Irish Troubles Arise

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Irish Troubles Arise

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Two British soldiers, dressed in desert uniforms and preparing to deploy to Afghanistatn were gunned down in Norrthern Ireland on Saturday night. They were waiting for pizza to be delivered. It was the first time in more than a decade that British soldiers were killed in Northern Ireland.

According to The Guardian “They were waiting for transport. Some of the men decided to order a final pizza before they left. Shortly before 10pm the pizza delivery arrived. The men were off-duty and unarmed. Following the attack the NISGS responded very quickly and professionally and undoubtedly saved lives. The military community is shocked by the brutality of the [onslaught].”

Northern Ireland, a tenuously troubled place even in the best of times, is struggling during this economic crisis. Violence against the British government could be a forerunner of deeper problems stemming from the discontent. Stratfor puts this incident into the larger European context:

The political landscape in Northern Ireland has changed enough that a major breakdown in the country is not likely; however, the economic situation could be enough to rejuvenate the fight against London and plunge the country back into a security crisis. And the idea of such a crisis comes as the leadership of the United Kingdom is overwhelmed with problems: It is fighting two domestically unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and watching its banking sector crumble, and the United Kingdom’s population is counting the days until Prime Minister Gordon Brown steps aside. Violence across Europe prompted by economic troubles has already begun, and British officials expect a much larger backlash this summer, which has already been dubbed the “Summer of Rage.” In Northern Ireland, such violence is about more than reacting to the government, though it merges with the issue of keeping the United Kingdom intact.

Europe is seething right now. The financial meltdown has yet to reach its full impact there. Major changes are on the horizon.