Irish intelligence staff at work from Kosovo to Kabul

Crusader74

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February 1, 2006 Wednesday

HEADLINE: Irish intelligence staff at work from Kosovo to Kabul

IRELAND: Defence Forces officers are playing a greater role in international missions, writes Tom Clonan

Traditionally associated with routine troop deployments and logistic support to UN peacekeeping and peace-enforcement missions worldwide, the Irish Defence Forces have recently significantly expanded another dimension to their work - their intelligence presence abroad.

In the wake of September 11th, 2001, Ireland's Military Intelligence Directorate was expanded to assess emerging external and internal threats to the State posed by global terrorist networks such as al-Qaeda.

As an independent state agency, Ireland's military intelligence is focused on long-term trends within the global security environment across a broad spectrum of threats, from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons proliferation to the activities, intentions and capabilities of extremist resistance groups and organised criminal gangs.

Ireland's transition to a military intelligence "player" on the international scene has been facilitated by decades of experience in intelligence operations during the Troubles, along with more than 40 years of UN service, predominantly in flashpoints in Africa and the Middle East.

Currently, Ireland has personnel of the Defence Forces engaged in an intelligence capacity in countries as diverse as Liberia, Ivory Coast and Sudan in Africa, along with officers placed in key appointments in countries throughout the Middle East, including Lebanon, Israel and Syria.

Closer to home, Irish military personnel are engaged in intelligence duties in the European Union's Eufor mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Irish officers are also involved in intelligence duties in the Nato-led Kfor mission to Kosovo.

Senior Army officers are also playing a key intelligence role at the headquarters of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Four senior Irish soldiers are liaison officers between the Nato-led Multinational Brigade in Kabul and local Afghan police and army units.

These officers also liaise with the Afghan secret police and their British and US intelligence counterparts operating within Afghanistan.

Other Army personnel are working within the operations and intelligence staffs of Isaf headquarters itself.

The most senior Army officer in Kabul - a lieutenant-colonel - is responsible for what Isaf refers to as Afghanistan's "visitor's bureau": he controls all official movement in and out of Afghanistan by visiting heads of state, politicians, diplomats and media personnel, and co-ordinates security and travel.

At the EU's newly formed Military Staff Headquarters in Brussels, a new EU situation centre has been established, with a crisis room dedicated to providing ongoing and updated assessments of current security threats that confront the EU.

The crisis room reports directly to the EU's military committee and political and security committee. The EU situation centre's chief of intelligence with responsibility for assessing threats from the Middle East - considered within the security community to be the most crucial intelligence cell within the EU - is an Irish lieutenant-colonel seconded from the Defence Forces.

In parallel, for the first time the Defence Forces have also recently sent Irish officers for specialist training with "major intelligence agencies" in the United States, Britain and Australia.

Ireland's Military Intelligence Directorate currently has first-hand knowledge of an expanding and migrating international Islamist terror network that stretches from Africa and Asia through the Middle East to Europe. This is aided and abetted by international criminal gangs and the proceeds of drugs smuggling and human trafficking.

Such threats are symptomatic of the new "asymmetrical" warfare.

In the past, the value of intelligence in global conflict was measured in terms of secrecy and exclusive knowledge.

Intelligence is now, however, often best exploited through the timely communication of classified data to strategic partners.

In this respect, Ireland is making its own distinctive contribution in the "global war on terror".

Tom Clonan is security analyst with The Irish Times

LOAD-DATE: February 1, 2006
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Robal2pl

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After 9/11 all European armies started to see the world in different way...
I just got two question : did Irish Army created new units to be sent on UE/NATO missions? In Poland Army used to form ad-hoc units for UN peacekeeping, but now we create special units (mobile Bns in Military Police) just for those missions.
And one more : what about using army to support police? I know only tahat Irish ARW can be used as a CT unit, but nothing more

Regards
Robal2pl
 

Crusader74

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Oct 24, 2006
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After 9/11 all European armies started to see the world in different way...
I just got two question : did Irish Army created new units to be sent on UE/NATO missions? In Poland Army used to form ad-hoc units for UN peacekeeping, but now we create special units (mobile Bns in Military Police) just for those missions.
And one more : what about using army to support police? I know only tahat Irish ARW can be used as a CT unit, but nothing more

Regards
Robal2pl

that is one of the Armies Roles,ATCP (Aid To Civil Power).The army hasn't created new units for any overseas missions .we use the ones already in the DF.

to answer your second question the ARW are used far more than CT..they now get deployed as a unit overseas(not at the Minute)..they're first overseas deployment as a unit was East Timor in 99 and more recently Liberia.
 

eroo

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Just found this...holy shit...talk about prestigious positions!I assume he is speaking of the seemingly non-existent G-2?
 
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