Is it illegal for soldiers in uniform to enter a different country?

After reading about the Flagstaff Hill incident that created some tension between the Brits and the Irish, it got me wondering. Is it dangerous to do so?

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  • 8 years ago
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    "The Flagstaff hill incident was an international incident between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom which took place on the night of 5/6 May 1976 near Cornamucklagh, County Louth, Republic of Ireland, when the Irish Army and Garda Síochána arrested eight British Special Air Service soldiers that had illegally crossed the border."

    The two men, who wore plain clothes, were Fijian-born trooper Ilisoni Ligari and trooper John Lawson, both members of the SAS. After searching the car, the policemen found a sub machine-gun and a Browning pistol. The Gardaí immediately arrested them, with the help of the Army, and took them to nearby Omeath Garda station. Lawson initially claimed that they were off-duty soldiers who became stranded while test-driving the car, and Ligari refused to talk about "the mission we were on". It later transpired that Lawson and Ligari were in the area to collect or relieve Staff Sergeant Malcom Rees and Corporal Ronald Nicholson; two SAS members carrying-out surveillance from a hidden observation post on Flagstaff Hill, which is just inside Northern Ireland and overlooks Carlingford Lough. According to author Peter Taylor, Rees and Nicholson were actually deployed on the Republic's side of the border.

    When the soldiers manning the surveillance post failed to meet Ligari and Lawson, they radioed Bessbrook Mill. They initially suspected an IRA ambush. Four plain-clothes SAS soldiers–troopers Nial McClean, Vincent Thompson, Nigel Burchell and Carsten Rhodes–were sent to search for their missing comrades in two cars, picking-up the two men from the observation post in the process. The team was carrying another three sub machine-guns, a pump-action shotgun and 222 rounds of ammunition. The first vehicle–a Hillman Avenger carrying Thompson, McClean, Rees and Nicholson–came upon the Garda checkpoint at 2:05 am. Rees and Nicholson were still wearing British Army uniforms. The second car–a Vauxhall Victor with Burchell and Rhodes–was stopped shortly after. Sergeant Rees tried to explain the situation to the Gardaí: "Let us go back. If the roles were reversed we would let you go back. We are all doing the one bloody job", but he eventually ordered his men to lay down their weapons when Irish Army soldiers surrounded both cars and aimed rifles at them. The Gardaí unit, commanded by Sergeant Pat McLoughlin, called for instructions on how to deal with the men now in custody. The shotgun drew the attention of the Gardaí since the same type of weapon was used in three recent murders in the area. Omeath Garda station was ordered to keep the men in custody until a decision was taken at a political level. Before dawn, it was decided that the SAS team be transferred to Dundalk Garda station."

    Once the British Military personnel (uniformed or in civil attire, possessing weapons and ammo) had entered the Irish Republic they had violated Irish Sovereignty and were trespassing on Irish soil, standard operating procedure dictates they be detained, such is the law in nearly every country in the world, from my own experience on the Irish border it was very easy to cross over as in many places there was no clear definition / marking of the border. Irish military personnel often crossed, and as far as I know, most returned to the Irish republic before being discovered, in most cases the incursion being 50 meters to 1 km. The above account is wrong in saying the Irish military made arrests, the Irish Police do that the Irish military are there as back-up to the Civil Power (Police).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flagstaff_hill_incide...

    Source(s): Over 21 years in the Irish Army, mostly on the border, including service in U.N.I.F.I.L. Southern Lebanon
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  • jetta
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

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  • 8 years ago

    Depends on the uniform, the country and the circumstances.

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  • 8 years ago

    If it's not authorized? NO, they cannot enter

    If the country knows they are coming in uniform and OK's it, then there is no problem

    Source(s): U.S.Army Disabled Veteran 19K20 M1A1 Abrams Heavy MBT 1990-1996
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  • 8 years ago

    Every country in the world has different laws, and every military in the world has different regulations. So there is absolutely no way that anyone can answer this question.

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  • Sam
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    It depends on the situation.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    with out permission it's considered an act of war.

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