Neutrality and defence policy

Adapting to a changing world

A chara, – The Irish Times is doing sterling work in keeping us up to date with developments on the war front. It’s only Tuesday as I write this but already this week we’ve had articles on “Three good reasons to support the development of an EU army” (Opinion & Analysis, February 27th) and “Europe’s era of peace and neutrality is over, says Ukraine foreign minister” (World, February 27th), together with an editorial, “The Irish Times view on Sweden’s membership of Nato: Europe builds its defences” (February 27th). That editorial asserts that “an assessment of our Defence Forces as unfit for purpose has seen the beginnings of a debate about how to protect ourselves from cyber warfare and threats to vulnerable underwater cables”. If, indeed, a “debate” about all of this is under way, there’s not much evidence of it in The Irish Times. One-sided “debate” is no debate at all. – Is mise,



Co Cork.


Sir, – With Finland’s and now Sweden’s membership of Nato the alliance has become that much stronger and should make an effective deterrent to any plans by Russia to expand into Europe or Scandinavia.

Further, Europe needs to have a stronger defence policy. It seems Putin and the like only respect a show of force.

Unfortunately the backdoor is open. Ireland with its huge sea area needs protecting. We need to beef up our military capability, especially the Naval Service. Our shores and the vital cables that connect us and Europe to the Americas and beyond are totally vulnerable to surface and subsurface attack.

We don’t need to join Nato but we do need to have an effective local deterrent to challenge any infringement of our territorial area. In the event of war between Europe and Russia or another power, the aggressor would have scant regard for our neutrality. We must show we are not an easy pushover and that if war came to Europe we would do our bit. – Yours, etc,



Co Donegal.