Daniel Keohane explores the changing context of Irish defence policy in light of the rapid development of the CESDP. He touches on policy considerations germane to all EU member-states with a tradition of neutrality who are having to adjust to a new role in a changing world. Keohane also uses defence policy as a metaphor for the changing internal debate at a time when a strong and polemical discourse is underway about Ireland’s role in the wider world.
With considerable delay in comparison to aerospace and defense electronics, a restructuring process is occurring in Europe’s land armaments sector. National consolidation in the big arms producing countries is paralleled by an increasing number of transnational link-ups.
The first session focused on threat perceptions and threat assessments. The key question was whether a threat exists that justifies NMD deployment. Do the so-called ‘countries of concern’ really intent to threaten the US homeland and, even more importantly, do they have the financial and the technological means to scale up their existing arsenal to true intercontinental range?
With the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty on 1 May 1999 and the European Council's Cologne Declaration of 4 June 1999, further steps have been taken towards the realisation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), and therefore towards a common defence policy.