Since October 2001, Ireland has provided direct support for unilateral military interventions by the US and its NATO allies, most notably in Iraq and Afghanistan. This support has included the transit of 2.5 million armed troops plus additional military aircraft through Shannon Airport. It has also included the deployment of members of the Irish Defence Forces with NATO missions abroad.
A neutral state is subject to certain rules and obligations under international law, in particular the Hague Convention which states that "Belligerents are forbidden to move troops or convoys of either munitions of war or supplies across the territory of a neutral Power". Ireland should not be facilitating the movement of US military cargo or troops through Shannon Airport. This and the participation of Ireland in military alliances like the NATO Partnership for Peace and European Union (EU) battlegroups should therefore be ended with immediate effect.
By continuing to support international policies that respond to violence with further violence, and by facilitating the development of an armaments industry, the current Irish Government has contributed to making the world a more dangerous place for all. In doing so, and by agreeing to support regional military alliances (including those resulting from the Mutual Defence Clause of the Lisbon Treaty), it flouts the democratic wishes of the Irish people who regularly reaffirm their commitment to positive neutrality within a UN context. It has also repeatedly failed to respect and uphold international laws relating to human rights and the humanitarian responsibilities of parties engaged in war. In particular the movement of rendition planes through Shannon Airport has been in contravention of the UN Convention Against Torture, while Ireland's responsibility to uphold international treaties like the Geneva Conventions and the Arms Trade Treaty has been systematically ignored, and in some cases impeded, by the failure of the authorities to inspect suspect aircraft at Shannon.
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