The cost of Ireland joining Nato
Sir, – Every few months, an Irish newspaper opinion columnist raises the prospect of the State joining the American-led Nato military alliance. Thus, this weekend’s dispatch from Patrick Smyth (World View, April 8th) served to unleash sensations of insipid and dreary deja vu.
Mainly because, in their tiresome yearnings for Ireland to further integrate into the US military-industrial complex, Nato’s Dublin fan club consistently ignore a very serious question.
According to Minister of State Paul Kehoe, our country will allocate €922 million for defence during this calendar year. However, Donald Trump has made it perfectly clear how he expects Nato members to splash out a sum equivalent to at least 2 per cent of their GDP on armed forces spending. In Ireland’s case, this would currently amount to around €4.3 billion annually.
Could the next columnist jumping on this bromidic bandwagon kindly inform us where they suggest the Government finds the extra €3.4 billion-ish per annum to buy all those fancy weapons from, mostly American, defence contractors?
Perhaps we could divert funds from the health or social housing budgets? After all, there are no problems in those sectors that can’t be overcome by taking part in military exercises in the Baltics and “regime change” expeditions in North Africa. – Yours, etc,