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United We Stand? EU Counter-Terrorism Initiatives Meet A Small Member State's Security Community
Unformatted Document Text:  Michael Mulqueen: Panel SB 36, Small States and the ESDP 4 at Garda Headquarters in Dublin, under the command of an officer known asAssistant Commissioner for Crime and Security. The intelligence arm of the DefenceForces (DF) is known as G2. Its staffing and financial resources are much smallerthan those of CSB. It doesn’t run agents, but provides additional analytical and surveillance capabilities. It is tasked with tracking threats to the State emanating bothon-island (i.e. internal subversion) and off-island (including threats to DF personnelserving overseas). G2 is based at McKee Barracks, Dublin, under the command of acolonel, known as the Director of Intelligence. Intelligence personnel in the Army’sthree brigades, the Air Corps, and the Naval Service report to G2, but combineintelligence with other duties. CSB and G2 also provide what amounts to a shoestring foreign intelligence service tothe State, with CSB taking the lead role. Instead of running foreign intelligence agents in numbers, CSB personnel rely on networking with their counterparts infriendly agencies i.e. British Security Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation,and the Central Intelligence Agency. They also receive information from Irish diplomats abroad. Since 9/11, CSB has attempted to strengthen its capacity to detectand analyse radical Islam. G2 has longer experience in this sphere, largely arisingfrom the DF’s tradition of peacekeeping in the Middle East. CSB and G2 threat analyses reach the National Security Committee (NSC) throughthe Garda Commissioner and the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces. The NSC isthe primary strategic advisory body to Government on preventative security. 18 It was formed following a confidential review of Irish national security by a senior judge,Mr. Justice Finlay, in 1974, and reactivated after 9/11, after years of near dormancy.(Separate cross-departmental structures were put in place post 9/11, to deal withemergency planning, i.e. emergency/disaster response preparation). The NSC advisesthe Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of the current national threat assessment and anyrecommendations arising, through its chairman, the Secretary General of theDepartment of the Taoiseach. It is for the Taoiseach to decide whether, or to ensurethat, the advice of the NSC is acted upon. It is also for the Taoiseach to ensure, as thecabinet member with lead responsibility for it, that the NSC functions properly (i.e.that it and by consequence, the bodies that report upwards to it, are capable ofdelivering accurate, timely advice). The NSC consists of the Secretaries General ofthe Departments of the Taoiseach, Justice, Defence, and Foreign Affairs, the GardaCommissioner and the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces. Other senior officialsand officers can be called in to advise the NSC from time to time, as required. Inshaping its recommendations to Government, the committee is exclusively reliant onthe threat perspectives of the Garda and Defence Forces. As one member of thecommittee said: “All of that, of course, is entirely a matter that we rely on the securityprofessionals to do. In a sense, we are consumers of their net outcome of thatanalysis.” 19 18 When interviewed by the author, members of the post 9/11 NSC expressed differing views regarding the committee’s influence. One described it as “the very top strategic level”. But another viewed it as“grandly-called, over-stated”. 19 Author’s interview.

Authors: Mulqueen, Michael.
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background image
Michael Mulqueen: Panel SB 36, Small States and the ESDP
4
at Garda Headquarters in Dublin, under the command of an officer known as
Assistant Commissioner for Crime and Security. The intelligence arm of the Defence
Forces (DF) is known as G2. Its staffing and financial resources are much smaller
than those of CSB.
It doesn’t run agents, but provides additional analytical and
surveillance capabilities. It is tasked with tracking threats to the State emanating both
on-island (i.e. internal subversion) and off-island (including threats to DF personnel
serving overseas). G2 is based at McKee Barracks, Dublin, under the command of a
colonel, known as the Director of Intelligence. Intelligence personnel in the Army’s
three brigades, the Air Corps, and the Naval Service report to G2, but combine
intelligence with other duties.
CSB and G2 also provide what amounts to a shoestring foreign intelligence service to
the State, with CSB taking the lead role.
Instead of running foreign intelligence
agents in numbers, CSB personnel rely on networking with their counterparts in
friendly agencies i.e. British Security Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
and the Central Intelligence Agency.
They also receive information from Irish
diplomats abroad. Since 9/11, CSB has attempted to strengthen its capacity to detect
and analyse radical Islam. G2 has longer experience in this sphere, largely arising
from the DF’s tradition of peacekeeping in the Middle East.
CSB and G2 threat analyses reach the National Security Committee (NSC) through
the Garda Commissioner and the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces. The NSC is
the primary strategic advisory body to Government on preventative security.
18
It was
formed following a confidential review of Irish national security by a senior judge,
Mr. Justice Finlay, in 1974, and reactivated after 9/11, after years of near dormancy.
(Separate cross-departmental structures were put in place post 9/11, to deal with
emergency planning, i.e. emergency/disaster response preparation). The NSC advises
the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of the current national threat assessment and any
recommendations arising, through its chairman, the Secretary General of the
Department of the Taoiseach. It is for the Taoiseach to decide whether, or to ensure
that, the advice of the NSC is acted upon. It is also for the Taoiseach to ensure, as the
cabinet member with lead responsibility for it, that the NSC functions properly (i.e.
that it and by consequence, the bodies that report upwards to it, are capable of
delivering accurate, timely advice). The NSC consists of the Secretaries General of
the Departments of the Taoiseach, Justice, Defence, and Foreign Affairs, the Garda
Commissioner and the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces. Other senior officials
and officers can be called in to advise the NSC from time to time, as required. In
shaping its recommendations to Government, the committee is exclusively reliant on
the threat perspectives of the Garda and Defence Forces. As one member of the
committee said:
“All of that, of course, is entirely a matter that we rely on the security
professionals to do. In a sense, we are consumers of their net outcome of that
analysis.”
19
18
When interviewed by the author, members of the post 9/11 NSC expressed differing views regarding
the committee’s influence. One described it as “the very top strategic level”. But another viewed it as
“grandly-called, over-stated”.
19
Author’s interview.


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