NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
An agreement to be signed later this month which will ostensibly see Irish troops train British Army troops in ‘peace-keeping duties’ has drawn swift criticism from the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA).
Spokesperson Roger Cole said:
“We are aware of it. PANA is opposed to any military co-operation with any state armed with nuclear weapons such as the UK.”
“The Irish political elite is totally in favour of the process of Ireland’s integration into the US/EU/NATO military structures, this is just another part of their process. PANA was established precisely to oppose it.”
The agreement will be signed by Irelands Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defence, Simon Coveney, and British Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, at a ceremony in Dublin and is said to be “the culmination of a year of consultation between senior officers”.
The description of the agreement as designed to allow Irish troops to train their British counterparts in “peace-keeping” seems to be a barely concealed ploy to allow greater military cooperation. Another element of the arrangement which allows for surplus military equipment to be provided ‘free of charge’ by the British to Ireland seems to reinforce that conclusion.
The provision by States of military equipment ‘gratis’ has always been associated with an unwritten though explicit desire by the donor State to expand its sphere of military influence with the recipient. Notable examples of this in modern times were the US Latin-America ‘Rio Pact’ and the bilateral US military agreements with Spain and Yugoslavia (both outside of NATO) during the cold war.
The most worrying element of the agreement is that the Irish military who have an exemplary record internationally for peace-keeping will see this tarnished via association with UK forces whose record for brutality and violence towards civilians, particularly of late in Iraq, is still under scrutiny.
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)
ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.
The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues
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