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  • Present Make Up of EU Battlegroup's

    General Affairs and External Relations Council


    (Source: Dutch Presidency of the European Union; issued Nov. 22, 2004)


    This is the final communique issued by the European Union’s General Affairs and External Relations Council, chaired by Dutch Minister of Defence Henk Kamp, at the conclusion of its Nov. 22 meeting in Brussels:


    1. The European Union has entered a new stage in the process of strengthening military capabilities for crisis management, launching initiatives such as on the Headline Goal 2010, the EU Battlegroups, the civil-military cell and establishing the European Defence Agency (EDA). These initiatives contribute to the implementation of the European Security Strategy, enabling the European Union to deal better with threats and global challenges and realising a more effective Common Foreign and Security Policy.

    2. Today the EU-member states have committed themselves to implement the new Headline Goal 2010. Commitments have been made to the EU battlegroups – a key element of the Headline Goal 2010 – thus ensuring Initial Operational Capability in 2005 and 2006 an paving the way for Full Operational Capability in 2007.

    3. The Battlegroups are at the forefront of capability improvement, providing the Union with credible, rapidly deployable, coherent force packages capable of stand-alone operations, or for the initial phase of larger operations. A Battlegroup will be associated with force headquarters and operational and strategic enablers, such as strategic lift. Interoperability and military effectiveness will be key criteria.

    4. The following Member States have indicated to commit to EU Battlegroups, formed as follows:

    -- France
    -- Italy
    -- Spain
    -- United Kingdom
    -- France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Spain
    -- France and Belgium
    -- Germany, the Netherlands and Finland
    -- Germany, Czech Republic and Austria
    -- Italy, Hungary and Slovenia
    -- Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal
    -- Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Latvia and Lithuania
    -- Sweden, Finland and including Norway as a third State
    -- United Kingdom and the Netherlands


    Niche capabilities: So far, the following Member States have offered niche capabilities in support of the EU Battlegroups:

    -- Cyprus (medical group)
    -- Lithuania (a water purification unit)
    -- Greece (the Athens Sealift Co-ordination Centre)
    -- France (structure of a multinational and deployable Force Headquarter)

    5. Member states are welcome to include the non EU European NATO countries, candidates for accesion and other potential partners in their Battlegroups.

    6. The EU Battlegroups Concept is complementary and mutually reinforcing with the NATO Response Force.

    7. The member states have commited themselves to address the remaining military shortfalls and to improve the capability development process, taking into account the role of the European Defence Agency and building on the ECAP evaluation.

    8. The member states also committed themselves to the use of the available assets, mechanisms and initiatives for strategic transport more effectively through the Global Approach on Deployability.

    9. Finally they have agreed to intensify the international military cooperation in order to improve European military capabilities.


    look's like everyone's got a dance partner but us!
    Dr. Venture: Why is it every time I need to get somewhere, we get waylaid by jackassery?

    Dr. Venture: Dean, you smell like a whore

  • #2
    Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal
    I'd love to see how effective this is going to be

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by andy
      I'd love to see how effective this is going to be
      your very cynical..........maybe the Italian's will prove us all wrong
      Dr. Venture: Why is it every time I need to get somewhere, we get waylaid by jackassery?

      Dr. Venture: Dean, you smell like a whore

      Comment


      • #4
        in one of yesterdays broadsheets they quoted the minister for defence who gave a long list of reasons why ireland may not take part in these battle groups . he was worried about high intensity combat and possibility of casualties, the possibility that irish soldiers may not be permitted to train in foriegn countries since they would be armed, the claim that such battlegroups would be able to deploy in 10 days or less put the triple lock process at risk and that the preferred partners ie norway , sweden and finland would prefer to form one themselves.seems excuses are already been offered if we pull out
        Anyone need a spleen ?

        Comment


        • #5
          see the dail reports on this section.


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

          Comment


          • #6
            EH, where's Ireland. i dont see them on that list (ok maybe im blind) havent we already committed to being a part of this. I know Willie O'Dea is sounding like hes preparing a load of excuses to not actually take part - no time for triple lock, cant train abroad, and cant have some one else train here, etc, etc but wasnt the investment in Mowags, (proposed or have they already been purchased) javelin missles, etc all based on our EURRF commitment (or what ever the abreviation is)

            Comment


            • #7
              There is of course, the unspoken option.

              That Ireland provides 1,500 personnel to the UNSAS & EUBG's.

              Outlandish?

              Cons:
              a) 850 to 1,500 is a huge step in commitment, both in terms of manpower, expenditure & future equipment.
              b) Logistically speaking, it presents a nightmare, as ireland has NO strategic lift (air/sea) assets.
              c) Politically, it may look unilateralist to EU partners and to the Irish electorate...

              Pros:
              1. the 1,500 commitment provides the DF with greater potential capability, both for peacekeeping & by extension national defence (due to greater training and equipment.)


              2. It may not be unfeasible ie. most strategic lift is provided by private contractors or the US at present. is it unrealistic to suppose that if ireland were to commit a BG that other states would pay the cost of transport, or even provide it in the US case? if so why? (qualify your answer with evidence.)

              3. Politically, it may be a very savvy move. the X3Lock may delay any JointBG that has Ireland in it which would be unacceptable -poltically & operationally. However an Irish only BG would not have these problems, as it would entirely depend on the X3Lock in ireland itself, so constraints on deployment would only affect the 'EIREBATG'
              (to coin a term)
              In addition, it allows Ireland the opt out of dodgy missions without affecting EU partners.

              4. training probelms do not arise, as no armed personnel come here or go abroad, only Logs & Command staff for EDA,Crsis cell & mission Command interopeability training.

              5. It would necessitate better equipment for the BG -which the DF very badly needs.
              In order to help the Irish BG would other states chip in?

              6. is it unreasonable to suggest this equipment increase?
              After all BG's would need to be tailored to fit. Let other BG's do the warfighting role, or provide Heavy forces, an EIREBATG would only need be Light roled & equiped - NB. stop thinking tanks and artillery, why not focus on say, an Infantry APC security group, and then integarted Medical [med. corps], mine clearing/EOD [ord corps] & Civil affairs/reconstruction[Eng./Trans.Corps] companies, [all so vital in the aftermath of crisis -or indeed an intervention to avert it]?
              NB. why automatically think mailed fist, when change in events may call for a lighter approach ie. the EIREBATG could furfil an " operational niche", (perhasp incorporating the other nations 'niche support contributions'?) which other heavier, warfighting BG would be unsuited to..........?

              7. is it unreasonable to suggest this manpower increase?
              The PDF STILL has a hell of a lot of fat on its bones - the 3 Brigade structure being the most salient. Moving to a :

              - 1 'Division/Brigade group' (5-6,000)
              + 1 'Battlegroup' sub-division/unit (1,500) [which could rotate every few years...]
              - DFTC (2,000)
              - DFHQ (?00)

              may be a better structure for the next re-org........
              After all, when not deployed the BG could act as a national asset e.g.s problems on the border, Peace process, foot & mouth = instant deployment of trained troops.

              Also the manpower could be met by better reliance on the RDF e.g. if the Scandanavian use conscripts, with better training courses RDF troops could almost certainly go. no?
              US &UK warfighting forces rely heavily on Reserve components now, why not an Irish peacekeeping force in the future?

              cost will be seen as an issue, but why would it be any different then in which ireland would be a partner nation, or indeed how different from the past UN missions/
              NB. this is not E.Timor & the massive(?) cost-distance factor involved there, this is within the reach of the European continent e.g Africa, Eurasia, Med. Sea & near East.
              in addition UN & EU collective deployment missions would be collectively funded. Of course if ireland had to met these costs alone, it would be unsustainable given the current DF expenditure environment - the point is it won't....

              Finally,
              The current 850 is the current agreed total, and typically shortsightedness will doubtless prevail thinking only of the next few financial years instaed of the longer term.....
              but, in terms of potential future operational & capability nexus, is this proposal (or variations of...) really that outlandish or beyond the possibilties of current/projected DF funding environemnt(s)?

              DISCUSS!
              Last edited by SPOOKY; 24 November 2004, 08:03.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by demog_man
                EH, where's Ireland. i dont see them on that list (ok maybe im blind) havent we already committed to being a part of this. I know Willie O'Dea is sounding like hes preparing a load of excuses to not actually take part - no time for triple lock, cant train abroad, and cant have some one else train here, etc, etc but wasnt the investment in Mowags, (proposed or have they already been purchased) javelin missles, etc all based on our EURRF commitment (or what ever the abreviation is)
                Ireland isn't there, because those are the actually formed BG's, we haven't decided who to be with yet, all those countries have, we're going to be stuck with the Brit's








                :wink:
                Dr. Venture: Why is it every time I need to get somewhere, we get waylaid by jackassery?

                Dr. Venture: Dean, you smell like a whore

                Comment


                • #9
                  Lets face it folks, who would want us in their BG as we have very little in terms of capability to offer. No air lift capabilities, no sea lift capabilities, very little in the way of defensive or offensive armour and worst of all a government that is unwilling to put the cash in to provide us with the tools.
                  After reading the discussion board for many months now its clear we need a minimum 18 ship navy with overseas support capability, more black hawks than the four currently being bought and more (newer) tracked armour. In reality the government needs to spend around an extra £2 billion over the next four years on each of the services to bring them up to scratch to operate in a battle group.
                  Remember 10,500 members in the defense forces that is a lot of votes in the next election, time this was made clear to the government.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Call me a dumbass, but why does a force of 8,500 have difficulty deploying 10% of their number?


                    One reason is because we are top heavy in administration. And that's an understatement.

                    The logical thing to do is designate units to form a Battle Group (or a Peace and love brigade), take them off all other tasks and train for deployment. But our muppets insist on forming ad hoc units.

                    Lets face it folks, who would want us in their BG

                    Apart from the Brits and the Germans, I wouldn't place too much faith in the capabilities of the others.

                    as we have very little in terms of capability to offer. No air lift capabilities, no sea lift capabilities, very little in the way of defensive or offensive armour

                    In a word. Infantry.
                    Last edited by Groundhog; 25 November 2004, 01:23.
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                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It does consist of that but in a much larger way, I use to be of the same opinion until I got to experience it first hand.

                      To be honest I wouldn't know where to start, the only way you can really can get to see the whole picture is to actually serve in the PDF. Only then will you truly see how bad things are but any questions you have ask and I'll do my best to answer.

                      The one thing I've learnt is that its always better to have than to want, because if you want then you've found yourself in a situation your not equipped or trained to deal with and that costs lives.
                      Death before Dishonour.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Back on topic...

                        Surely the most logical partners for us in this whole enterprise would be the BA. We share a language, have a similar outlook and temperament and we ripped their doctrine off wholesale to create our own. It's all very well talking about "non-aligned countries," but, with all due respect to the Swedes, Finns, Norwegians etc, we'd simply work better together with our nearest neighbours. Quite a sizeable minority of their armed forces comes from Ireland, FFS.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dont know what the swedes are like in liberia.But in kosovo as part of the Finnish/irish bg we had a motto "look good,do good".The finns looke good and we did all the work.They are useless.Much prefer to be in a all professional bg. :tri:
                          "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
                            I think it would be good for us, we get to serve with other E.U nations, get experience in dealing with them, learn valuable lessons in tactics etc and maybe we might get to exchange troops for training and things like that and aswell it gives us greater security, we may be "neutral" when it comes to looking at the small picture but we're part now of a diplomatic, economical and soon to be militaristic organisation i.e. the E.U, it's only a matter of time when Europe's combined economic strength rival's that of America, the big picture now, or soon to be is that Europe is slowly but surely becoming another superpower with the population and industrial capacity to fuel a large scale war(as always) and as history has thought us there can only be one superpower as with 2,3 or 4 conflict is bound to happen. In the 70's the E.U had a hell of alot of benefits to offer a small nation like us and naturally we took them, we took the money, the advisors,everything that was on offer, money's a precious thing and if its one thing a sovreign hates its losing financial security and if your part of an organisation that can provide such a service then I think its worth defending or at least organising a worth while reaction force, alot can be learned from it and its something this nations defence force should NOT miss out on

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The news articles today state that legally no more than 850 Irish troops can serve overseas ... that is incorrect. There is no mention of any maximum number in the Defence Acts (apart from if a contingent is 12 or less Dail approval isn't required).

                              The figure of 850 is Government policy under the UNSAS (UN Standby Arrangement Scheme). Whereby the Government has agreed to deploy up to that number on UN PSOs at any one time. When the last Irishbatt was with UNIFIL, the figure was more than that.

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