Paper for presentation at the meeting of the Oireachtas Sub-Committee on Ireland’s future in the European Union - 4th November 2008
by Andy Storey: Centre for Development Studies, School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin; and Action from Ireland (Afri)
Irish campaigning groups, including Afri, have long been concerned about what they see as the growing ‘militarization’ of some Irish foreign policies and actions. This trend is evident in the usage of Shannon airport as a critical staging post for the transit of US troops and supplies involved in the invasion and occupation of Iraq; in the strong prima facie evidence that Irish airports have been used for the US policy of ‘extraordinary rendition’ – the kidnapping and torture of individuals accused of terrorist involvement; and in the growing foothold being established in the Irish economy by companies involved in the commercial arms trade.
While these claims provide an important context against which debates about Irish defence and security policy need to be viewed, it is Ireland’s participation in multilateral (NATO and EU) military structures and actions that is the focus of this present paper. The nature of this Irish participation is outlined with reference to both the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the EU, with case studies (especially of Kosovo, Afghanistan and Chad) used for illustrative purposes.
Download full paper (pdf file, 66KB) oireachtas-Novembe2008.pdf