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Tiocfaidh ar la : A Critical Examination of British Counterinsurgency Operations in Northern Ireland 1969-1998
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This monograph examines the evolution of the British operational approach against the Provisional Irish Republican Army during the Troubles 1969-1998 to determine its overall effectiveness in achieving the stated strategic objective of a lasting political solution. It also evaluates the British approach in terms of contemporary counterinsurgency doctrine and seeks to identify relevant enduring themes. Research consisted of an examination of the origins of the Anglo-Irish conflict and the chronological evolution of the British operational approach during three distinct periods of the conflict characterized by varying levels of violence, operational characteristics, intelligence apparatus development, and intelligence integration. These periods are as follows Peacekeeping and Wide Area Security 1969-1972, the Intelligence War 1973-1977, Police Primacy 1977-1985, and Shoot to Kill 1985-1994. It specifically focuses on key British actions taken in each period and compares them to those of the PIRA to assess their impacts on PIRA operations. Even though it took some 20 years to develop, it is apparent that the cumulative effect of Britains operational approach was instrumental in forcing the PIRA to abandon militarism and embrace a political settlement. In its final manifestation, this approach employed sound COIN principles, crippled the PIRA as a relevant insurgent organization, and paved the way for the peace process to begin.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE