Defence & Security News - Ireland
|Ireland to strengthen its Defence Forces with new White Paper on Defence|
The Irish government announced Wednesday that it will launch a new White Paper on Defence. According to the Irish Defence Ministry, upgraded equipment will be provided for Irish defence forces including the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps. This includes new aircrafts, naval ships and armoured personnel carriers.
The White Paper, which outlines the Irish defence strategy for the next ten years, was published today.
The plan also commits to doubling the number of women in the Irish Defence Forces, increasing the strength of the Army Ranger wing and establishing new units to travel to conflict zones where gender-based violence is part of warfare.
In addition, the document contains a play to create employment for young people from disadvantaged areas, as well as containing plans for the building of an Institute of Peace and Support and Leadership Training at the Curragh. The plan also aims to double the number of women in the army.
It includes a plan to develop specialist units in conjunction with gardaí to work in countries where gender based violence such as rape and physical and sexual intimidation are used as weapons of warfare.
The document will set out how expenditure will be spend on defense and how it will expand over time.
Minister for Defence Simon Coveney believes that we have been under-investing in defensive security for far to long and its time for a change. Ireland's expenditure in this area is the second lowest in Europe.
In commenting on future capability requirements the Minister said “The White Paper sets out the roles that Government have assigned to the Defence Forces and considers associated capability requirements. It sets out decisions on the replacement of major equipment platforms for the next decade and other priorities for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service. This will guide long term defence planning.”
"Traditionally Ireland has taken a view that everybody likes the Irish, so therefore there's no military threat to Ireland.
"And I think traditionally, our focus on defence has been related to Northern Ireland and the troubles there and international peace keeping.
"There is also the need for the defence capacity to be increased here and abroad."