The way the No crowd describe it, I had visions of huge ranks of elite EU stormtroopers ready to deploy from their underground lair and crush Europe’s opponents with a stunning array of lethal but environmentally sensitive weaponry.
So I looked up the EDA’s website, hoping to catch a glimpse of our mighty aircraft carrier Charlemagne, or the mighty battlecruiser Giscard.
Boy, was I disappointed. Have a look. Aircraft carrier? No such luck. They do have, however, a “Code of Best Practice in the Supply Chain.” The EDA is basically about stopping EU countries getting screwed when buying helmets. Yes, of course it is about weapons procurement too, but so what? Don’t we want our soldiers to have the best available equipment at the most cost effective price? Don’t the husbands, wives and kids of our soldiers want them to have the best available body armour or means to defend themselves when they are protecting refugees in Chad?
Sure, Sinn Fein object to us spending money on the security forces, but don’t tell me that that certain balaclava wearing gentlemen didn’t haggle when they were buying armalites. (Ah go on! Throw in a kilo of Semtex with every 50 rifles. Now, what about our frequent bomber points?)
Let’s be honest, they’ve never been too hot about ensuring the safety of our soldiers and Gardai. Fact is, Sinn Fein have a grudge about the PDF. Hell, I’ve met Sinn Fein people who even refuse to call them the army.
By the way, I did a search of the word “Conscription” on the site. Maybe there was a secret plan. Got 34 hits. Of the word “draft”. For draft accounts, draft consultancy papers, draft discussion documents.
I’ll tell you one thing: We may not have much in the line of weapons, but if the EU ever gets into a Paperwork War with someone, they’re screwed.