Information Circular No 34/2013: WHITE PAPER ON DEFENCE – PDFORRA SUBMISSION

By General Secretary

Alan Shatter, TD has published a Green Paper on Defence to stimulate analysis and debate of Ireland’s defence and security situation – and with the intention of developing a new White Paper on Defence.  PDFORRA has made both a written and a verbal submission as part of this process.

PDFORRAs submissions covered issues arising from the implementation of the existing White Paper on Defence 2000; the question of the ‘Triple Lock’ for the authorisation of overseas deployments and the absence of a veteran’s policy.

A major part of the submission addresses the implementation of the existing White Paper on Defence 2000.  It outlines that Ireland’s Defence spend of 0.55% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the lowest of the six non-NATO European Union (EU) members states and, with the exception of Luxembourg, has the lowest Defence spend in the EU – where the average stands at 1.5% of GDP.  Moreover, most other EU member states armed forces exist solely to provide a contingent capacity or to service overseas operations.  In Ireland’s case the Permanent Defence Force conducts a high level of domestic security and support operations in addition to providing a contingent capability and overseas operations.  In brief it delivers a high level of value for money but is insufficiently resourced.  In order to carry out its assigned roles (and some additional tasks) the following changes are necessary.

  •  The reversal of the recent re-organisation
  • An increase in strength to the level of 10,500 personnel.  This should include a dedicated training establishment to provide for the large number in training for extended periods of time.

Many EU member states have a veteran’s policy dealing with matters such as welfare programmes, compensation and medical support and related matters.  Ireland has no such policy and needs to develop one.

PDFORRA believes that the ‘Triple Lock’ should remain because any movement away from this position could contribute to undermining the standing of the United Nations and Ireland’s support for same.  It might also negatively impact on how the Permanent Defence Force is viewed by the Irish public and by others at international level.

 

Issued on: 20/12/2013

 

 

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