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Irishmilitaryonline.com Submission to Green Paper/White Paper on Defence

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  • Irishmilitaryonline.com Submission to Green Paper/White Paper on Defence

    As mentioned in a thread elsewhere, some of us think we could give as good a contribution to those preparing the next white paper on defence as anyone who contributed to the 2000-2010 paper.

    With that in mind can I beg the patience and assistance of the moderation and admin staff as I attempt to encourage the learned members of IMO to submit their suggestions on the future of the Irish Defence forces.

    In order for it to work the following rules could apply.
    1. Post according to the template, leave topics out if you wish, but stick to the template anyway.
    2. No discussion of contributions on this thread, hyperlink it to one of the other reorg threads
    3. "like" or "dislike" contributions as you see fit. Those with the most likes and least dislikes will go forward to a composite submission, when submissions are requested
    4. ALL Contributions, large or small are welcome.


    The fact is, the majority of us here have served or are serving in the Irish Defence forces, or in other Armed forces, we have a better insight than the average civvy beancounter. We are damned if the brass will seek the opinion of the troops on where they see the future of the DF, so this is how we give it to them.
    We have been arguing with each other for long enough about where we thing it should go. The more I talk to those outside the website, holding high ranks in the DF, the more I think what we shoot shit about here makes quite a lot of sense.
    We have been wrong on some things, but very right on others. (I'm claiming personal credit for the EPV).

    Now is the time for us to have a say in the future of OUR Defence Forces.

    The following post will detail the Chapters of the Last New Zealand White Paper. You can use it as a template when making your contribution. I have decided that as the last Irish one was a load of civil service waffle that was obsolete weeks after it was launched, I would not use it as a template.

    http://www.defence.govt.nz/pdfs/defe...aper-final.pdf

    Please take your time.
    Last edited by Goldie fish; 2 July 2012, 21:41.


    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

  • #2
    Are there any sacred cows/untouchables or is everything within the remit.

    Comment


    • #3
      Chapter 1: Executive Summary
      (Quick summary of what you propose)

      Chapter 2: National Security and Defence

      Chapter 3: Ireland and Europe's Strategic Outlook to 2025

      Chapter 4: Tasks for the Defence Forces

      Chapter 5: The Defence Forces Military Capabilities

      Chapter 6: A People-Centred Irish Defence Forces

      Chapter 7: Infrastructure

      Chapter 8: Affordability

      Chapter 9: Organisational Reform


      Everything is open for discussion.
      Last edited by Goldie fish; 9 February 2013, 20:44.


      Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Everything ? Even the proposed Hedgehog Pink Thong Army Holiday ?
        "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

        "No, they're trying to fly the tank"

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, how are the submissions coming folks? Looks like green Paper will be complete by the end of this month.....Or next month, depending on whether the minister is getting his nails done that day or not....


          Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

          Comment


          • #6
            The White Paper on Defence: In order to inform debate as part of the process to develop a new White Paper of Defence, the Minister for Defence initiated the preparation of a Green paper on Defence. In April 2012, a Memorandum for Government setting out the proposed approach and timeframe was circulated to Cabinet colleagues and subsequently approved by Government. A draft Green Paper is being finalised for the Ministers consideration. Subject to Government approval, the White Paper process will be initiated shortly with the publication of the Green Paper. Members of the public and other interested parties, including representative associations, will then be given their opportunity to submit their views on Defence policy and Defence provision. The new White Paper on Defence will be prepared and published by end 2013.

            http://www.defence.ie/WebSite.nsf/Pu...9?openDocument


            Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

            Comment


            • #7
              The Government is set to embark on a formal review of its defence policy, a process with potential for friction between Fine Gael and Labour over the role of the United Nations in Irish military missions.
              Well-placed Government sources said Minister for Defence Alan Shatter would bring a Green Paper on defence to Cabinet next Tuesday, the first official step in the policy review. A Green Paper is essentially a detailed discussion document, leading later to firm policy proposals in a White paper.
              One of the prime items to be tackled in the Green Paper is the “triple lock” under which the Defence Forces cannot deploy large missions abroad without the approval of the Government, the Dáil and a UN mandate.

              Divisions
              The divisions within the Coalition on this front are recognised by senior sources within the Government.
              Although Fine Gael campaigned in the 2011 election to remove the triple lock, Labour took precisely the opposite view and argued in the final phase of the campaign that an overall majority for Fine Gael would undermine Irish neutrality.
              The looming Cabinet discussion is therefore sensitive. While the 2011 programme for government is silent on the matter of the triple lock, it now falls to the two Coalition parties to decide whether to retain, recast or scrap it.
              In its election manifesto, Fine Gael said the triple lock must be modified to allow Ireland participate in peacekeeping missions. Labour’s manifesto said it was committed to retaining each element of the mechanism.
              Fine Gael said at that time that the failure of the UN Security Council to pass a resolution should not prevent Ireland from taking part in EU humanitarian and overseas missions. “We believe that Irish troops should be capable at short notice, if requested, to assist in emergency relief efforts at times of humanitarian crises.”
              The Green Paper is believed to tease out such issues. Among the questions to be settled is whether powers such as Russia or China, whose foreign policy can be glaringly at odds with Ireland’s, wield an indirect but improper influence over Irish policy if they veto security council resolutions.
              Any veto of a resolution by either of these countries – or from any other member of the security council – is sufficient to block the Defence Forces from joining missions abroad even if the Government and the Dáil have expressly given the go-ahead for participation.

              EU-led missions
              The imminent debate over the triple lock feeds into discussion over Ireland’s participation in EU-led military missions. It is only if an EU mission is deployed under a UN mandate that Ireland can consider joining.
              For example, Ireland was unable to take part in the EU peacekeeping force deployed to Macedonia because the force was not mandated through a UN resolution, even though it had UN and EU support.
              By instinct at least, Fine Gael is enthusiastic about becoming fully involved in the development of a new European security system. The party’s 2011 manifesto argued for the power to join such a system “and influence it on our terms”.
              This included seeking the right to opt in and out of aspects of a mutual defence and security system on a case-by-case basis.
              Labour’s manifesto called for reform of the procedures and structures of the security council, including recognition of the EU’s international standing. It argued against Ireland participating in international mutual defence alliances in line with a policy of “positive neutrality”
              http://www.irishtimes.com/news/polit...view-1.1438999

              Comment


              • #8
                My 2c
                Chapter 1: Executive Summary
                Neutrality is a dead issue, as is the Triple Lock. They are sacred cows, reflexively clung to with no real thought as to purpose or consequences. Even NATO member states retain a veto over missions they deploy to and use of their forces within those missions. Ireland needs to play a full role in a common European defence structure because we and increasingly all other EU states lack the resources to develop the full range of military capabilities. Only by being prepared to contribute can we hope to influence decision making at an EU level, and only through an alliance can we adequately secure our state against future threats. History has shown that a complacent state cannot recognise the build-up to an international crisis in time to organise effective defences. Ireland should focus on patrolling and controlling our seas. The naval service should be the prime focus for investment, the army equipped as a light expeditionary force, ready to operate alongside, and avail of the assests of, our European allies while being well enough equipped in the light role to actually be an asset to those allies. The air corps either needs to acquire a limited air defence capacity, or become a helicopter force dedicated to moving the army.


                Chapter 2: National Security and Defence
                The defence of Ireland depends on our neighbours. Our interests are in having friendly, stable democracies in Europe and any threat to the security and stability of our neighbours is a threat to Ireland. The defence of the state begins as far from our borders as possible so while the Defence Forces must train for the contingency of defending the state from external aggression, we must ensure we never have to do so alone. Ireland's primary defence policy should be to take the responsibility of securing the seas around our state to protect our own and Europe's economic and security interests in the vast area of the North Atlantic in which we are best placed to play a role. Other defensive needs are contingencies, control of the sea is a duty we cannot ignore. Therefore the naval service should be seen as the most important part of our national defence.


                Chapter 3: Ireland and Europe's Strategic Outlook to 2025
                By sea, increasing risk of drug shipment and perhaps refugees. Instability in North Africa and the Middle East will continue, intervention may be required for the security of the EU. Russia is likely to continue to be a wild card in his timeframe and as economic and population problems continue, is a risk to the security of the middle east and the eastern EU. Europe will have little say or ability to affect events outside of these areas, as China and India will continue to increase in reach and influence.


                Chapter 4: Tasks for the Defence Forces
                1. National defence in time of war is a contingency, but must remain the prime task of the Defence Forces if the capacity fulfil this role is not to be lost. If the military is not at all times trained and ready to take aggressive action against a threat, it has no purpose.
                2. The defence of the security of the European Union is inseparable from the national defence. Ireland could not hope to stand alone.
                3. Assisting the Garda Siochana where required to maintain the internal securityvof the state.
                4. Peace-keeping, crisis management and humanitarian relief in support of our *responsiblities to a common EU defence structure and the United Nations.
                5. Miscellaneous support to the civil power in terms of disaster relief and maintainence of essential services in the state.


                Chapter 5: The Defence Forces Military Capabilities
                The naval service has the primary role in defence of the state in a contingency and the ongoing protection of fisheries and drug interdiction. It is not expected to operate alone or take primary offensive action in a war situation, so should be maintained as a patrol service, with the capacity for ASW, mine sweeping and limited air defence.
                The army should be organised as a light expeditionary force capable of deployment at short notice overseas, trained and equipped to a high standard. Individual skills and operational training up to battalion level can be achieved domestically, the army should train alongside allied forces at home and abroad to develop and maintain the capacity to operate at brigade level. The army is a light infantry force, equipped for mobile warfare either in AFVs or as heliborne infantry. The army should be able to deploy and support a brigade with artillery support but expect and train to operate with support of allies. This should not require numbers greater than already maintained.
                Effective air defence of the state cannot be practically achieved with current or expected economic conditions. While it would be ideal to have the capacity to mount combat air patrols or interdiction in the case of an airborne intrusion, either military or terrorist, such a role could also be fulfilled by having allied forces stationed in Ireland. The Air Corps could more usefully concentrate on troop transport, medivac and SAR. If close air support or interception is not envisaged, the Air Corps should be a helicopter force tasked only to support of the army and naval service with fixed wing aircraft either being transport or maritime patrol craft. ( You don't need a Pilatus to train to fly cargo or ministers).*


                Chapter 6: A People-Centred Irish Defence Forces
                You've got me here. Involvement in the community? Profile amongst the population?


                Chapter 7: Infrastructure
                Fewer barracks, centralised training, updated firing ranges. At the same time, the capacity to host allied units training on a regular basis in the state.


                Chapter 8: Affordability
                A dangerous question with this state's history. Either we do this, or ask someone else to do it for us and stop wasting time. I would argue, perhaps just to make a point, that at present everything not spent on the naval service is a waste of money because we cannot use the military to either sell arms or give effect to foreign policy. then again, insurance is always wasted until you claim. I believe that money has to be spent to create an effective defence force in order for any defence investment to be worthwhile. However use of reserves is the best way to create capacity while limiting costs.


                Chapter 9: Organisational Reform
                Reserves: either increase their number to twice or thrice the PDF and use them, or get rid of them.
                If they are to be eliminated, the PDF must remain officer and NCO heavy to permit expansion of the defence forces in a contingency.
                Last edited by expat01; 22 June 2013, 13:00.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Dont tell me expat.You are navy or ex yeah??
                  "Let us be clear about three facts. First, all battles and all wars are won in the end by the infantryman. Secondly, the infantryman always bears the brunt. His casualties are heavier, he suffers greater extremes of discomfort and fatigue than the other arms. Thirdly, the art of the infantryman is less stereotyped and far harder to acquire in modern war than that of any other arm." ------- Field Marshall Wavell, April 1945.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by apod View Post
                    Dont tell me expat.You are navy or ex yeah??
                    its not an unreasonable veiw - Irelands borders are maritime in nature, and as many of the Irish soldiers on this board who have served in post-conflict operations worldwide can testify, the damage to a countrys infrastructure and population incured in battles that country has 'won' don't look like much of a victory.

                    the only battles worth winning are those you win a looong way from your borders. if you fight a battle on your territory, the state of the place afterwards makes it hard to tell who won.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by apod View Post
                      Dont tell me expat.You are navy or ex yeah??
                      Nope. Ex-RDF - infantry and proud of it.
                      But being realistic, the navy is the only service ever likely to play a domestic role beyond ATCP. Indeed, it does so. So it should get the lion's share of a grown-up defence budget.
                      As for the army: Unlike Britain Ireland is, was and always will be utterly indefensible if the neighbouring landmasses are in hostile hands. Ireland faces the same situation permanently as Britain did in WW2: If they can get here and resupply, we've lost the war. Britain has a depth of territory stretching north from the nearest landmass. Ireland is smaller and faces our nearest neighbour along the length of our coast. There is no way to "bottle up" our southern approaches from Europe as Britain can.

                      That said, the army is the force with which we can play a role in international affairs and deal with threats to our interests before they come knocking. The Irish army should always plan to fight as far away from our shores as the threat can be identified, with lots of big buddies. It's in our interest to do so - it was utter stupidity not to join Britain in WW2, and only the complete naval unpreparedness of Germany, plus the shift to Russia, saved our bacon. We also missed out on serious funding and goodwill in the years after the war, all for the lack of a brigade to deploy.

                      Yeesh. Never reply after a bottle of wine.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Why does everyone always think we are neutral? Even the Government?!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          But being realistic, the navy is the only service ever likely to play a domestic role beyond ATCP. Indeed, it does so. So it should get the lion's share of a grown-up defence budget.


                          That said, the army is the force with which we can play a role in international affairs and deal with threats to our interests before they come knocking. The Irish army should always plan to fight as far away from our shores as the threat can be identified, with lots of big buddies. It's in our interest to do so - it was utter stupidity not to join Britain in WW2, and only the complete naval unpreparedness of Germany, plus the shift to Russia, saved our bacon. We also missed out on serious funding and goodwill in the years after the war, all for the lack of a brigade to deploy.
                          You want to have your cake and eat it mate.Give the navy the lions share of the funding but still expect the Army to be expeditionary.You dont seem to have a realistic grasp of how much that costs or why we have an Army for domestic operations.
                          "Let us be clear about three facts. First, all battles and all wars are won in the end by the infantryman. Secondly, the infantryman always bears the brunt. His casualties are heavier, he suffers greater extremes of discomfort and fatigue than the other arms. Thirdly, the art of the infantryman is less stereotyped and far harder to acquire in modern war than that of any other arm." ------- Field Marshall Wavell, April 1945.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by apod View Post
                            You want to have your cake and eat it mate.Give the navy the lions share of the funding but still expect the Army to be expeditionary. You dont seem to have a realistic grasp of how much that costs or why we have an Army for domestic operations.
                            "Expeditionary" was meant as a description of what I see as current reality, not a future wish. Our military operations take place overseas, and I see no chance of that ever changing. I don't think my grasp of the situation is unrealistic at all. Let me elaborate. I think we need to stop wasting our defence budget by either spending enough to do what we claim, or get some allies to take up the slack. Whatever we spend, we get most use from the naval service. That should be the focus. The army comes second. I may have implied that we should be able to deploy a brigade continuously, but that wasn't my intention - I meant that at a pinch, if SHTF, we should be able to field a brigade - and never alone.

                            I simply suggest we get honest about what it is we actually do. If deploying (at most) a brigade overseas is too much, well then lets keep it to a battalion.
                            But then we don't need two brigades at home. I could argue that the army has no domestic purpose at all....
                            (1) It never had the funding to be a credible deterrent to an external enemy and,
                            (2) no domestic security responsibilities have been undertaken by the DF since 1945 except gendarmerie roles easily done by an armed police force.
                            So in point of fact, no: I don't see why we have an army for domestic operations except that the Gardai prefer to be seen as unarmed.

                            Of course, I'm exaggerating to make a point; a threat existed between 1969 and the Good Friday agreement which made the army a very useful thing to have, but that threat never escalated within this state beyond the capacity of a police force to contain, with perhaps some minor militia backup. Now even that threat has receded.
                            So I put it to you that unless the army has a role overseas as part of an alliance, it has no purpose whatsoever apart from Easter parades.
                            Last edited by expat01; 22 June 2013, 22:44.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Over 70% of the DF budget is wages, if you want a bigger NS and or AC you have to cut the size of the army.

                              The Government use the DF in ATCP because 1 soldier can be ordered to do the same job as it would take 2/3 armed GS because a soldier can be orders to work 24/7 and the GS work shifts. Also the DF already has weapons and training so there is also a cost saving there.

                              Comment

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