Kerry firm to supply technology to US military
Just when you thought that the war in Iraq couldnt get even closer to us than Shannon, it turns out that an Irish company is planning to supply technology to the US military for use in Iraq.
According to The Kerryman newspaper 25/4/2007, Tralee company Altobridge will supply technology which will improve battlefield communications, and which will be ''in use in conflict zones like Iraq and Afghanistan''.
This is in marked contrast to an otherwise laudable development where the company created technology to allow mobile phone communications aboard aircraft.
The military technology appears to follow on from the earlier civilian use, and points up the problem of so-called ''dual-use'' products.
The latter form a large section of the largely unaknowledged Irish arms industry. About 60 companies based in Ireland, both Irish and multinational, supply various products to the world military market. In 2003 an Amnesty International report complained that Irish exports of military
or dual-use products were not being logged accurately, the implication being that government is unwilling to admit that our much-lauded technology industry is so involved in products with unsavoury end-uses and with states with poor human rights records. Of concern is the fact that US military
hardware and software often finds its way into other theatres of imperialist aggression, most notably Israel.
The fact that the company's product will, it claims, reduce friendly-fire incidents cannot belie the fact that the technology will be used by the most aggressive and powerful military force in the world in the pursuit of global political hegemony.
The company's insistence that there will be no risk of its staff going to Iraq or Afghanistan to monitor the equipment also betrays a certain cynicism.