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UK | COBR Meeting 071997

Jamie

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Her Majesty's Government
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In conclusion to the Spanish State Visit to the United Kingdom, the British Prime Minister had announced his intention for a COBR Meeting to discuss the turning events of Ireland. Later that evening, all the cabinet ministers waited patiently in the conference room of 10 Downing Street.

Prime Minister, Andrew Evans
"Good Evening. I have asked you all here to discuss a growing concern that I believe we have all been informed of in one way or another, the return of the Irish Republican Army in Ireland. Over the last months and weeks, violence has been taking place from bombings and small scale attacks which echoed terrorism. A few days ago, Ireland have confirmed that the IRA have now taken control of Killarney, a town in Southern Ireland with a population of roughly 14,000 people. Until then, the Governments strategy has revolved around local law enforcement tightening the borders but due to the movement been more Southern Ireland based, I am concerned that by the time activities of the Irish Republican Army occur frequently on the border, they will have already amassed an army if they have already taken control of territory from Ireland. This is growing into a severe threat to national security which saw the threat level raise to Substantial. The highest it has been in two years, I have compiled a pack of information relating to the recent events for you all to review--"

The Prime Minister stopped speaking and distributed a pack out to all the present Cabinet Ministers, around 5-10minutes passed for them to review the documentation which withdrew information from the news and more confidential information from UK-IRE discussions.

Prime Minister, Andrew Evans
"Based on that information, there are a few points I would like to raise. Specifically: the threat level is currently at Substantial. In light of the new developments, are we suggesting an attack is expected, or highly likely? Or, should this be retained as a strong possibility? Furthermore, our current involvement has been on the backseat and utilizing local law enforcement to tighten borders. Irish Forces have blockaded the town of Killarney which I suspect may only rally support to them under potential oppression. Our next decision is vital for the protection of the United Kingdom and to prevent the return of the notorious "Troubles"".

Andrew stopped speaking, allowing others in the cabinet to speak. Specifically those involved in the areas that would be required such as the Home Office and Ministry of Defence.

Secretary of State for the Home Department, Emma Ryan
"The Intelligence Services are monitoring the situation and I have received word this afternoon that we have Intelligence Officers in discussion with Irish Authorities too. I am yet to hear back but from assessment, the consensus within Mi5 was to maintain the current threat level as Substantial. We have yet to receive intelligence that the Irish Republican Army would be carrying out any atrocities on the United Kingdom and they have, so far, been isolated in Southern Ireland. Unfortunately the Secretary of Foreign Affairs is otherwise engaged but I did speak to him earlier today regarding Ireland. He has made the suggestion to change the travel advisory and set Ireland to be 'Reconsider your need to travel' which will only be concreted based on the take over of an entire town. Anyone going into Ireland is currently at risk as we see more attacks happen daily and we can only predict that more will occur."

"Hear, hear" echoed around the room as multiple cabinet members concurred with the verdict for the travel advisory before Jason Green begun to speak.

Secretary of State for Defence, Jason Green
"The take over of Killarney is no doubt a pivotal point and a sign that the Irish Republican Army is growing into a major terrorist group. It has been two and a half years since The Troubles ended and we must avoid getting into the same situation our last government did. Restricting travel is no doubt the safest requirement to prevent the transport of arms and IRA supporters into Northern Ireland, and by extension, England, Wales and Scotland. Deploying the military and eliminating the threat is the next priority --"

Secretary of State for the Home Department, Emma Ryan
--"Respectfully, eliminating the ideology and if required, members of the Irish Republican Army is required for national security but moving to a large scale of military assets would awaken the larger threat of a civil war closer to home. We already have a larger police presence, including armed police, on the border which protects that and if the Irish Army are able to subdue them at Killarney, it would save us the need for using our own forces."

Secretary of State for Defence, Jason Green
"The Irish Government are clearly struggling with these terrorists, we are now at the point where hitting them in Killarney will prevent the deaths of thousands, or allowing it to continue risks them moving outwards and bypassing the Irish Army. Preparing our Army for operations in the area must be paramount, and if not yet deployed, be on stand by. I would heavily suggest actual operations to take place for reconnaissance from the Air Force. We need eyes on and we need a better picture."

Prime Minister, Andrew Evans
"Thank you all for your input, unless anyone else has any objections, and under advisement of the Intelligence Services and Foreign Office, the Travel Advisory for Ireland will be increased to Reconsider your need to travel and the threat level will remain Substantial. As a precaution, I would like more police on the streets in Ireland. To cope with resources, police forces from England, Wales and Scotland are going to offer financial incentives to officers who wish to temporarily transfer to Northern Ireland. Accommodation and expenses paid under a one billion dollar package. Hopefully this will cover the required manpower and support the local economy in Northern Ireland specifically. Our next steps, I am happy for the Ministry of Defence and Intelligence Services to be in dialogue with Ireland to conduct operations for intelligence gathering and.. in the unfortunate scenario of us needing military intervention, I would like the MOD to put units of the British Army on immediate readiness to deploy to Ireland if necessary. Are there any questions?"

The meeting continued for some time with some questions about general logistics and follow up points before concluding. Each Secretary departing to go to their next meetings or handle the changes requested by the Prime Minister who himself was planning his next visit to the United States.


 
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