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 How did the British fight the IRA, and vice versa?
Swindle1984  [Team Member]
12/29/2007 8:11:55 PM
I'm curious how the British fought the IRA, and how the IRA fought the British.

I know the IRA goal was to sap the political will of the British to continue the fight, and they tried to accomplish this by... what? Car bombings, occasional mortar attacks, and letter bombs? I've seen youtube videos of a bunch of Provos in camo with ski masks hunkered behind a hill and shooting assault rifles, but what the heck were they shooting at? If it was the British military, wouldn't APC's and IFV's have just wiped them out in short order? Aircraft would have located and destroyed enemy combatants in short order; I know the IRA had some Libyan shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, but not many and they were pieces of shit. Did they even shoot anything down with them?

How did the British fight the IRA? It's like taking on enemy combatants in another country where you can just drop a missile down the chimney of their headquarters building or roll in tanks and artillery. How did they track down Provo's and make arrests? When did they engage the IRA in actual combat, and how?

And how did the IRA get its weaponry? I know they started out with caches of stolen American and British WWII weaponry (Garands, Bren LMG's, etc.) and some even older guns, and I know they sent some agents to the US to buy arms (mainly ArmaLite AR-18's), and I know they had an arms deal with Libya that got them AK-47's, RPG-7's, and some SAM's, but how did they actually do the arms trades, how did they get the weapons issued and cached, etc.? How did they fund their arms purchases? I know there were some donations of funds by sympathetic (or at least, anti-British) individuals, and I know at least some IRA members robbed banks or got into the drug trade to fund their operations, but is that it?

How much of a nuisance were they, anyway? I've heard the Provos never had more than 1,500 members at any given time, and the other IRA groups weren't as big. But how much of a presence, or threat, did they really pose at any given time?
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Bostonterrier97  [Member]
12/29/2007 8:15:07 PM
Brits sent out SAS units to hunt down IRA members.
VarmintKilla  [Team Member]
12/29/2007 8:19:41 PM
More often than not the protestants and the catholics were killing each other in places like Belfast. Primarily the IRA attacked targets in England. One of the nastier things they did once was to place incendiary devices into clothes in stores and they went off once people had got them home. I lived in England from the 70s until '91 and remember a lot of the incidents....mortar attacks on 10 Downing St, etc.

I don't recall stories of the British Army mounting huge operations to root out IRA members as we were not technically at war with them. I do remember lots of car bomb attacks at checkpoints though.

ETA: As far as IRA funding goes, and I cannot confirm or deny the authenticity of this, it was rumoured that McDonalds contributed significantly to NORAID (sp?), which was a source of funding to the IRA.
fosters  [Team Member]
12/29/2007 8:30:03 PM
VCP's, eagle patrols...informants...counter terror actions by various units...patrolling...sanger duties(static OP's)...assisting the RUC in arrests of suspects...lots of surveillance

Fundraising was mainly done through...protection,fundraising in pubs...taxi cabs...slot machines...bank robberies...smuggling of contraband from the north to the south...American sympathisers


Not so much a nuisance...but a serious threat...Christmas bombing campaigns...murderers of many innocents...nailbombs...torture of suspected snitches...kneecapping of joyriders.

Most of the players if not all, were known to the powers that be...but this was a grand game of chess being played...and things were played out the way they were for many reasons


fosters  [Team Member]
12/29/2007 8:31:29 PM

Originally Posted By VarmintKilla:
More often than not the protestants and the catholics were killing each other in places like Belfast. Primarily the IRA attacked targets in England. One of the nastier things they did once was to place incendiary devices into clothes in stores and they went off once people had got them home. I lived in England from the 70s until '91 and remember a lot of the incidents....mortar attacks on 10 Downing St, etc.

I don't recall stories of the British Army mounting huge operations to root out IRA members as we were not technically at war with them. I do remember lots of car bomb attacks at checkpoints though.

ETA: As far as IRA funding goes, and I cannot confirm or deny the authenticity of this, it was rumoured that McDonalds contributed significantly to NORAID (sp?), which was a source of funding to the IRA.


That was the whole "IRA" insurance contribution that someone got confused with the provos
Fal1acy  [Member]
12/29/2007 8:35:11 PM
always kinda wondered about this..
and the circumstances etc in general.

It seems like it's never really talked about
The few times it was brought up at school the subject was quickly changed etc

Hm
VarmintKilla  [Team Member]
12/29/2007 8:40:21 PM
The RUC is a police force, not British military and were frequently the target of IRA murder squads.
fosters  [Team Member]
12/29/2007 8:41:17 PM
Low intensity conflict...
One of the lessons we still apply to countries like afghanistan...you cant expect results in these situations in seven days...takes a little longer...hearts and minds and all that.

Sadly this current crop of foks want instant success when anything happens from fast food and instant coffee to warfare...so they lack a staying power or attention span long enough to get through the long haul.
QuixoticHutu  [Member]
12/29/2007 8:43:15 PM

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
I'm curious how the British fought the IRA,

They sent in assasination teams from the SAS. Expect the US to do the same thing here with Delta and the FBI's HRT at some point in the not too distant future.


and how the IRA fought the British.

Initially, quite badly. In the end they found the Brit's Achilles heel and went for it. They kept disrupting London and other business centers with bombs. They got so good at it that they would position a VBIED, then call it into the news and the cops. The whole financial sector would then have to be shut down, and huge financial losses were incurred. They did this without much loss of life, which is why they won.

If they had kept killing people, people would have wanted blood in revenge. Since theye were just being expensive pains in the ass, the Brits capitulated.

There were never more than 250 or 300 IRA/Irish revolutionaries at any given time. It is quite possible to wage a guerilla war against a major power with next to nobody and win (see: Washington DC sniper). The strange thing is that the IRA didn't smarten up sooner and win faster.
fosters  [Team Member]
12/29/2007 8:44:02 PM

Originally Posted By VarmintKilla:
The RUC is a police force, not British military and were frequently the target of IRA murderer squads.

Correct...but we still more than once provided them with support.
Not ever a job I would have wanted to have...talk about walking around with a target on your back...makes you think how many of those guys were killed off by the terrorists in the grand scheme of things...I'll bet it was a fair few
Swindle1984  [Team Member]
12/29/2007 9:00:24 PM

Originally Posted By QuixoticHutu:

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
I'm curious how the British fought the IRA,

They sent in assasination teams from the SAS. Expect the US to do the same thing here with Delta and the FBI's HRT at some point in the not too distant future.


and how the IRA fought the British.

Initially, quite badly. In the end they found the Brit's Achilles heel and went for it. They kept disrupting London and other business centers with bombs. They got so good at it that they would position a VBIED, then call it into the news and the cops. The whole financial sector would then have to be shut down, and huge financial losses were incurred. They did this without much loss of life, which is why they won.

If they had kept killing people, people would have wanted blood in revenge. Since theye were just being expensive pains in the ass, the Brits capitulated.

There were never more than 250 or 300 IRA/Irish revolutionaries at any given time. It is quite possible to wage a guerilla war against a major power with next to nobody and win (see: Washington DC sniper). The strange thing is that the IRA didn't smarten up sooner and win faster.


How did the Brits capitulate? I thought the IRA disarmed in the late 90's?

And how the heck did the D.C. sniper win? His only goal was to randomly kill people; he didn't have a purpose like the IRA. And he got caught.
Ghost556  [Member]
12/29/2007 9:23:05 PM
It's way too involved to be covered in a post. Calls for a bunch of serious reading especially if you don't wanna be 'misled'. And, yes, it IS worth being conversant about because [as noted] we will need the knowledge here -and the time is fast approaching with our slide to fascism.
We're funding a hell of a police state development with our stolen tax dollars and apathy over 'Rights'.
Weapons can usually be had; it's the Will for freedom that's the sticking point. Ghost
WinterBorn  [Member]
12/29/2007 9:30:16 PM

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:

Originally Posted By QuixoticHutu:

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
I'm curious how the British fought the IRA,

They sent in assasination teams from the SAS. Expect the US to do the same thing here with Delta and the FBI's HRT at some point in the not too distant future.


and how the IRA fought the British.

Initially, quite badly. In the end they found the Brit's Achilles heel and went for it. They kept disrupting London and other business centers with bombs. They got so good at it that they would position a VBIED, then call it into the news and the cops. The whole financial sector would then have to be shut down, and huge financial losses were incurred. They did this without much loss of life, which is why they won.

If they had kept killing people, people would have wanted blood in revenge. Since theye were just being expensive pains in the ass, the Brits capitulated.

There were never more than 250 or 300 IRA/Irish revolutionaries at any given time. It is quite possible to wage a guerilla war against a major power with next to nobody and win (see: Washington DC sniper). The strange thing is that the IRA didn't smarten up sooner and win faster.


How did the Brits capitulate? I thought the IRA disarmed in the late 90's?

And how the heck did the D.C. sniper win? His only goal was to randomly kill people; he didn't have a purpose like the IRA. And he got caught.


+1. Last I checked, the IRA lost.

PIRA Objectives:
1) Expel British, reunite Ulster with Republic of Ireland. Failed.
2) Create (communist) Democratic Peoples Republic of Ireland. Failed.

British objectives:
1) End PIRA attacks. Achieved.
2) Reduce sectarian violence in Ulster. Achieved.
hanibal  [Team Member]
12/29/2007 9:38:17 PM

Originally Posted By Ghost556:
It's way too involved to be covered in a post. Calls for a bunch of serious reading especially if you don't wanna be 'misled'. And, yes, it IS worth being conversant about because [as noted] we will need the knowledge here -and the time is fast approaching with our slide to fascism.
We're funding a hell of a police state development with our stolen tax dollars and apathy over 'Rights'.
Weapons can usually be had; it's the Will for freedom that's the sticking point. Ghost



Could you recommend a good book on the subject?
thegoodnamesaregone  [Member]
12/29/2007 9:57:52 PM

Originally Posted By Fal1acy:
always kinda wondered about this..
and the circumstances etc in general.

It seems like it's never really talked about
The few times it was brought up at school the subject was quickly changed etc

Hm


That's cause it all goes back to Henry VIII and his penis. If he had some control over his actions you'd all have a different religion now.
foxherb53  [Team Member]
12/29/2007 10:09:36 PM
IIRC when I was a kid (just after the last iceage) there were some pretty good shoot outs back when it was really going.
joker581  [Team Member]
12/29/2007 10:12:03 PM

Originally Posted By QuixoticHutu:

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
I'm curious how the British fought the IRA,

They sent in assasination teams from the SAS. Expect the US to do the same thing here with Delta and the FBI's HRT at some point in the not too distant future.


and how the IRA fought the British.

Initially, quite badly. In the end they found the Brit's Achilles heel and went for it. They kept disrupting London and other business centers with bombs. They got so good at it that they would position a VBIED, then call it into the news and the cops. The whole financial sector would then have to be shut down, and huge financial losses were incurred. They did this without much loss of life, which is why they won.

If they had kept killing people, people would have wanted blood in revenge. Since theye were just being expensive pains in the ass, the Brits capitulated.

There were never more than 250 or 300 IRA/Irish revolutionaries at any given time. It is quite possible to wage a guerilla war against a major power with next to nobody and win (see: Washington DC sniper). The strange thing is that the IRA didn't smarten up sooner and win faster.
Right.

While it is well worded, the logic behind your post is AFU.

1. Assassination teams from the Army and the FBI? Assuming that this was even a real possibility, do you really believe that it would work out well for Delta and the FBI to do it?

2. The IRA didn't win. They never even came close to winning. If you think otherwise, look at a map. There is still a Northern Ireland and it still belongs to the Brits.

3. The D.C. Snipers also lost. They were caught and convicted of their crimes. One got the death penalty and the other got life without parole.

You may find it helpful to do some reading before you post.
CPO  [Team Member]
12/29/2007 10:20:56 PM
The IRA slowly adopted tactics and philosophy in what is currently considered "4th Generation Warfare."

They even found a sort of "brotherhood" with some well financed eastern block terrorists groups, primarily Islamic.

I lifted this from a previous post concerning a related subject.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=654133&page=4

This information should be studied, we are in it for the long haul.

P.S. There are some here that don't buy into the whole 4th Gen. Warfare concept. They feel we should fight our wars much like we did in most of the Vietnam conflict, Korea and WWII. It will be poo pooed and labeled BS with some sort of out of context remedy from some historical battle back when ships were made of wood and men of iron....

Others think its a cute buzzword.

I'm thinkin' the Russian vets of Afghanistan and Chechnya, our 'stan and Iraq vets, and the Brit vets of N. Ireland don't figure it's so easily passed off. When motivated forces find themselves out tech'd by enemies afraid to sustain casualties, they have a habit of making the conflict too costly to endure.

Sometimes they win.

The articles and books here all relate to the IRA, and site specific engagements and tactics used by them. It's all great reading.

Just understand that the IRA used Eastern combat techniques developed by Eastern cultures over many, many years of technological disadvantage from the west.

They didn't wear rags on their heads. But they did place, with great effect, motivated terrorist operators that effectively fought one of the greatest western powers history has seen.

That lasted over thirty years....

CPO SWCC US Navy (Retired)

TO UNDERSTAND INSURGENCY IN IRAQ:
READ SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW

Reprinted with the permission of Inside Washington Publishers

Inside the Pentagon, Dec. 2, 2004 -- When officers in Army Col. H.R. McMaster’s 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment deploy to Iraq early next year, their preparation for countering the insurgency will have included not only a list of arduous military readiness exercises, but also a litany of books on warfighting and Middle Eastern history.

The mandate to exercise the brains of the “3ACR” comes from somebody who knows a thing or two about military history. The brigade’s troops will be led in Iraq by an acclaimed writer whose own book appears on the “must read” lists of other uniformed leaders.

McMaster’s 446-page “Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies that Led to Vietnam,” published in 1997, is an indictment of the top political and military leadership of the 1960s and ’70s, based on five years of research into previously classified meeting transcripts, telephone conversation tapes, personal diaries and interviews with participants. Disaster in Vietnam, McMaster concludes, was caused “by uniquely human failures at the highest levels of the U.S. government,” according to the publisher.

Some see it as a cautionary tale potentially relevant to current challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The book “contains remarkable parallels with today’s environment, and ought to serve as a matter of sober conscience for this generation of military leaders,” retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold tells Inside the Pentagon. Newbold commanded the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit when it served as the vanguard force for Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, later becoming director for operations on the Joint Staff.

His recommendation is among more than 100 books advocated by active-duty and retired military leaders and defense experts in an informal survey ITP conducted late last month. Individuals with relevant experience or expertise were asked to name up to three books that officers or troops might find essential as they prepare to counter the insurgency in Iraq and help rebuild that nation.

The suggestions may also prove useful holiday reading for others seeking greater understanding of what may sometimes seem a confounding and intractable situation in Iraq, involving complex military, political, economic, cultural and historical dimensions.

Many respondents exceeded the three-book limit, but the poll turned up an interesting mix of titles. Unless otherwise noted, the year cited in this article is the publication date of a book’s currently available, hardcover edition.

There is notable interest in one new book in particular -- Marine Corps Col. Thomas Hammes’ “The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century.” At the same time, ITP’s query elicited a small avalanche of out-of-print and hard-to-find volumes on counterinsurgency warfare.

Hammes’ book, published in September, drew the most plaudits, with one in four senior officers and military experts volunteering the title. The Marine infantry and intelligence specialist argues in the book that the U.S. military has adapted poorly to “fourth-generation warfare,” in which guerillas and terrorists employ low-technology tactics to exploit American vulnerabilities. The only way to prevail against this brand of threat, Hammes asserts, involves flattening military hierarchies and decentralizing command and control, giving greater initiative to small military teams and individual troops.

Hammes is a senior military fellow at National Defense University in Washington.

“The Sling and the Stone” is a “very interesting book” that is “worth the read,” though perhaps more appropriate for senior leaders than junior officers, says Jan Horvath of the Army’s Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate at Ft. Leavenworth, KS. Horvath coordinated his service’s new counterinsurgency manual (ITP, Aug. 26, p1).

Retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Frank Hoffman, who visited Iraq earlier this year, calls the 336-page publication “extremely relevant” to the Iraq situation. He is joined in the recommendation by retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper, a veteran of the Vietnam and 1991 Iraq wars who also served in Egypt, Israel and Lebanon in the late 1970s; Marine Corps Col. G.I. Wilson, a fourth-generation warfare expert with recent experience in the Middle East; and retired Air Force Col. Chet Richards, once a military attaché in the region.

(Richards has also posted a full review of the Hammes’ writing on Amazon.com, the Web-based bookseller.)

A close second for most-recommended book is one that was originally written for private distribution in 1926. T.E. Lawrence’s 700-page tome, “Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph,” remains appropriate today for Iraq-bound forces, several readers noted.

The book, available in a 1991 reissue paperback edition, is Lawrence of Arabia’s first-hand account of his efforts to unify Arab factions against the occupying Turkish army in the early 20th century. Among those advocating a read of it are Newbold; Air Force Gen. T. Michael Moseley, who commanded U.S. Central Command air forces during last year’s war in Iraq; and Richard Kohn, a former Air Force historian who now heads the Curriculum in Peace, War and Defense at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Moseley also recommends Lawrence’s 1919 “Revolt in the Desert” (available in 1993 reprint) and Michael Asher’s 1999 book, “Lawrence: The Uncrowned King of Arabia.”

Marine Corps Lt. Gen. James Mattis, who until this fall commanded the 1st Marine Division in Iraq’s Sunni Triangle, recommends “Seven Pillars of Wisdom,” as well as “The Letters (Travel Library)” by Gertrude Bell, whom Mattis describes as the woman “who practically invented modern Iraq.” A 1987 version of the book is available.

Mattis also led the 1st Marine Division’s assault on Iraq last year, 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Task Force 58 operations in southern Afghanistan in 2001, and a Task Force Ripper assault battalion during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

The general notes that, while in Iraq, he also frequently consulted the 2003 “Inventing Iraq,” by Toby Dodge. “There were more [books], but these were the best,” Mattis says.

A number of Army officers and Marines also are cracking open another book with yellowing pages: The Marine Corps’ own “Small Wars Manual 1940.” Incorporating lessons from more than 100 years of expeditionary fighting, the manual includes practical information and insight for counterinsurgency operations, several officers and experts say. The service is circulating in draft a new update called “Small Wars/21st Century,” expected for release early next year, according to Marine officials.

The 1940 Marine Corps manual appears on McMaster’s 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment’s recommended reading list, as does a 1906 book with a similar title: “Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice,” by C.E. Callwell, a British colonel. The latter title is available in a 1996 paperback edition.

Michael Vickers, a former Army special operations officer who worked for the CIA in the Near East, suggests “Mars Learning: The Marine Corps Development of Small Wars Doctrine, 1915-1940” by Keith Bickel, available in a 2000 edition paperback.

The reading list for the Fort Carson, CO-based 3ACR, obtained by ITP, features a number of other volumes popular with those in the know about countering insurgencies. They include “A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962” by Alistair Horne, which “provides abundant information about the Mediterranean conflict, religion, geography and politics that affected it,” according to an online description of the book. The title is also recommended by Army Maj. Don Vandergriff, a personnel expert and author of the 2002 “Path to Victory: America’s Army and the Revolution in Human Affairs.”

Consider the book a strategic investment: A used paperback version of the 1987 Horne book -- in “acceptable” condition -- was being offered this week on Amazon.com for $97. An audiotape version could be procured at the same location for $80.

Then there’s the similarly titled “Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power” by Max Boot -- also recommended by Hoffman, the retired Marine lieutenant colonel.

“One doesn’t have to agree with Max’s neoconservative agenda to appreciate his delicate pen and ability to distill a lot of material into a smooth narrative,” says Hoffman. “It’s a good remedy for those who felt nation-building was beneath our superpower status.”

If the similarity in titles is not confusing enough, you may want to pick up “A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East” by David Fromkin, which was reissued in paperback in 2001. Air Force Lt. Gen. Lance Smith, deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, recommends that one, noting he read it on the advice of CENTCOM chief Army Gen. John Abizaid. Moseley seconds the suggestion.

Smith also offers the title, “Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World,” by Margaret MacMillan. The 2003 paperback includes a foreword by Richard Holbrooke, former President Bill Clinton’s ambassador to the United Nations.

The two books “are must-reads for anyone interested in the Middle East and how we got to where we are today,” Smith tells ITP.

Looking for more good books on Middle East history, culture and religion?

Moseley recommends “all of Bernard Lewis’ books on the Middle East,” whereas some other readers picked and chose among that author’s works. Here are some titles by the longtime historian -- a favorite of neoconservatives -- the years of publication and those who recommend them:

* “The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror” (2003): Vickers and McMaster’s 3ACR book list;

* “The Arabs in History” (2002 paperback): 3ACR book list;

* “What Went Wrong: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East” (2001): Van Riper; and

* “The Shaping of the Modern Middle East” (1994): Horvath.

For those seeking a counterpoint to Lewis’ distinct perspective, there are alternatives.

Vickers, now at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, joins the 3ACR reading list in recommending Phebe Marr’s 1984 book, “Modern History of Iraq.” The second edition, issued last year in paperback, “places in historical perspective the multiple crises and upheavals that afflict contemporary Iraq,” according to the publisher. Marr formerly served as a National Defense University scholar.

There’s also Kanan Makiya’s 1998 paperback, “Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq, Updated Edition,” which Kohn commends.

Two Ralph Peters books appeared on expert lists. “Beyond Baghdad: Postmodern War and Peace,” a 2003 book by the retired Army lieutenant colonel, comes recommended by a source who opted not to be named. And retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. H. Thomas Hayden (more on him in a minute) suggests a read of Peters’ 2002 book, “Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World.”

Perhaps the most enthusiastic endorsements from officers and experts, though, are reserved for out-of-print or hard-to-find books -- mostly on counterinsurgency warfare -- that seem to have gained new urgency and application in Iraq. These include:

* “Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice” by David Galula. “May I suggest that you run -- not walk -- to the Pentagon library and get in line” for this book, says one retired CIA officer with counterinsurgency experience in Vietnam, who asked not to be named. Finding a copy of the out-of-print 1964 book “is almost impossible,” but Galula’s writing should be regarded as “a primer for how to win in Iraq,” says this source.

* “Defeating Communist Insurgency: Experiences from Malaya and Vietnam” by Robert Thompson. The British author recounts his experiences during the 1948 to 1960 Malayan Emergency in this 1966 book, reprinted in 1978. A single copy of the first edition in “acceptable” condition was available this week on Amazon.com for a pricey $59. Historian Kohn and the former CIA officer recommend it.

* “Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam: Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife” by John Nagl. This 2002 book by an active-duty Army officer remains in print, but its $81.95 price tag may put it out of reach for many readers. Nagl’s work compares the successful British occupation of Malaya with the flawed U.S. counterinsurgency effort in Vietnam. “In examining these two events, he argues that organizational culture is the key variable in determining the success or failure of attempts to adapt to changing circumstances,” according to an online book description. Vandergriff, the Army personnel officer, calls it “one of the finest books written on how to fight an insurgency, have an open culture that encourages adaptability and innovation [and] quick turnaround on lessons learned.” Vickers and McMaster’s 3ACR list agree.

* “Shadow War: Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict” by the aforementioned H.T. Hayden. Wilson recommends this out-of-print book by one of his former compatriots who spent two years in Vietnam and commanded a battalion in the 1991 Persian Gulf war. Hayden, contacted this week, says the 1992 hardcover book is sized to fit in the pocket of a Marine’s utility uniform.

* “The Art of Counter-Revolutionary War: The Strategy of Counter-Insurgency” by John McCuen. Horvath, the Army counterinsurgency doctrine writer, says this out-of-print 1966 book addresses how to defeat a revolutionary adversary at the strategic, operational and tactical levels.

* “The Last Hundred Yards: The NCO’s Contribution to Warfare” by H. John Poole. Vandergriff, an assistant professor of military science at Georgetown University’s ROTC program, says his former cadets now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan “echo the value” of this 1996 out-of-print book.

Two more recent books by Poole -- both still in print -- turn up on multiple must-read lists. To handle fourth-generation warfare at the tactical level, Vandergriff and Wilson recommend Poole and Ray Smith’s October 2004 book, “Tactics of the Crescent Moon: Militant Muslim Combat Methods.” Vandergriff also likes the authors’ 2003 volume, “The Tiger’s Way: A U.S. Private’s Best Chance for Survival.” Richards, the retired Air Force colonel, suggests Poole’s 2001 paperback, “Phantom Soldier: The Enemy’s Answer to U.S. Firepower,” which includes a foreword by fourth-generation warfare expert William Lind.

Those interested in reading more about the insurgency in Vietnam would do well to read “We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young: Ia Drang -- The Battle that Changed the War in Vietnam” by Harold Moore and Joseph Galloway, according to three of those surveyed. A first-hand account by an Army commander and a journalist, the 1992 book provides “an unvarnished look at war that treats friend and foe with dignity,” says Air Force Lt. Gen. Dan Leaf, who commanded the 31st Air Expeditionary Wing in the 1999 war over Kosovo and led an air-ground combat coordination element during last year’s war in Iraq. Newbold and retired Army Col. David Hunt, a former Green Beret and airborne Ranger who served in Bosnia in the mid-1990s, also recommend the book.

Another tome with “gripping insight into the nature of war and men at war,” says Leaf, is E.B. Sledge’s “With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa,” available in a 1996 reprint. It’s also on the list for Horvath, who calls the book “unforgettable.”

If all this reality is a bit too depressing, readers may want to sink into a good novel. Recommended books include two pieces of fiction: “Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae” by Steven Pressfield and “Once an Eagle” by Anton Myrer. Newbold suggests Pressfield’s historical fiction, available in 1999 paperback. Hunt and Moseley recommend the 2000 Myrer book, which pits a virtuous soldier, Sam Damon, against the opportunistic officer Courtney Massengale.

Taken together, all this reading could be quite the antidote for holiday merriment. Is it possible all the bookishness might be for naught?

“Arab culture is such a broad subject that I despair of any non-specialist’s ability to learn much of it in a short period of time,” says Richards, the retired Air Force colonel, himself such a specialist. “The most important point might be that the Iraqis know our soldiers are Americans, and [Iraqis] do not expect them to play by all the rules of their society. As long as [U.S. soldiers] treat people with respect, and smile a lot, they’ll be OK. You don’t have to have a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern culture to know that kicking down doors at 2 a.m., screaming at and manhandling family members, and dragging off the men isn’t going to win a lot of friends.”

Another military expert, speaking on condition of anonymity, agrees books may be helpful but are no substitute for good training, judgment and fortitude.

“To fight and win against an asymmetric enemy, you need a reservoir of strength of character that will allow you to make the ‘right’ decisions in very tough circumstances,” said this source. “Military textbooks and other like books are not the sole source of that type of knowledge.” -- Elaine M. Grossman






CPO  [Team Member]
12/29/2007 10:37:39 PM

Originally Posted By joker581:

Originally Posted By QuixoticHutu:

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
I'm curious how the British fought the IRA,

They sent in assasination teams from the SAS. Expect the US to do the same thing here with Delta and the FBI's HRT at some point in the not too distant future.


and how the IRA fought the British.

Initially, quite badly. In the end they found the Brit's Achilles heel and went for it. They kept disrupting London and other business centers with bombs. They got so good at it that they would position a VBIED, then call it into the news and the cops. The whole financial sector would then have to be shut down, and huge financial losses were incurred. They did this without much loss of life, which is why they won.

If they had kept killing people, people would have wanted blood in revenge. Since theye were just being expensive pains in the ass, the Brits capitulated.

There were never more than 250 or 300 IRA/Irish revolutionaries at any given time. It is quite possible to wage a guerilla war against a major power with next to nobody and win (see: Washington DC sniper). The strange thing is that the IRA didn't smarten up sooner and win faster.
Right.

While it is well worded, the logic behind your post is AFU.

1. Assassination teams from the Army and the FBI? Assuming that this was even a real possibility, do you really believe that it would work out well for Delta and the FBI to do it?

2. The IRA didn't win. They never even came close to winning. If you think otherwise, look at a map. There is still a Northern Ireland and it still belongs to the Brits.

3. The D.C. Snipers also lost. They were caught and convicted of their crimes. One got the death penalty and the other got life without parole.

You may find it helpful to do some reading before you post.


Yes, seems so.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6276416.stm

An internal British Army document released under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in 2007 stated an expert opinion that the British Army had failed to defeat the IRA by force of arms but also claims to have shown the IRA that it could not achieve its ends through violence. The document examined 37 years of British troop deployment and was compiled following a six month study by a team of three officers carried out in early 2006 for General Sir Mike Jackson, the British Army's Chief of the General Staff. The military assesssment describes the IRA as professional, dedicated, highly skilled and resilient.

The paper divides the IRA activity and tactics in two main periods: The so called insurgency phase (1971-1972), and the terrorist phase (1972-1997). The British Army claims to have curbed the IRA insurgency by 1972, but suggests that their efforts since the 1980s aimed to destroy the cell-structured organisation produced no final success in any recognisable way.

http://www.independentmonitoringcommission.org/

These Provisional IRA military activities of 1996-97 were widely believed to have been used to gain leverage in negotiations with the British government during the period. Whereas in 1994-95, the British Conservative Party government had refused to enter public talks with Sinn Féin until the IRA had given up its weapons, the Labour Party government in power by 1997 was prepared to include Sinn Féin in peace talks before IRA decommissioning. Another widespread interpretation of the temporary breakdown in the first IRA ceasefire is that the leadership of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness tolerated a limited return to violence in order to avoid a split between hardliners and moderates in the IRA Army Council. Once they had won over or removed the militarists from the Council, they re-instated the ceasefire.

It appears that since terrorism and 4th Generation Warfare's primary goal is a political one, and military defeat is accepted as the eventual outcome of terrorism, the holdout is for that political goal.

Victory is achieved when the desired change is effected.

Terrorist don't fight for land, riches or resources. They fight for ideas.

CPO SWCC US Navy (Retired)
Swindle1984  [Team Member]
12/29/2007 10:44:48 PM
I've got pdf's of some military manuals: counter-insurgency, counter-geurrilla, counter-sniper, MOUT, Urbanized Combat, CQB, night operations, etc. that all touch on this stuff, but nearly all of it is either manuals for how an individual infantryman is supposed to operate (i.e., house-to-house combat, etc.) or is theoretical stuff, like the "aerial geurrilla warfare" essay I've got about how a smaller, less advanced air force could theoretically be used against a larger, more advanced one with air superiority (likely written with the Polish resistance in WWII and Kuwaiti air force in Gulf War I in mind). Which really doesn't have a lot to do with it. I also have a manual written by some South American communist jerkoff, but it's in spanish (or, actually, I think it might be Portegeuse; half the time it's totally incomprehensible and the other half it's basically written in english with o and a at the end of every word.) and of no use to me.

Basically, what I want to know, is:

What were the IRA's goals, methods, tactics, and strategies? Which were successful and which were not? How did the British counter this and eventually defeat them?

I'm interested in how the US is fighting the terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, Israel is fighting the terrorists in Palestine, how Britain fought the IRA in Ireland, and how Russia fought the Chechens. This sort of stuff is going to come up more and more, and it pays to remain informed.
CPO  [Team Member]
12/29/2007 11:04:56 PM

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
I've got pdf's of some military manuals: counter-insurgency, counter-geurrilla, counter-sniper, MOUT, Urbanized Combat, CQB, night operations, etc. that all touch on this stuff, but nearly all of it is either manuals for how an individual infantryman is supposed to operate (i.e., house-to-house combat, etc.) or is theoretical stuff, like the "aerial geurrilla warfare" essay I've got about how a smaller, less advanced air force could theoretically be used against a larger, more advanced one with air superiority (likely written with the Polish resistance in WWII and Kuwaiti air force in Gulf War I in mind). Which really doesn't have a lot to do with it. I also have a manual written by some South American communist jerkoff, but it's in spanish (or, actually, I think it might be Portegeuse; half the time it's totally incomprehensible and the other half it's basically written in english with o and a at the end of every word.) and of no use to me.

Basically, what I want to know, is:

What were the IRA's goals, methods, tactics, and strategies? Which were successful and which were not? How did the British counter this and eventually defeat them?

I'm interested in how the US is fighting the terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, Israel is fighting the terrorists in Palestine, how Britain fought the IRA in Ireland, and how Russia fought the Chechens. This sort of stuff is going to come up more and more, and it pays to remain informed.


Not to sound argumentative, but the point is you need to quit thinking like a westerner....

There are no easy answers. If there was, we would have already left the Middle East in "victory."

In order for you to understand, you must study the eastern culture that has developed such effective combat techniques.

It's not "how" they do it, it's "why" they do it.

They MUST be motivated to loose so much and gain so little, at least by western standards.

And, that's the problem. We gauge their actions by our cultural/political motivations.

East and West are NOT the same.

Its not an easy subject, and many "experts" don't even have a grasp of what is going on.

Ever find two of them that agree on TV?

How do you fight a culture that loves death as much as you love life?

Who sends their children on terrorist attacks instead of school?

How do we as westerners understand what drives such hatred that one would slaughter innocents to make news headlines that are twisted to appear as though the west committed them?

Sorry dude.

Maybe this is rocket science.

Our military academies are only now full of courses on this "new" type of warfare that has been around since the 4th century.

I guess read a couple of books and be an expert.....?

I'm still studying it and I retired from active duty 13 years ago. I studied it then.

I'm no closer...

CPO SWCC US Navy (Retired)
CPO  [Team Member]
12/29/2007 11:17:04 PM

One last nugget....

If you want just the mechanics of fighting unconventionally, then see this:

http://members.aol.com/posteritypress/

Poole is pretty much the warriors expert on tactics.



CPO SWCC US Navy (Retired)
CPO  [Team Member]
12/29/2007 11:41:41 PM
And, a reading list:

(I know it's long but you wanted to know....)

Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice (Science 101) (Paperback)
by David Galula (Author)

Insurgency and Terrorism: From Revolution to Apocalypse; 2nd Ed., Revised (Paperback)
by Bard E. O'Neill (Author)

Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam (Paperback)
by John A. Nagl (Author), Peter J. Schoomaker (Foreword)

Militant Tricks: Battlefield Ruses of the Islamic Insurgent (Paperback)
by H. John Poole (Author), Ray L. Smith (Foreword), Mike Leahy (Illustrator)

On Guerrilla Warfare (Paperback)
by Mao Tse-tung (Author), Samuel B Griffith (Author)

Tactics of the Crescent Moon: Militant Muslim Combat Methods (Paperback)
by H. John Poole (Author), Ray L. Smith (Foreword), Mike Leahy (Illustrator)

War of the Flea: The Classic Study of Guerrilla Warfare (Paperback)
by Robert Taber (Author)

Small Wars Manual (Paperback)
by United States Marine Corps (Author)

Resisting Rebellion: The History And Politics of Counterinsurgency (Paperback)
by Anthony James Joes (Author)

How Democracies Lose Small Wars: State, Society, and the Failures of France in Algeria, Israel in Lebanon, and the United States in Vietnam (Paperback)
by Gil Merom (Author)

Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency (PSI Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era) (Paperback)
by Roger Trinquier (Author)

Counter-Guerrilla Operations: The Philippine Experience (PSI Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era) (Paperback)
by Napolean D. Valeriano (Author), Charles T.R. Bohannan (Author)

Pacification in Algeria, 1956-1958 (Paperback)
by David Galula (Author)

Modern Insurgencies and Counter-Insurgencies: Guerrillas and Their Opponents Since 1750 (Warfare and History) (Paperback)
by Ian Beckett (Author)

Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice (Third Edition) (Paperback)
by C. E. Callwell (Author), R. Douglas Porch (Introduction)

The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century (Paperback)
by USMC, Colonel Thomas X. Hammes (Author)

Phantom Soldier: The Enemy's Answer to U.S. Firepower (Paperback)
by H. John Poole (Author), William S. Lind (Foreword), Mike Leahy

CPO SWCC US Navy (Retired)
Spade  [Member]
12/30/2007 12:47:43 AM

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:

What were the IRA's goals, methods, tactics, and strategies? Which were successful and which were not? How did the British counter this and eventually defeat them?
.


Depends on the year (from the Anglo-Irish war to today, remember). And which faction (IRA, PIRA, OIRA, RIRA, CIRA, etc. and toss in the INLA for grins). And who that faction happened to be against at that time (DUP, RA, UDR, UDF, RUC, etc.). Hell, even the Anglo-Irish war itself run the gamut of possible tactics. You've got open country ambushes (more military stuff) to in city killings (more terrorist stuff).

I'd suggest Tim Pat Coogan's book called, easily enough, The IRA. It will give you an overview. It's also a big friggin' book.
Basically, you asked a very broad question. I'd suggest starting there.
hanibal  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 12:55:31 AM

Originally Posted By CPO:
And, a reading list:

(I know it's long but you wanted to know....)

Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice (Science 101) (Paperback)
by David Galula (Author)

Insurgency and Terrorism: From Revolution to Apocalypse; 2nd Ed., Revised (Paperback)
by Bard E. O'Neill (Author)

Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam (Paperback)
by John A. Nagl (Author), Peter J. Schoomaker (Foreword)

Militant Tricks: Battlefield Ruses of the Islamic Insurgent (Paperback)
by H. John Poole (Author), Ray L. Smith (Foreword), Mike Leahy (Illustrator)

On Guerrilla Warfare (Paperback)
by Mao Tse-tung (Author), Samuel B Griffith (Author)

Tactics of the Crescent Moon: Militant Muslim Combat Methods (Paperback)
by H. John Poole (Author), Ray L. Smith (Foreword), Mike Leahy (Illustrator)

War of the Flea: The Classic Study of Guerrilla Warfare (Paperback)
by Robert Taber (Author)

Small Wars Manual (Paperback)
by United States Marine Corps (Author)

Resisting Rebellion: The History And Politics of Counterinsurgency (Paperback)
by Anthony James Joes (Author)

How Democracies Lose Small Wars: State, Society, and the Failures of France in Algeria, Israel in Lebanon, and the United States in Vietnam (Paperback)
by Gil Merom (Author)

Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency (PSI Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era) (Paperback)
by Roger Trinquier (Author)

Counter-Guerrilla Operations: The Philippine Experience (PSI Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era) (Paperback)
by Napolean D. Valeriano (Author), Charles T.R. Bohannan (Author)

Pacification in Algeria, 1956-1958 (Paperback)
by David Galula (Author)

Modern Insurgencies and Counter-Insurgencies: Guerrillas and Their Opponents Since 1750 (Warfare and History) (Paperback)
by Ian Beckett (Author)

Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice (Third Edition) (Paperback)
by C. E. Callwell (Author), R. Douglas Porch (Introduction)

The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century (Paperback)
by USMC, Colonel Thomas X. Hammes (Author)

Phantom Soldier: The Enemy's Answer to U.S. Firepower (Paperback)
by H. John Poole (Author), William S. Lind (Foreword), Mike Leahy

CPO SWCC US Navy (Retired)


Thanks for the info!
9mmUser  [Member]
12/30/2007 2:40:46 AM
+1 on the list


so...no one said anything about nuclear weapons from high elevation?
wise_jake  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 2:43:37 AM
For a non-North American perspective, you may want to post a heads-up in the UK HTF.
VarmintKilla  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 8:53:28 AM

Originally Posted By WinterBorn:

+1. Last I checked, the IRA lost.

PIRA Objectives:
1) Expel British, reunite Ulster with Republic of Ireland. Failed.
2) Create (communist) Democratic Peoples Republic of Ireland. Failed.

British objectives:
1) End PIRA attacks. Achieved.
2) Reduce sectarian violence in Ulster. Achieved.


Sorry that I missed continuing in this thread, I went out last night.

Anyway, this is true. I am British and lived in England during the peak of the violence just outside of London. To say the IRA 'won' is extremely misleading and the fact that they are now disarmed as an organization and have moved back to the political process via Sinn Fein speaks volumes. Their campaign of violence failed in the long term and caused minor disruption in the short-term.

I don't remember a time when the center of London was ever shutdown when a bomb scare was called in. Most of the time bomb threats were called in against stores, train stations, underground stations, etc. If they wanted financial disruption on a grander scale they would have planted them outside the stock exchange.

From what I recall most of the time the bomb threats were called in with pre-arranged codes that both Scotland Yard and the IRA had agreed upon to establish the authenticity. More often than not they were complete hoaxes, sometimes they called in with enough time for the bomb squad to diffuse the boms, and others they made sure they left little to no time to allow anything to be done. This was most often the case when some form of violence had already occurred and they wanted tp 'prove a point'. I was stuck once in London when Liverpool St station was closed due to a bomb threat, same once at Kings Cross Station (notice a pattern). They disrupted transportation when they could, but for the most part it didn't have the desired effect on the British people.

One incident I clearly remember, as it was being televised at the time, was when they gave no warning and blew up the Household Cavalry soldiers during a parade. This was seen for what is was: a cowardly attack against the British military and did nothing to endear them to the people they were trying to convince that Northern Ireland should pull away from governance by London.

Like I said, the IRA strategy had very short-term effects on disrupting transportation services, but it by no means caused a huge impact on the financial sector and their overall objective failed. If Northern Ireland goes through devolution it will be for other reasons. Their economic foundation and stability has long been recognized as being
dependent on England, so I don't see that as happening any time soon.

To give you an idea of scale of the 'conflict' (actually called 'The Troubles') from 1969-99, here are some figures:

3637 deaths

144 Loyalists
303 RUC and Reserver
709 British Military
1233 Catholic civilian
698 Protestant civilians
392 Republicans
158 Other

Tell me who the real targts of this campaign were? More pub bombings, kidnappings, murders, home invasions, etc occurred in Northern Ireland (Belfast mainly) as part of the IRA campaign than they did in mainland England.

Where did they get arms from? I think we can thank Libya and one of the founders of the modern IRA, Joe Cahill. Many Republicans had long considered him a legend after his 1942 reprieve from the death sentence for the killing of a policeman. In the 1970s he was jailed again for organising the IRA’s first shipment of Libyan arms. In later years he became a crucial symbol of the political strategy, appearing at key Sinn Fein rallies, symbolising the old guard’s blessing for new leadership's political strategy.

I have lots more information for the period from 69-99 if anyone is interested.
jkstexas2001  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 9:04:06 AM

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:
Brits sent out SAS units to hunt down IRA members.


They were also very successful in infiltrating the IRA with the SAS and other types of personnel.
Ghost556  [Member]
12/30/2007 9:09:19 AM
For those with an interest I submit a few titles about the Irish liberation struggle. This isn't necessarily anything exclusive nor 'best' but a few I saw quickly on my shelves.
'Fighting for Ireland? The Military Strategy of the Irish Republicaan Movement' by M.L.R. Smith
Rebel Hearts, Kevin Toolis
Bloody Sunday,James Gleeson
'The IRA', 'Michael Collins', On the Blanket' all by Tim Pat Coogan
The Marching Season, Daniel Silva.
And a book well worth reading on the overal scope: 'From Resitance to Revolution' by Maier.
Keep in mind that this all was started by England's 'plantation' in the late 1600's when the Irish were dispossessed and disenfranchised by occupation. Big Revolt in 1790's under Wolfe Tone [a protestant!] , whole situation expanded in the Famine of 1845 [and helped provide Grant his cannon fodder in the 1860's here] and then the Easter Rising of 1916 [IIRC-that goes for ALL of this:-)] and reinvigorated by bad economic conditions for the returning troops after WW2 and development of the Brotherhood into the IRA.
Consider this Irish evaluation by The United Irishmen in 1797: 'We have no national govt.;we are ruled by Englishmen and the Servants of Englishmen, whose Object is the interest of another country, whose Instrument is corruption and whose strength is the weakness of Ireland.' Basically the same as the american colonies-only worse!
Most libraries have a decent 'starter' selection-just avoid the anglophobe apologists! And BTW,the first 'active supporters' of the IRA that I ever knew were in american special forces[Green Berets] in the '60's.

'Up the IRA!' Ghost
VarmintKilla  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 9:16:14 AM

Originally Posted By Ghost556:
'Up the IRA!' Ghost


So, are you saying you support terrorist activities rather than a political process? I'm not sure how to interpret that statement.

ETA: Northern Ireland slid into violence in the late 1960s as the unionist-dominated state resisted demands from Catholics for civil rights and equality.
Apart from some sporadic campaigns, the IRA had long been dormant and as the violence worsened, some of its traditional supporters accused it of failing to defend the Catholic community: Graffiti reading "IRA - I Ran Away" appeared in many areas.

Such was the near anarchy, the Irish government even suggested that it would be forced to intervene.

Amid the violence and rows over how to react, what remained of the IRA was already heading for a split over the place of constitutional politics in its movement.

The more Marxist "Official" IRA wanted at least a token recognition of parliamentary politics and the Dublin government.

Hardliners not only demanded action on the streets but regarded political abstention as an article of faith. They said that recognition of the Dail, Dublin's parliament, would entrench partition. They split to form the "Provisional" IRA.

It was the Provisional IRA, later to be just the IRA, which became the main republican paramilitary organisation resisting British rule in Northern Ireland.

Notice this started as a religion based problem.
VarmintKilla  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 9:22:19 AM
As far as the first active supporters being Green Berets, a large contingent of Americans have relations stemming from Ireland so it is little wonder they favoured their bretheren. But just how much real information do you think was being delivered to the US that wasn't altered in some way by the pro Irish groups before it got here?

BTW: My wife is Irish-American and lived with me in England during part of the bombing campaigns. I just read some of your post to her and her response was

"Oh well, it's one thing to get your information from newspapers and tv but it's another thing to live through it. The IRA was no different than the Taliban or Al Qaeda."
Bhart89  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 10:12:33 AM
Britains Small Wars

A great place to read about the smaller conflicts including the IRA.
weptek911  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 10:39:16 AM

Originally Posted By VarmintKilla:

Originally Posted By Ghost556:
'Up the IRA!' Ghost


So, are you saying you support terrorist activities rather than a political process? I'm not sure how to interpret that statement.

.


I'm thinking that's pretty a obvious "Yes".
VarmintKilla  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 10:42:24 AM

Originally Posted By weptek911:

Originally Posted By VarmintKilla:

Originally Posted By Ghost556:
'Up the IRA!' Ghost


So, are you saying you support terrorist activities rather than a political process? I'm not sure how to interpret that statement.

.


I'm thinking that's a pretty big "yes".


If that is the case I find it quite upsetting, but I was affected by it personally. Knowing several people from Northern Ireland that had zero issues with central rule from England, it appears the minority (IRA) has managed to sway the opinion of what should be seen as right and wrong in at least one case. Hey, maybe I'm the minority in this, who knows.
fosters  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 10:49:56 AM
Half Irish,half English...served in the paras and did 2 years active over there...
All to see some one over here say "Up the IRA"

Obviously they have no clue what is about...just as you stated Varmint Killa...
VarmintKilla  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 11:37:24 AM
Guess I just expected more from people that have access to all kinds of information regarding these types of issues. Little wonder Jerry Adams came here to get support I guess. I remember being WTF? at the time, but now I guess I can see why
bfieldburt  [Member]
12/30/2007 1:09:36 PM
I don't know much about the conflict. However, it is my understanding that the IRA was/is a leftist/Marxist organization. Whatever the Brits did to them, or they did to the Brits, their political leanings shouldn't endear most ARFCOMers to them.
VarmintKilla  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 1:22:48 PM
Apparently we have at least one who appears to believe otherwise.
Bodie  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 1:35:00 PM
Imho if there had been an officially sanctioned "Shoot to kill" policy in NI the SAS would have probably taken out the main PIRA Players fairly quick, I imagine the Regiments hands were more than a little tied by bureaucracy.
Bodie  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 1:39:39 PM

Originally Posted By VarmintKilla:
Apparently we have at least one who appears to believe otherwise.



The price we pay for freedom of speech.
VarmintKilla  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 1:43:42 PM
More likely than not they wanted to keep the people in place that had the power to remain there as their methods were not having the desired effect. Getting rid of them and having them replaced by potentially more determined or forward-thinking leadership, could have escalated the problem. Much the same as if Hitler had been removed and some of his more capable staff had taken his place.

Remember, the SAS/FRU, or whatever name they were going by at the time, had infiltrated the IRA from top to bottom and probably good have planned an attack on the leadership at their leisure but chose not to.
CavVet  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 1:55:02 PM
Not knowing the history, but interested nonetheless, I have a question.


I am presuming most of the IRA contention was in wanting GBR out of IRE.

Why was GBR so steadfast in refusing to let IRE go? Was it strictly money? Historically was IRE always "under GBR rule"?




Is IRE an English version of D.C.? They paid tribute but have no political ability of their own???






VarmintKilla  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 2:06:37 PM
Yes, the IRA wanted to separate from England. At least that was their public stance on it, but take a look back and see how it started, with a problem with the lack of Catholic civil rights and equality in 1969. Then in 1971 the Northern Ireland government introduced internment without trial in an attempt to stop the escalating violence. This internment provided the IRA with an opportunity to win support and recruit from within the Catholic community for violent resistance of the security forces.

Then in 1972, the shooting dead of 13 civilians by the British Army at Bloody Sunday in Derry provided yet another recruitment boost to the IRA in the most violent year of the Troubles. What was left of the "Official" IRA was troubled by the rising sectarianism and called an indefinite ceasefire.

The Provisionals, who had been escalating their campaign, suddenly declared a ceasefire to see what the British government would offer. The IRA's leaders were slipped into London for secret talks at the Chelsea home of a government minister.

But Northern Ireland Secretary William Whitelaw rejected their demands for withdrawal, saying they were not only naive but politically impossible.

The meeting may have proved a pivotal point for one young member of the IRA delegation, Gerry Adams. British officials believe Adams knew that physical force would not be enough - they would need a political strategy in the long campaign ahead.

Two weeks after the failed talks, the IRA detonated more than 20 bombs in Belfast, killing nine and injuring 130. Bloody Friday remains one of its worst single acts of violence of the Troubles.

The IRA had sought to portray itself as defenders of the nationalist community. In the wake of Bloody Friday, they were increasingly regarded as pariahs.

The shooting dead of 13 civilians by the British Army at Bloody Sunday in Derry provided yet another recruitment boost to the IRA in the most violent year of the Troubles.
What was left of the "Official" IRA was troubled by the rising sectarianism and called an indefinite ceasefire.

The Provisionals, who had been escalating their campaign, suddenly declared a ceasefire to see what the British government would offer. The IRA's leaders were slipped into London for secret talks at the Chelsea home of a government minister.

But Northern Ireland Secretary William Whitelaw rejected their demands for withdrawal, saying they were not only naive but politically impossible.

The meeting may have proved a pivotal point for one young member of the IRA delegation, Gerry Adams. British officials believe Adams knew that physical force would not be enough - they would need a political strategy in the long campaign ahead.

Two weeks after the failed talks, the IRA detonated more than 20 bombs in Belfast, killing nine and injuring 130. Bloody Friday remains one of its worst single acts of violence of the Troubles.

The end result was that around May of 2000 the IRA said they would put their arms complete and verifiably beyond use and allowed weapons inspectors in to see this in hopes to get back to a power-sharing situation in NI. This didn't work out as planned as the Unionists didn't believe that all arms had been disposed of. There was a second round of decommissioning in April of 2002, meaning in fact that the arms were not disposed of completely.

For unionists there were unresolved issues - the suspected IRA men in Colombia, street violence, the break-in at the Castlereagh base and, in October, a police raid on Sinn Fein's Stormont office. The spying allegations which followed proved too much and within weeks devolution was again suspended as unionists walked out. The IRA withdrew from the decommissioning body and accused others of breaking commitments.

It wasn't until 28 July 2005, that the IRA said it had formally ordered an end to the armed campaign from 4pm that day.
PhilipPeake  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 2:14:13 PM

Originally Posted By CavVet:
Not knowing the history, but interested nonetheless, I have a question.


I am presuming most of the IRA contention was in wanting GBR out of IRE.

Basically, yes. Although not GBR, since that includes Ireland -- just England.

Why was GBR so steadfast in refusing to let IRE go? Was it strictly money? Historically was IRE always "under GBR rule"?

Because when Ireland was given independence part of the deal was that the minority non-Catholics would get a part of the country to call their own -- Ulster. If that hadn't happened there would have been no peace in Ireland, and no independence. Ireland was as much part of GBR as the rest of the British Isles -- of which there are many, Ireland just happens to be the largest of them.



Is IRE an English version of D.C.? They paid tribute but have no political ability of their own???

Absolutely not. The Irish had their vote and had their representatives in Parliament. Of course, they couldn't get all their own way, any more than (say) Oregon can here, because it only has a small number of votes in DC - but thats the price of representative democracy.






A big point being missed in this discussion is the role that certain Americans played in whipping up the IRA hysteria and providing them with moral, finacial and logistic (guns, bombs) support.

When GB made his famous speech after 9/11, a lot of people were waiting to see if he really meant all terrorist supporters, and when the hit squad would go in to MA after Teddy and the bombing of Boston begin.
streetfighter  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 2:17:17 PM

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:
Brits sent out SAS units to hunt down IRA members.


Very uneffectively.
It took on average the combined efforts of 1000 British personnel to kill one IRA member

The Regular green army had more success than the SAS
VarmintKilla  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 2:21:36 PM
I still have that hideous picture of that fuckwad Clinton shaking hands with Gerry Adams in my brain
streetfighter  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 2:30:17 PM

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
How did the Brits capitulate? I thought the IRA disarmed in the late 90's?


Nobody capitulated. The British were sick of it and the IRA reached a point where they realised they couldn't win militarily, so they agreed to both find a way to bring it to an end.
This was ultimately the best solution.

BTW, for those that don't understant this thoroughly, the IRA mainly targeted British interests. Namely the Army, Police and Prison Service. Only rarely did they go after N.Ireland politicians as these represented the people. Gerry Fitt the traitor being one of the exeptions.

Neither did they deliberately target innocent civilians to the extent that everyone believes.
Bomb attacks were always called in, because civilian casualties were mostly aviodable.
Yes Civilians died, but that was generally through inexcuseable cock-ups. And lets face it, when you play with home made bombs, things will invariably go wrong
Spade  [Member]
12/30/2007 2:31:25 PM

Originally Posted By VarmintKilla:

Two weeks after the failed talks, the IRA detonated more than 20 bombs in Belfast, killing nine and injuring 130. Bloody Friday remains one of its worst single acts of violence of the Troubles.
.


The lesson there, and from many other incidents on both sides is that random bombings is actually a really lousy way to conduct an insurgency/terrorism campaign.

Never figured out quite why the IRA or anybody else kept using them either. Can't think of a single Republican or Loyalist song singing the praises of a bomber.
streetfighter  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 2:35:00 PM

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:

I've seen youtube videos of a bunch of Provos in camo with ski masks hunkered behind a hill and shooting assault rifles, but what the heck were they shooting at? If it was the British military, wouldn't APC's and IFV's have just wiped them out in short order? Aircraft would have located and destroyed enemy combatants in short order; I know the IRA had some Libyan shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, but not many and they were pieces of shit. Did they even shoot anything down with them?


It wasn't that kind of fight. Most patrols were on foot, or in Land Rovers.
IIRC, APC's such as Saracens and Humber Pigs were phased out.

Also, one of the issues is using various systems on your own people. Remember all these people were/are British.

I think that overall, only one or 2 helicopters were ever shot down, and these might have been with heavy machinegun
FC_Eloy  [Team Member]
12/30/2007 2:40:25 PM
Tag for history lesson.
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