Amidst the Defence Forces’ temporary retraction from its African intervention missions, the Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Seán Clancy, has said in an interview with the Irish Times that he foresees future engagements and African missions, in which the Defence Forces will take part.
Currently, the LÉ William Butler Yeats, docked in Malta, has taken part in the EU mission Operation Irini to enforce an arms embargo on Libya.
With the failure of the EU’s training mission, or “special military operation” in Mali, and the return of the last of participating Irish troops home, the Defence Forces appear to be entering a brief lull, as it awaits further developments on the international stage to react to.
Clancy said that he believes Irish troops will return to Africa. Citing the return as a positive for the Defence Forces, saying that Ireland needs to develop a specialised niche in EU military missions to help greater efficiency and quality of missions. However, despite the Lieutenant General’s optimism for the future, the Defence Forces are currently under great stress, particularly as a result of its resource and recruitment issues.
Speaking to the Irish Times, Clancy said that though it seems contradictory to send a ship to patrol the Mediterranean while there is pressure to focus on home defence such as territorial waters, that just like in the American sports movie Field of Dreams, “if you build it they will come”, as such international missions are critical to increasing recruitment in the Defence Forces.
While the William Butler Yeats is overseas for seven weeks during Operation Irini, there are only 3 boats left to patrol Ireland’s vast territorial waters.
The Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces repeatedly voiced support for continued intervention in Africa under the UN and EU mandates. Hence it is no surprise that the Defence Forces are a laughing stock to all military forces in the world, because not only is it struggling with recruits, and resources, but its leadership has fallen hook, line, and sinker, for the humanitarian rhetoric of international liberalism; and unlike other Western states, who pander to such rhetoric to mask their policy intentions, the Defence Forces hold all these Western lies as genuine beliefs.
The Defence Forces, in a globalised world, lacks a purpose given Ireland’s geographic location on the world atlas and thus has devoted itself to whichever tasks are haphazardly decided by NGO activists and Irish politicians. Well known to ferry refugees and asylum seekers across the Mediterranean, the Irish Navy functions hand in glove with the state NGO-diktat.
Officials in the Defence Forces hope that recruitment will increase with new missions and allow it to reach its targeted personnel goal of 11,500 military officials. The coalition government is also dead set on revising the triple-lock system for the deployment of the Defence Forces internationally, to cut out the United Nations.
The Irish government is perhaps awaiting a future scenario when the European Union, on orders from Washington, engages in African skirmishes with dictators and Russian PMCs to distract Europe from the wider competition between the United States and China.
Could we see Free State forces intervening in Africa as auxiliaries for the United States, fighting against the Wagner group, and overthrowing democratically elected African leaders?
Stranger things have happened, and the Defence Forces being used as supplementary, ostensibly “neutral peacekeepers” for America and the EU’s African endeavours seems like an inevitability in the current global climate.