Thursday, May 26, 2005

Ireland and the Rapid Reaction Force

Ann Cahill in the Irish Examiner has this interesting piece about the Ireland the Rapid Reaction Force. For some background on the RRF, check the report from the Institute for Europan Affairs.
Ann Cahill observes that: 'No matter what battle group Ireland ends up in, they will have to be considered as surplus to requirements and something of a luxury since the triple lock may prevent them participating in crises that require rapid responses. This is a pity because the Irish defence forces have a good reputation when it comes to peacekeeping. They have earned a great name in setting up sophisticated communications systems essential when operating in many of the areas in which the battle groups are likely to eventually end up. The Government has no problem being part of the European Defence Agency, designed to streamline Europe's defence industry for its own armies and for sales to others. As the NATO general secretary recently pointed out, the EU has neutral states as members, but none claims to be pacifist. Maybe it's time Ireland decided to work out what neutrality means.'

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