The Empire Wants to Fight

Buiding an Empire with working class lives

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen (right) has called on the EU
to develop its own military capabilities – an EU Army.

The issue has been around for some time but now there is increasing pressure for a formal military structure. Not that it was mentioned much by the Remain lobby during the referendum debate. They were obviously keen to avoid the subject.

All the evidence points to the EU wanting to extend its power and influence and formalise its empire. An EU flag, an anthem, a common currency and the final piece of the jigsaw an army of its own.

An EU army will, unquestionably, lead to interventions in other countries. The press release will claim humanitarian motives or bringing an end to ‘tyranny’ but the reality is that it will be about extending the EU’s influence and markets. The grimmer reality is that hundreds, if not thousands, of young working-class men and women from across the continent will be used as commercial cannon fodder and the peoples of countries subjected to “intervention” will be the victims of the devastation and horror of destruction and war One other thing is certain – Ursula van der Leyen will not be in the firing line.

The prospect of an EU army raises very serious questions for the Republic of Ireland and its record on neutrality

What kind of pressure will the EU Commission bring to bear on the Republic of Ireland to join an EU army? Don’t expect a principled stand from Fine Gael, Fianna Fail or from Sinn Fein, all of whom have shown that they will bend over backwards to curry favour with Brussels. 

There will be others who would welcome an EU army. The armaments industry, its suppliers and associates will profit massively, at public expense from the formation of such an army let alone from its “interventions”.

An EU army will have nothing to do with peace, peace keeping or making the world ‘a safer place’. It has everything to do with the contradictions between the capitalist states, the development and consolidation of the capitalist system, the pursuit of profit and the exploitation of working people to deliver it.    


The story of the US military and Shannon airport

How Ireland has become “part of the US military conveyor-belt of death”

PANA – the Irish Peace and Neutrality Alliance – has produced a fact sheet outlining the history, and the extent, of the US military involvement at Shannon Airport in Co. Clare.

More than 3 million US troops have passed through Shannon

It is estimated that over 3 million US troops have gone through Shannon Airport since 2002. The exact figure is unknown. As these aircraft have the troop’s personal weapons on board, the flights must be given prior permission to land by the Irish Minister for Transport. Permits must also be given for flights carrying weapons through Irish airspace. The US military account for well over 90% of all flights requesting permits to carry munitions through Irish airspace and airports

The erosion of Irish neutrality is inextricably linked to the daily use of Shannon Airport by the US military for almost two decades.

It is now effectively a forward operating base used to support US operations in the Middle East, with approximately three million US troops and their weapons, regular US Air Force/Navy cargo planes, and an unknown number of CIA extraordinary rendition flights passing through since 2002.


Two Articles of the Irish Constitution have been repeatedly and consistently undermined through this misuse of a civilian airport. Despite this, Shannon has provided direct support for ground offensives and bombing campaigns, and has been complicit in the deaths and displacement of millions of people

See the PANA fact sheet here:

PANA website: