NewsThe future of European defence
The future of European defence

The future of European defence

Last week French President Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for more co-ordinated European Defence Force initiatives. At first glance this may seem to be of little relevance to the Irish householder who has enough problems to be dealing with. Until we reflect on the changing nature of warfare. The days of boots-on-the-ground invasions of countries like Afghanistan will become rarer as cyber warfare and biological warfare become more common.

Remember the spate of cyber-attacks over the summer, one of which almost shut down our health system? Look at the collapse for WhatsApp this week, critical communication infrastructure for many. We are all exposed to almost daily scams and identity theft. Energy security resulting from geopolitics threatens us this winter. And what about the covid pandemic? While still most likely a natural occurrence, it has clearly demonstrated exactly how a biological war could be executed. Cyber attacks on our energy grid, banking and public services are almost certainly possibilities in the future.

In the past we could co-ordinate with the UK on defence measures. That is becoming less and less possible as the UK follows a swash-buccaneering global Britain future and is less interested in working with its near neighbours. Last week saw the UK off to the south China sea to try to protect Australia from supposed Chinese aggression.

It could therefore be argued that we will need to align ourselves increasingly with EU defence initiatives. Ireland however has been neutral almost since independence, we are for example not members of NATO. Neutral nations, such as Switzerland, generally have very strong defence capabilities. Ireland does not, we just traded on our remoteness as an island nation and were far enough away from everywhere to be somewhat ignored by invading armies. Not so in the new world of cyber and bio-warfare where there is no such thing as remote.

If we look to the US, one important driver of US success as an economy was the close ties of business with the military. DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency), the US military’s program of research has led to all kinds of inventions, including communications satellites, the internet, and driverless cars. Europe doesn’t have an equivalent organisation, and this is one of the reasons why Europe lags in innovation and why we are so dependent on US companies coming to Ireland to invest and create jobs.

The nature of defence is changing, and the threats, which in the past seemed very remote, now have the capability to reach right into our homes and threaten our livelihoods, our health, and our quality of life. Defence is also a big economic driver and creator of jobs. As the world order changes, defence spending can not only protect our way of life but also create jobs and boost the economy at the same time.

What do you think? Stick to our historic principles of being neutral, having no enemies and looking after our own defences? Or pool sovereignty and join forces with the EU and become part of a new military-industrial complex responding to new forms of warfare?

Leave your comments below.

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The future of European defence

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michael from CN commented:

Stick to what you do best ( save consumers money by switching deals ) not politics, Nick 

michael from MH commented:

I'm very disappointed to see the first signs of compromise in one big switch. This reads like a politically driven fear mongering article. Which leads me to wonder; now that you have so many members, have you been infiltrated, be it by choice or perhaps even external enticement like so many other organisations? This article reads like it is divisive, because it is divisive. I suggest you stick to what you do best; serving the people and leave the militarial politics to the war mongering elites. Unless of course you, yourself have designs in that direction. In which case it'll be goodbye from me and probably most of your members. Best keep your political views for the pub and use your time and energy doing what this organisation was set up to do: save the public some hard earned cash off their bills. 

Someone from CE commented:

This is not what I joined One Big Switch for. 

Someone from G commented:

Some people talk about living in peace & protecting our families, This where its not safe to walk down the streets at day/night join our fellow Europeans bye bye GB 

Someone from G commented:

We gladly take their money about time we stood for the EU & ourselves instead of the begging bowl all the time 

Sean from WD commented:


Someone from D commented:

These regular opinion pieces on items irrelevant to One Big Switch offers are not why I signed up to this newsletter. I appreciate One Big Switch, but please stick to what do best; to negotiate group discounts for consumers. 

John from D commented:

What has all this got to do with the mission of One Big Switch. 

joe from G commented:

i think you should stay out of politics, i think you are trying to take advantage of a situation here, and do you know what, i think its going to back fire on you, people are more tuned in than you think. to express my dissapointment i am going to unsubscribe 

michael from CN replied to joe:

Reevaluate things Joe. It's not always going to be like this. Think of all the great discounts this man has created, the money save,albeit for that money to be spent on a red from lidl and chinese spice box. Reconsider Joe, I for one,will miss you. 

Elizabeth from CW commented:

Stay Neutral. Keep our Neutrality. I dont want to see my sons and grandsons and perhaps grand daughters conscripted without choice. I would rather be poor and peaceful. Wars are just to profit the investors. Invading countries for their oil and then justifying it with a take over and assinating their leaders etc. Look how Afganstan has been left and other countries because of war mongers. War is not about helping anyone. Look what the Nazies did in the name of a superior race. You can hurt countires economically now by imposing sanctions or not purchasing their goods. We have Biden closing down the Oil in America and this has caused a worldwide increase for the shareholders in the oil and increases in the bills for the homeowners. So I am fed up with this type of coersion, you are participating in. Now why are you involved in the question of wheather we would keep our neutrality or not? We used to be about export export export - now we import, thanks to the brains of the green party and europe, Peat moss and Turf to burn in our fires. The infections carried in to our own eco system from the peat moss once its wasted is only to be discovered later. We now have problems with our elms and other trees as they try to grow but theres a new patagen in the air that kills them as they try and try to grow. I see this every day as I walk around the country side. I never even knew about this till I was locked in my own area. Killing our own native trees by bringing in diseases from other plants. Now bringing in peat moss to grow mushrooms when we have pleanty of peat moss producers ourselves. Remember the potatoe famine - diseased crops, probably a result of diseased seed brought in from abroad. 

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