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  1. #1
    Tim Horgan Goldie fish's Avatar
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    Exclamation 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; 2nd July 2012 at 22:41.


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

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  3. #2
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    Are there any sacred cows/untouchables or is everything within the remit.

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  5. #3
    Tim Horgan Goldie fish's Avatar
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    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; 9th February 2013 at 21:44.


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

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    Lord Chief Bottlewasher trellheim's Avatar
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    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"

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  8. #5
    Tim Horgan Goldie fish's Avatar
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    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.

  9. #6
    Tim Horgan Goldie fish's Avatar
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    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.

  10. #7
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    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

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  12. #8
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    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; 22nd June 2013 at 14:00.

  13. #9
    Commander in Chief apod's Avatar
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    Dont tell me expat.You are navy or ex yeah??
    "105,000 dead. 40,000,000 unemployed. Police murdering African-Americans. You’ve completed you’re mission. You’ve made America great. Now get the f**k out."

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  14. #10
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    Quote 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.

  15. #11
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    Quote 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.

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  17. #12
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    Why does everyone always think we are neutral? Even the Government?!

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  19. #13
    Commander in Chief apod's Avatar
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    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.
    "105,000 dead. 40,000,000 unemployed. Police murdering African-Americans. You’ve completed you’re mission. You’ve made America great. Now get the f**k out."

    - Rob Reiner.

    "Yes he's an idiot with zero common sense,and no social skills,but he IS my son.I just hope he never goes into politics.He'd be a disaster.

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    Quote 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; 22nd June 2013 at 23:44.

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  23. #15
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    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.

  24. #16
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    Where I live, bank robberies are carried out by gangs of 7-15. Cash in transit heists have been carried out by platoon sized gangs, with stopper groups on approaches to the kill zone. You know who handles security? Chubb and ADT.


    24 hour cash escorts? The army already has guns so that saves money? You're not convincing me.
    But I've made my suggestion. While you'rw criticising my submission, how about making one of your own?
    Last edited by expat01; 23rd June 2013 at 00:54.

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  26. #17
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by expat01 View Post
    You know who handles security? Chubb and ADT.
    Same as here then (Securior etc)

    Are they armed (unlike here)?

    As a percentage the amount of the total CIT deliveries, the number escorted by GS or GS & DF is small (ie most CIT deliveries aren't escorted)!

    24 hour cash escorts? The army already has guns so that saves money? You're not convincing me.
    But I've made my suggestion. While you'rw criticising my submission, how about making one of your own?
    Bit late considering its going before Cabinet on Tuesday!



    On the triple lock, 1 of those locks will always be there (Government approval) and rightly so.

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    DeV, you are making a very good case for disbanding the army entirely. You are describing a force that pretty much swallows money for no return that couldn't be achieved with armed police and private security.
    And of course the security companies are armed. Otherwise they'd just be store detectives or crowd control.

    If I hear a noise outside at night, I call security because they've got the vests and rifles. But I also go to the range twice a month and practise my fire and movement drills occasionally. Just in case the noise is ever inside the house. Paying for both costs money, but it would be irresponsible not to pay and then moan if anything happened.

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  29. #19
    Commander in Chief apod's Avatar
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    The ultimate purpose of an army is to be the states final line of law and order.Gardai at the end of the day are civilians and cannot be ordered to take life.Soldiers can.
    The army is the ultimate guarantor of stability.No outside investor,on which our economy depends so much,is going to set up shop here if their executives will be kidnapped,their stock stolen,their factories burned and "protection" money demanded.All you have to do is look at countries such as Somalia and Colombia to see the damage a weak(the army is a governments muscle) government(or none at all) can do to a countries economy.
    yes a lot of the Army tasks here are gendarmerie type tasks but if all you have is a gendarmerie then you don't have a proper army to act overseas in expeditionary tasks.You can't have it both ways.
    The army here trains for the full spectrum of operations from full scale warfighting to PSO and ATCP and we can do each fairly well.We will never be the worlds biggest or best equipped but we punch well above our weight and our troops are multi skilled unlike in some other forces.
    So yes.The navy are very important and deserve good investment but not at the expense of the other branches.
    "105,000 dead. 40,000,000 unemployed. Police murdering African-Americans. You’ve completed you’re mission. You’ve made America great. Now get the f**k out."

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    "get most use from the navy"........more so the navy gets used the most in ops that are not its primary remit. The reality is that the DF is contingency based and just because firefights are going off here doesnt mean the DF is redundant unless it goes crusading.

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    Far from it:

    The DF are able to be utilised cost effectively to do ATCP because they the threat of conventional ops is low so the DF doesn't have to train as high tempo as it might.

    They are available so why not use them?

    Also there is no longer 10% of the DF overseas.

    With the newer OPVs coming online and what the Minister is saying about the importance of the seas, maybe he should reverse the cuts in patrol days.

  33. #22
    Tim Horgan Goldie fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apod View Post
    The navy are very important and deserve good investment but not at the expense of the other branches.
    Replace "Navy" with "Army" and the statement still holds true.
    Having a 7:1:1 split between branches of an Islands defence force, where 7 is neither air arm or naval force is incomprehensible.


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

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    i have a friend who works for mastercard who reckons that in ten years time conventional cash will have disappeared, and that we'll use cards for even the most basic things. I must admit geting my coffee from starbucks by card, and if you go someplace like denemark, cash is on its way out.[/QUOTE]

    if that arises, and it will, then the need for cash escorts will be gone.

    The green paper wiil outline the strategic situation and the forecasts for the next ten years or so and how we should balance and priotorise defence spending, so perhaps we should suspend the pissing matches over who deserves the most money till we ve read it.

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  36. #24
    Commander in Chief apod's Avatar
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    +1 on what Paul G said.too many naval service biased posters here wanting to cut the Army to suit their nautical ambitions.
    Lets wait and see.
    Having said that i would love to see Commodore Mellet be the next CoS.If he did with the wider DF what he is doing with the Navy it could only be good.
    "105,000 dead. 40,000,000 unemployed. Police murdering African-Americans. You’ve completed you’re mission. You’ve made America great. Now get the f**k out."

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    - Mary Anne Trump

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    Quote Originally Posted by apod View Post
    The ultimate purpose of an army is to be the states final line of law and order.Gardai at the end of the day are civilians and cannot be ordered to take life.Soldiers can.
    The army is the ultimate guarantor of stability.No outside investor,on which our economy depends so much,is going to set up shop here if their executives will be kidnapped,their stock stolen,their factories burned and "protection" money demanded.All you have to do is look at countries such as Somalia and Colombia to see the damage a weak(the army is a governments muscle) government(or none at all) can do to a countries economy.
    yes a lot of the Army tasks here are gendarmerie type tasks but if all you have is a gendarmerie then you don't have a proper army to act overseas in expeditionary tasks.You can't have it both ways.
    The army here trains for the full spectrum of operations from full scale warfighting to PSO and ATCP and we can do each fairly well.We will never be the worlds biggest or best equipped but we punch well above our weight and our troops are multi skilled unlike in some other forces.
    So yes.The navy are very important and deserve good investment but not at the expense of the other branches.
    The first part of your post is possibly the most dangerous thing I've ever heard from a soldier. In a democracy the army should have nothing whatsoever to do with law and order. The army exists to fight enemies of the state. Use them for law and order and soon the people become the enemies of the state. Soldiers kill enemies, or they aren't really soldiers.
    And DeV, no soldier can be "ordered to take a life" in any way. He may open fire in defence Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. A garda can do all that and more if he's armed.
    I don't think its healthy to deploy your army amongst your own people. Fortunately our government agrees and has made sure that the soldier on the street is legally no more than an armed civilian and apart from the normal sentry rules, can do nothing except as a kind of auxiliary to a cop. This is good.

    If you look at my make believe paper, I said that the army should be purposed and equipped for overseas deployment. I don't believe there will be any need for ATCP in the future. My problem is that the ATCP role the army HAS taken since 1969 did not actually require a military to achieve and focusing on it has distracted the army from other possibilities.
    And while I fully agree the Irish soldier punches above his weight compared to what the government believes he can do, I honestly think the Irish military punches far, far below our country's weight. We're not exactly up there with New Zealand, unfortunately.
    Since the end of the civil war, nobody in government, or command, has ever taken the military seriously. As a consequence the Irish population haven't, and in my experience most Irish soldiers don't either.





    MOD: Editted due to restricted information
    Last edited by DeV; 23rd June 2013 at 19:21.

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