Although our Defence Forces provide much practical help at home for example the armed escorts it seems to me that the vast majority of our purpose is to serve abroad on missions seemingly not much to do with us. Lets be honest, what has The Lebanon really got to do with Irish interests?
The only real reason that we are forced to spend money and time on peacekeeping is because the EU tells us we do not have another choice. In fact our 'Defence Policy' is determined by the EU.
Treaty of Lisbon/Article 1 - Treaty on European Union/Article 27 - Wikisource, the free online library
The Military of Switzerland is designed almost exclusively as a defence force. Their capacity to defence their borders is high. But more importantly its ability to 'put off' any foreign nation from invading it because of its highly militarised civilian population who are all well trained in sabotage in their immediate communities. In other words the world knows; invade Switzerland and the country will be ground to a halt within hours and your forces will be attacked relentlessly and in every area.
And here is the good news, the only spend about 0.2 percent more than us of their GDP than we do on the military. Of course it would not be fair to say things are this simple but the point being: What we spend our money on in the military does little for sovereign interests of the Irish people. And part of the reason is that our military are yet another section of this country that we have lost control over the decision making process of.
A believe that a constructive Defence Force that works like the Swiss in the interests of its own people is the way forward.