From Direct Rule to Motorman: adjusting British military strategy for Northern Ireland in 1972

Huw Charles Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

The British campaign in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s is often portrayed as consistent in its repressive character and its failure to successfully relate military means to political ends. This article argues that British military strategy was adaptable, alternating between defensive and offensive means depending on the changing political context. The low profile policy allowed the army to consolidate a firm basis for later offensive operations against the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA). This proved successful because it contrasted with Republican violence and was contextualized within the government's willingness to negotiate and compromise when necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-532
Number of pages21
JournalStudies in Conflict and Terrorism
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2010

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