack of moral courage' (need to join NATO) etc.
    Please show me where I said Ireland need to join NATO?

    What I have said is that certain people in Ireland wave “Neutrality” as a banner without having any idea what it means, and a large minority just think “Neutrality” means “being against the Brits and the Yanks”. You obviously fall into that camp.
    Last edited by Flamingo; 9th April 2018 at 21:57.
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

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  26. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaithiDub View Post
    We will have no say, but be compelled to go along with whatever the big powers decide (like the disaster that was Iraq). This is not an improvement from our point of view.
    Neither France nor Germany got involved in Iraq in 2003 and one of the biggest demonstrations to take place in Ireland in the last 20 years was against the Iraq war in 2003 - so I don't believe it follows that NATO membership at that time would have made our involvement inevitable; Article 5 was not invoked.

    Given what's been said on this board about why the Irish ISAF contingent wasn't significantly larger - the State (apparently?) proposed a considerable contingent to begin with, but could not provide the commensurate equipment and logistical support so it wasn't wanted - I don't see how it would have been any different for Iraq.

    So we sat happily, non-aligned, not compelled to join in - while US troops went back and forth from said disaster via Shannon airport. So was that going along with whatever the big powers decide, or was that a further expression of traditional policy of neutrality?

    As to US support for the UK during the Falklands - their ties run a lot deeper than NATO and to suggest that their support was wholly or even, mainly, contingent on the UK's NATO membership is a stretch.

    I'm realistic about what NATO membership would mean and I don't think membership is a possibility unless there's a palpable external threat from another State, which hopefully will remain a very remote possibility.

    I think the best route to a better equipped DF is closer Defence integration with fellow EU states and, post Brexit, a realistic and mature relationship with our neighbours - we share the same neighbourhood, share a boundary and like any neighbours, have a responsibility to each other.

    We'll see where it goes.
    Last edited by pym; 9th April 2018 at 22:13.

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  28. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    Please show me where I said Ireland need to join NATO?

    What I have said is that certain people in Ireland wave “Neutrality” as a banner without having any idea what it means
    You specifically claimed that the traditional Irish policy of neutrality/non-alignment (take your pick) showed a 'lack of moral courage'. Which military alliance can we possibly be being castigated for not joining, here, if not NATO?

    and a large minority just think “Neutrality” means “being against the Brits and the Yanks”. You obviously fall into that camp.
    Well, that escalated quickly.

  29. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by pym View Post
    So was that going along with whatever the big powers decide, or was that a further expression of traditional policy of neutrality?
    I'd call it an 'expression of cute hoorism', and I think few would argue with that.

    As to US support for the UK during the Falklands - their ties run a lot deeper than NATO and to suggest that their support was wholly or even, mainly, contingent on the UK's NATO membership is a stretch.
    No, what I meant was that it showed how much real control the US has on that organisation, that NATO arms could be given to the UK for use in their own colonial war outside of Europe in 1982, quietly or not (this was well before NATO started deploying to faraway places like Afghanistan in the 2000s).

  30. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaithiDub View Post
    You specifically claimed that the traditional Irish policy of neutrality/non-alignment (take your pick) showed a 'lack of moral courage'. Which military alliance can we possibly be being castigated for not joining, here, if not NATO?

    .
    Not being neutral doesn’t mean joining an alliance, it just means you don’t take sides in a particular conflict

  31. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaithiDub View Post
    I'd call it an 'expression of cute hoorism', and I think few would argue with that.
    I think that's the heart of any argument about the morality of our position: we are aligned, we're not NATO members, we are not bound by mutual defence clauses, but our interests are bound up with those of the EU, the UK and US - whether we like it or not.

    So we should be honest about that and confront the narrative that we've ever really had, or could have sustained, a traditional policy of neutrality.

    Things could have been very different:

    The deciding factor in not joining NATO in 1949 was partition, not neutrality. A separate military alliance with the US was sought.

    If we'd actually aggressively enforced neutrality during WW2 (like the Swiss) our Statehood would likely have been a very short, very bloody, failed experiment, which probably would have ended at some point between 1939 and 1942.

    I'm not arguing for joining NATO, but at the same time I think it's practically impossible for our State to be genuinely neutral or non-aligned.
    Last edited by pym; 9th April 2018 at 23:56.

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  33. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by pym View Post
    I think that's the heart of any argument about the morality of our position: we are aligned, we're not NATO members, we are not bound by mutual defence clauses, but our interests are bound up with those of the EU, the UK and US - whether we like it or not.
    Our interests as a small, sovereign nation are represented by the ideals of the UN, and we have put generations of Irish soldiers into blue berets to defend those principles. There is no reason to change that posture.

    You mention 'interests [...] of the EU, the UK and US', which is a topic that deserves to be unpacked and examined in its own right. Questions need to be asked as to what's going on when (for example) the UK is on its second and third wars in a century in places which border no part of the UK, where there are no UK citizens living, and which had not attacked or invaded any part of the UK. Where is the Irish interest in wars involving parts of the former British empire? Where do you propose we draw the line? The US's interests have led it around South and Central America, into the Middle and Far East, and to who knows how many other places. Most of those conflicts they didn't even bother with the declaration of war. Are those really our interests, as a post-colonial state which needs to strongly assert the sovereignty of small nations? The same can be said of the French, the Spanish and the Belgians (whom we've actually fought in the Congo, under UN colours).

    So we should be honest about that and confront the narrative that we've ever really had, or could have sustained, a traditional policy of neutrality.
    I'll return to this at the end.

    Things could have been very different:

    The deciding factor in not joining NATO in 1949 was partition, not neutrality. A separate military alliance with the US was sought.
    But by the same token, the impetus to join then was anti-Communism, now gone (and we now know how weak the Warsaw Pact threat actually was). Nobody can seriously suggest that Russia could mount and sustain a general invasion of Europe these days, much less win. They can barely sail their one remaining old aircraft carrier to the Med and back.

    If we'd actually aggressively enforced neutrality during WW2 (like the Swiss) our Statehood would likely have been a very short, very bloody, failed experiment, which probably would have ended at some point between 1939 and 1942.
    Here we come up against excessive Irish navel-gazing though, and the topic of European neutrals needs to be examined in greater depth than just what relationship we have/had with the Brits. The Swiss themselves had a 'certain consideration' for some of the belligerents, as did the other neutrals such as Sweden (we were perhaps unique in having two old foes facing each other - De Valera and the malevolently anti-Irish Churchill).

    I'm not arguing for joining NATO, but at the same time I think it's practically impossible for our State to be genuinely neutral or non-aligned.
    I'm not at all arguing against the 'cute hoorism' foreign policy. Not getting caught between much bigger, warring factions is key to the survival prospects of small states, and we have successfully stuck to that strategy for about a century. Our path to staying out of becoming roadkill for the 'powers' is to avoid becoming glommed on to their alliances and disputes, which they have all shown, time and time again, to have very little to do with morality or principle.
    Last edited by DaithiDub; 10th April 2018 at 01:02.

  34. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by sofa View Post
    Only fair that America gave permission to release head on attack sparrow missiles from stocks as France supplied Exocets to the other side.
    I remember the issue: the FAA stated with 9 Bravos and finally got the 9 Lima missiles to allow head-on attack

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  36. #74
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    We are aligned even if we don’t want to be we are geographically in the Western Hemisphere, a predominately Christian State, a democracy, an Irish brand of capitalism and socialism, an EU member state, a small open economy etc

    Regional stability and security is absolutely essential to us and our economy. We need peace and security within the general EU area and places we wish to trade with.

    That means is many ways - our interests are the same as the UK, the US, the EU, the OSCE, NATO, the UN etc. Not because they are there interests but because they are mutual interests.

    It doesn’t mean that every single decision those States make is in our interests, many will be, many won’t be

    Putin is trying is attempting to retain/regain Russia’s sphere of influence in generally speaking former Soviet states, including small states on his borders.

    We are living in dangerous times. IMHO what makes them all the more dangerous is social media - Government by tweet gets the sound bite but it is usually based on off the cuff remarks, on not all the facts, and you can’t fully explain your position due to its nature - doesn’t matter if it Trump, Leo or Putin. When your talking about international relations things can change rapidly.
    Last edited by DeV; 10th April 2018 at 07:52.

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  38. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    We are aligned even if we don’t want to be we are geographically in the Western Hemisphere, a predominately Christian State, a democracy, an Irish brand of capitalism and socialism, an EU member state, a small open economy etc
    There's a lot of stretching there, not least on the 'Christian' and 'Irish brand of capitalism and socialism' fronts, which seem like something that FG or FF would come up with.

    Regional stability and security is absolutely essential to us and our economy. We need peace and security within the general EU area and places we wish to trade with.

    That means is many ways - our interests are the same as the UK, the US, the EU, the OSCE, NATO, the UN etc. Not because they are there interests but because they are mutual interests.
    Still we don't know what these interests may be, unless you're referring to the invasion of oil-producing nations, which isn't the UN's thing historically. How is joining military alliances going to further any of them? I'm not being facetious here - you're steering very close to the classic 'trade' excuse (along with 'civilisation') for European empires back in the day, which could be made to stand for just about any military action up to and including full invasion.

    It doesn’t mean that every single decision those States make is in our interests, many will be, many won’t be
    Fine. Entirely nothing to do with us, and we can't stop them either way. Let them at it without our being held responsible for something we don't control and won't be initiating.

    Putin is trying is attempting to retain/regain Russia’s sphere of influence in generally speaking former Soviet states, including small states on his borders.
    Which, you'll note, they all do. Looking at Russia specifically though, we see them actively supporting and encouraging the partitioning off of bits of formerly-ruled states, where Russian minorities may happen to be able to gerrymander themselves local majorities, with deniable armed 'concerned citizens' there to do the dirty work... remind you of anyone, in an Irish context?

    We are living in dangerous times. IMHO what makes them all the more dangerous is social media - Government by tweet gets the sound bite but it is usually based on off the cuff remarks, on not all the facts, and you can’t fully explain your position due to its nature - doesn’t matter if it Trump, Leo or Putin. When your talking about international relations things can change rapidly.
    I really think you're reaching here. Social media won't make that Russian aircraft carrier any less leaky.
    Last edited by DaithiDub; 10th April 2018 at 19:58.

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