Every state must hold the "monopoly over violence" within its jurisdiction.
This is a concept I have studied quite a lot in university. This man, the Chief of Staff of the Dutch armed forces, explains the concept quite well. The concept is essentially why Ireland, and every democratic, developed state, must maintain a military.
I presume you then you subscribe to realism or elements of that theory?
Thats a pretty wide open question. In what context do you mean 'realism'?
Do mean in socio-political terms or in terms of state interest?
No - Ireland doesn't need a military. What it needs is proper history lessons in it's schools and political re-education so that it's people can learn to accept that it's borders aren't going to change.
do you think that education should include the bit about about twice being almost starved out due to submarine warfare in the last 100 years or not?
That has literally nothing to do with the point I made.
Edit: OR what myself and Neilled are talking about either. I didn't start this thread for a discussion on politics or the situation of the countries borders.
In terms of state interest. Ie our friendly neighbour state is currently friendly to us, but there's the chance however slim that they will have the next "Saddam*" as their leader. Hence keeping some kind of defensive or offensive capability - which is the reason's most states maintain a military. Well that and to have a monopoly on organised violence within their boundaries.
Most states that do not maintain a military force of some sort have a history of their armed forces turning on the civil government or have a treaty with a superpower who will protect them.
*Insert tyrant of your choice.
Political re-education, eh? Surely you'd need a military to oversee the salt mines and gulags in your joyous vision?
OK I see what you mean. Yeah I would agree with some concepts of realism in that sense. I don't think that Ireland should expand into maintaining OFFESNIVE capabilities. Rather, a Defence Force, for that purpose alone. Some aspects of realism in international relations suggest that states should maintain the offensive capability to attack other countries to protect their own interests. That aspect, in relation to my own country anyway, I dont agree with. Thanks for that. Good question there Neilled
A bourgeois military? Never!!! The righteous Peasants and Proletarian Workers Militia will oversee these camps on behalf of "the people"
Every military has to have offensive capabilities though, no matter how big or small that military is, otherwise how could it achieve its objectives?
Offensive capabilities doesn't have to mean having the capability to mount an invasion of or attack on another country, it can also include the capability to take control of a certain area in order to protect civilians in that area, i.e. UN peacekeeping.
Likewise our navy having offensive capabilities doesn't have to mean having a fleet of aircraft carriers and submarines on standby ready to launch nuclear war when someone pushes the red button, it can also mean having the capabilities to mount offensives against illegal fishing, drug trafficking etc.
Oh I completely agree with you. I should have worded what I was trying to say in a better way. Of course a military with the role of defence should have offesnive capabilities. What I meant by offensive capabilities though was the ability to launch offensive operations against another country, outside of Ireland. Fot example, the Irish military does not have a marine corps, but only for the reason that it does not need one to act defensively.
You are right and I do agree with you. I was just a bit ambiguous when using the word 'offensive'.
And what sort of military capability would be required to stop that happening again (which it almost certainly won't)?
could you PM me next weeks lottery numbers with that prediction?
an ASW capabilty - both surface and LR MPA would probably be a start. it would almost certainly be a better defence investment than an 8,000 man Army with little mobility and almost no Artillery or Armour, or ridiculous little (but expensive) planes that provide training you don't need, A2G capability you can't use and A2A capability that perhaps rivals that of a Spitfire.
Thanks for the link OP. Interesting lecture.
I have no idea what you mean by proper history lessons. Are you suggesting that kids be thought some fluffy-wuffy version of history with all the nasty bits taken out? If so that ain't history your teaching.
Irish history has one important lesson regarding the military, If the military aren't up to scratch you get your arse kicked. The Vikings, the Normans, the English, the Scots have all invaded Ireland. The French, the Spanish and Nazi Germany all had plans to do so at one stage or another.
Or if you want to look at our more recent history what do you think would have happened if we had no military during the troubles? The IRA would have had pretty much a free hand to do what ever they wanted in the Republic. I think it wouldn't have taken too long for the British Army to start popping across the border to try and sort the problem for themselves like the Americans are doing in Northern Pakistan.
It's only 14 years since the Good Friday Agreement. The ownership of a hefty chunk of this island is still a matter of some dispute. There are still crazy subversive groups running around planting bombs in town centres claiming that they are the legitamate army of the state. In the event of a potential future vote for re-unification of Ireland I believe that there are plenty of people on the loyalist side who would not take take this lying down. In my opinion Ireland is the only Western European state that faces a credible prospect of a low-intensity conflict within its own borders in the medium term. Should this happen you don't want to have a newly re-formed military that have to learn on the job.
As for the Defence Forces role in peace keeping missions, I believe this has been a great credit to the state. Too often our lads have been sent out without the right equipment and have suffered casulaties because of it. Yet they have stuck with the task and they got the job done. One of the few worthwhile things that the Fianna Fail government did was to provide the Defence Forces with much needed modern equipment. They could probably do with a lot more. In a world where the population is rocketing and resources (food, water, fuel etc.) are becoming ever more scarce I would think that there will probably an increased need for peace-keeping missions in the future.
As for your suggestion regarding political re-education, I am utterly bewildered. We live in a democracy, therefore, the state doesn't get to dictate how it's citizens think.