Friday, 19 December 2008

Why does Ireland need an army?

As the Irish economy plunges towards the precipice, and any few bob will be eagerly grabbed, I offer a solution that will save over €1 billion annually. Get rid of the army. Close it down.Take away their toys and send them home. And then sell of all the prime land currently occupied by square-bashing soldiers.


Maybe. But tell me this - why does Ireland need an army? What's that you say? we'll be immediately invaded by Russia or France in its absence? Get this. Our army is too small by a factor of fifty to deter any potential invader. So what purpose does it serve?

Peacekeeping abroad, you say.

Well, for a start we don't keep the peace anywhere. In fact the very idea of the Irish keeping the peace takes some digesting. We do indeed go to various trouble spots, but always under draconian UN-defined restrictions. This means that if the army is attacked by well armed enemies they're not allowed to fire back. They must first ring the UN General Assembly, which will tell them to fire one warning shot. If this doesn't work they may fire a second, again after consulting with New York. Then, and only then, (assuming any of them are still alive) they may fire one round at the enemy's feet.

Anyway, it seems to me that our army operates under the assumption that once any nastiness starts they get the hell out. This isn't a reflection on their courage, it's just that this seems to be the arrangement. In any event I've gone right off all of these initiatives, like the current one in Darfur, where today's enemy is tomorrow's ally, and vice versa.

We have no internal enemies and even when the IRA was active the army played essentially a back-up role.

What about our EU partners, you ask? Well, I'm sure they make all the right noises about needing our forces, but in fact they're just a drop in the ocean and nobody would even miss them.

Costa Rica, a wealthy, peaceful country in the middle of violent fucked-up Central America, doesn't have an army. Which probably explains why it's been democratically run by civilian governments since they decommissioned it - the first country to formally do so.. And they've never been invaded since then.

Now of you go, Brian Lenehan and Brian Cowan. Look at the money I've saved you.


Kilbarry1 said...

Recruits' Focus On Rights Softens Army Training - Irish Times on 17 December 2008

A new report on the Defence Forces has voiced concerns that trainees are focusing heavily on "their rights" and forcing army instructors to operate "softer" training programmes.

It found that some recruits are challenging instructions on the grounds of "inappropriate behaviour or health and safety" as a means of avoiding some types of work.

Defence Forces instructors were found to be "fearful" of using corrective action when issues arise as they believe the pendulum of the complaints system has swung too much towards the trainee.

The findings are included in the second report of the Independent Monitoring Group (IMG). The group was established in 2002 by the Department of Defence.

"This is a matter of concern to the IMG because it undermines the legitimacy of the inherent and robust nature of military training, which must be maintained in order to produce personnel who can fulfil their role," it states.

The report recommends that an emphasis be placed on ensuring that new entrants understand what constitutes bullying, harassment and inappropriate upon entry to the forces.

Minister for Defence Willie O'Dea welcomed the fact that new recruits to the Defence Forces are now so aware of their rights.

"It is welcome, because some years ago we were criticised for the opposite being the case," Mr O'Dea said. "I think it is a healthy development, it's a good development, and the type of training has to be tailored accordingly." ........

The above is a grotesque disaster and the inevitable result of our Celebrity Victim culture. The present CEO of Amnesty International in Ireland is a Celebrity Victim. THAT is only a joke but when this culture corrupts the army (and police), our country is really in trouble.

Anonymous said...

yes, but costa rica has a very powerful paramilitary defence unit.

Pedro G.

Anonymous said...

I'm convinced you don't live in Ireland - you are an American having an identity crisis. Probably come to Ireland on business trips or something.

Anonymous said...

every self-respecting nation has its own army.

SAVANT said...

Oh I live in Ireland all right, from which position I can watch it go down the plughole.

togo said...

yes, but costa rica has a very powerful paramilitary defence unit.

Yeah, but when you have Nicaragua (back under Sandinista control and the source of a major illegal immigration problem)on your northern border and a dubious place like Panama on your southern border you need something approximating an army. Ireland needs no more than a few SWAT teams to cope with whatever may come up.

P.S. I recall a few years ago a Rottweiler killed a Nicaraguan illegal who tried to burglarize an
auto repair shop in CR. The incident made the Rottweiler into something of a celebrity and generated a lot of distasteful jokes that Mr. Savant would probably enjoy.

Anonymous said...

togo is right. all we need is a SWAT team equivalent. don't forget also that if we disbanded the army we'd also have about 8,000 people who, as least some of them, would be doing something useful.