Irish communists condemned a deal today between the country and Britain to send soldiers on a "joint training mission" to Mali.
Irish Defence Minister Alan Shatter said that eight Irish soldiers and 18 Britons would travel to the troubled African country with the Royal Irish Regiment.
They are due to deliver armed military training as well as teaching about human rights and protecting civilians.
The deployment will be led by the British and is part of an EU training mission.
But Communist Party of Ireland general secretary Eugene McCartan denounced the military adventures now under way in Mali as having "little to do with human rights but are for the purpose of restoring regimes in Africa under Western control."
The announcement came a day after Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited Dublin.
Foreign Minister Alistair Burt's admission that the Cameron government has "supported" a survey of attitudes to US drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas amounts to a tacit admission of British involvement.