The largest increase in defense spending in the state’s history will result in a 35 percent increase in the number of women in the defense force while strengthening national cybersecurity.
Defense Secretary Simon Coveney announced spending will increase from $1.1 billion to 2028
“We had a historic underinvestment in defense. Ireland is a tangible outlier when it comes to investing in our military – by international and European standards,” he added.
“This results in Ireland shifting from about a third of what most other countries of our size and wealth spend on defense to about half.”
Part of the budget will aim to increase the number of women in the military by 35 percent.
“We are currently at around 7pc. There are serious cultural issues in the armed forces that need to change in the future, and they will change. I can guarantee you that,” said Mr. Coveney.
Announcing the increased budget at McKee Barracks in Dublin yesterday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin also said: “If you look at the level of spending in Ireland on defense issues compared to other European states, it is very clear that we are not where we should be.”
The new budget also allows for the purchase of military radar equipment, upgrading the naval fleet, strengthening cybersecurity and recruiting 6,000 members over the next six years.
Mr Coveney said: “That means we need to add more than 3,000 people over the next six or seven years.
“That’s a 35 percent increase in the number of our defense forces. We also need to find a way to add 3,000 people to our reserve.
“This is an extraordinary, ambitious plan.”
He added that Defense Forces reform will be seen in the context of a “changed security and defense landscape across Europe” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Since the invasion, we have seen a number of EU member states make their own historic decisions – be it the decision of Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership, or the decision of the Danish people in a referendum to be reversing the opt-out from the EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy or Germany’s historic decision to drastically increase its financial commitment to defense spending.
“All of these changes are signals that the world is changing around us and Ireland needs to respond as well.
“And that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
A government action plan released yesterday also points to the “urgent” need for “personnel and culture change” in the armed forces.
Hiring new high-level civilian HR positions is identified as the first step towards achieving the goal.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/increase-in-spending-to-boost-number-of-women-in-defence-forces-41838480.html Increase spending to increase the number of women in the armed forces