New report recommends overhaul of Defense Force command structure


A report that should form the basis of a broad Defense Force reform program is to be released on Wednesday.

The Defense Force Commission was set up by Defense Minister Simon Coveney in late 2020 in response to concerns over the capabilities of the Irish Army and an ongoing retention crisis within the Defense Force.

It was supposed to publish its final report by the end of 2021, but it has been delayed.

The first version of the report was the subject of strong criticism last year from the Defense Forces, which considered that it lacked ambition.

Further work has since been underway and the final report is expected to be released this Wednesday.

It is understood that the report will recommend a substantial increase in the capabilities and resources of the Defense Forces, as well as a complete overhaul of its command structure.

He will call for the creation of a new role of chief of defense and the establishment of a joint strategic staff.

It is also expected to present various options to increase the capabilities of the Defense Forces, including the possibility of increasing its current budget by 300%, allowing the purchase of additional jets and warships.

There will also be a proposal for a new “Information Command” that is able to defend against and deter online attacks on the state.

This would employ up to 300 people and rely heavily on civilian personnel as well as reservists with cybersecurity expertise. According to the proposals, the command would play a frontline role in detecting and deterring cyberattacks, countering disinformation and protecting the integrity of Ireland’s elections from online interference.


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