just read the letter in today's Irish Times and can't believe we have troops in Afghanistan.
This makes a mockery of our Neutrality - if we have this so called Triple Lock then why has it not stopped Irish Troops taking sides in Afghanistan ?
Irish Times 21st August
The Irish Times - Letters
Madam, – Minister for Defence Willie O’Dea, has stated that he has received assurances concerning the safety of seven Irish troops serving with the Nato International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) force in Afghanistan (World News, August 19th). This statement seems more designed to protect Minister O’Dea in the event of one of these soldiers being seriously injured due to the increasing violence in Kabul. Asking Chief of Staff Lieut Gen Dermot Earley to provide these assurances puts him in an almost impossible situation. Amazingly the Department of Defence is quoted as stating that these Irish soldiers had been supplied with vehicles fitted with electronic devices that would help repel roadside bombs. Given that roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan have destroyed main battle tanks, this statement is incredible.
If it were true, then surely publicly revealing the existence of such an amazing device is a serious breach of security. I sincerely hope none of these soldiers will be injured. However the further statement by Mr O’Dea that these soldiers are playing “a small but significant” role in Isaf’s operations, particularly in the area of “technical expertise” concerning improvised explosive devices, arguably increases the risks to these soldiers. These explosive devices are the most effective weapon being used by the Afghan fighters in their efforts to expel foreign troops, including these Irish soldiers, and now Mr O’Dea is telling them that Irish troops are helping to defeat them. Someone should put a zip on Mr O’Dea’s moustache.
Conor Lally’s article (World News, August 19th) states: “Because the number of troops on the mission is so small Dáil approval is not needed to sanction their deployment”. So what about Ireland’s so-called “traditional policy of military neutrality” about to be protected by miraculous EU/Lisbon Treaty guarantees?
Where are the so-called “triple locks” on deployment of Irish troops overseas? How many troops must be deployed before Dáil approval is needed, 17, 70, or 700, and has the Attorney General been consulted?
Nato is a military alliance. Irish troops are participating as belligerents with a military alliance in a war in a foreign country. This is in clear breach of the Hague Convention (V) on neutrality. But then, the Irish Government has allowed more than one million armed US troops to pass through Shannon airport on their way to and from the Afghan and Iraq wars. Given the above, any Government minister who claims that Ireland is still a neutral state would be lying. What value then EU assurances on Irish neutrality? – Yours, etc,
Dr EDWARD HORGAN,