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Yes, Ireland is an easy target for a nuclear sub...

The constitution is not the place to codify a policy which is, at best, ambiguous, and at worst, merely a determination not to be dragged into the British sphere of influence.

While there is no doubt that Ireland is part of the Anglo -sphere and now part of the EU, membership of NATO has never been seriously considered, and even attempts by the EU to develop a common defence capability are controversial. Ireland has survived very well being a small island on the north west fringe of Europe and of not too much strategic interest for anybody. No one believes we could defend ourselves against Russia anyway and opposition to British dominance has led us to be wary of relying on military means to resist occupation.

Our best defence is probably "Why would anyone bother to invade Ireland?" when Hitler didn't and the US has use of our airports in any case. We are also wary of the militaristic culture prevalent in the UK and much prefer to focus on non-violent means of conflict resolution (the IRA always excepted).

We thus have a good track record of participating in UN peace keeping missions and third world development aid generally.  But yes we have run down our defence capabilities atrociously and the Ukraine war is a wake up call in that regard.

Many have accused us of free-loading on the US and UK military and nuclear umbrellas, but frankly we see these as mixed blessings as likely to put us in the firing line as save us from foreign aggression.

We are of course blessed by being a relatively remote location and not central to the imperial rivalries, tensions and wars which have wracked Europe since forever. If we were Finland we would have to think seriously about NATO membership. But we aren't, and so we don't.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat May 7th, 2022 at 01:11:32 PM EST
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