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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.
|List of figures and tables|
|Introduction - developing a strategic approach to the Irish republican movement||1|
|1||The Irish republican military mind - the evolution of a strategic tradition||6|
|2||Transitions in Irish republican strategy - the development of the military instrument from the Easter rising to the civil war||30|
|3||Political control versus the autonomous military instrument - Irish republican strategy from the civil war to the 1970s||56|
|4||The military ascendancy - the Provisional IRA on the offensive, 1970-1972||91|
|5||The erosion of Provisional IRA strategy, 1972-1977||117|
|6||The evolution of PIRA's total strategy, 1977-1983||143|
|7||A continuing military enigma - the contradictory dynamics of the total strategy, 1983-1990||169|
|8||Ending the isolation? Ending the violence?||195|