1st Edition

Fighting for Ireland? The Military Strategy of the Irish Republican Movement

By M.L.R. Smith Copyright 1995
    294 Pages
    by Routledge

    294 Pages
    by Routledge

    Fighting for Ireland? is the first in-depth account of the evolution of Irish Republican strategy. It is highly topical in the light of the faltering peace process and the growing speculation over the IRA's next move: further violence or a new non-violent strategy? This new, updated paperback edition is essential reading for those who wish to disentangle the complex issues and motives behind IRA violence.
    M.L.R. Smith challenges many assumptions about the IRA, pinpointing the organisation's successes as well as its missed opportunities. He demonstrates the tension the movement has experienced between ideology and strategic reality regarding the use of force, illustrating how doctrinal purity has sometimes hampered the IRA in the pursuit of its goals. Contrary to the Irish Republican movement's vigorous and assertive public face Smith uncovers an organisation characterised more by a sense of chronic insecurity than by certainty and continuity.

    Introduction; 1: The Irish republican military mind; 2: Transitions in Irish republican strategy; 3: Political control versus the autonomous military instrument; 4: The military ascendancy; 5: The erosion of Provisional IRA strategy, 1972–1977; 6: The evolution of PIRA's total strategy, 1977–1983; 7: A continuing military enigma; 8: Ending the isolation? Ending the violence?; Conclusion


    M.L.R. Smith

    'A timely ... and welcome addition on an important subject.' - Caroline Kennedy-Pipe, IIS

    'The best recent account of the splits within the republican movement, and the reasons for those splits. As such it must become compulsory reading for anyone interested in current political negotiations.' - Joanna Bourke, Bulletin