Tiocfaidh ár lá: A Critical Examination of British Counterinsurgency Operations in Northern Ireland 1969-1998 [open pdf - 624KB]
From the thesis abstract: "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. It specifically focused on key British actions taken in each period and compared them to those of the PIRA [Provisional Irish Republican Army] in order to assess their impacts on PIRA operations. Even though it took some 20 years to develop, it is apparent that the cumulative effect of Britain's 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 [counter-insurgency] principles, crippled the PIRA as a relevant insurgent organization and paved the way for the peace process to begin."
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