chapter  9
13 Pages

Ireland and the international security environment: changing police and military roles

This chapter discusses Ireland's external defence, security and police engagements at the turn of the 21 st century. These reflect significant developments in recent years in Ireland's commitments and policy outlook as a member both of the UN and of the EU. While these have taken place in the context of the collapse of Soviet power, it would be a mistake to ascribe thenl entirely to the end of the Cold War. Major changes in policing and security cooperation were an inevitable and expected consequence of increasing EU integration, even if the Iron Curtain had remained in place. Similarly, the manifest inadequacies of the UN's various essays in politico-military intervention in the cause of peace would surely have prompted radical change in the way that such operations were mandated and carried out. That in tum would have had major implications for the Irish arnlY, whose operational raison d'etre has since 1960 lain largely in international peacekeeping rather than in conventional extenlal defence.