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  1. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    31 May '11 18:18 / 2 edits
    How much moral legitimacy do the modern Irish Republican terrorists/patriots have?

    http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htterr/articles/20110531.aspx

    May 31, 2011: The British government is running into some big problems in Northern Ireland. The recent rise in terrorist attacks by dissident Irish Republican groups has highlighted the dangerous false sense of security into which the province, and the security forces, have fallen since the signing of the peace agreement in 1998. Many former British Army and Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers are worried that the anti-terrorism intelligence capabilities have been hit, and depleted, the hardest with respect to the trouble area of the United Kingdom.

    With the end of the Provisional Irish Republican Army's (PIRA) armed campaign over a decade ago and the decommissioning of IRA weapons, as well as the end of violent Loyalist paramilitary activities, the "Troubles" that plagued Northern Ireland since 1969 appeared to have ended. Because of this, the entire area has undergone a massive demilitarization. The most publicly visible sign that the campaign might be over was the end of Operation "Banner", the British Army's 30-year operation in Northern Ireland that, at its peak, saw the deployment of over 12,000 British troops in Ireland, backed up with Special Air Service (SAS) detachments.

    But the most important achievement the British security establishment made during the "Troubles" was in the field of anti-terrorist intelligence gathering. During the 30-year conflict, the British became the undisputed masters of covert intelligence collection and deployed a plethora of covert units to combat the Irish Republican Army. Along with regular combat forces, the British Army Intelligence Corps was deployed in a big way in Ulster. The RUC's Special Branch recruited and handled informants ("grasses" or, if you are really lucky, a well placed "supergrass" ) along with running undercover operations. MI5, although often regarded as less effective than Army and RUC outfits, also participated in the intelligence gathering effort. Finally, a highly-secretive all-branches unit called the 14 Intelligence Company ("The Det" ) conducted undercover surveillance and bugging ops against suspected Republican terrorists. During the height of the conflict, Ulster could rightly have been considered the most spy-infested area on the globe.

    The need for such a massive, comprehensive intelligence collection apparatus was obvious. Why? Because the IRA were good, really good, at what they did (shooting people, blowing things up, and getting away with it.) Most professional veterans of both military and RUC intelligence arms who saw duty during the "Troubles" are often quick to remind anyone who will listen that, compared to the IRA, groups like Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are pretty amateurish.

    For one thing, the IRA were always far better-armed, for their time, than Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters have ever been. The IRA chose its weaponry carefully according to its needs, what it was likely to face, and how it intended to fight. Secondly, the IRA were far better organized and were experts at internal security, even possessing its own counterintelligence unit. A terrorist group doesn't survive 30 years of intense military and police pressure, stay intact, successfully smuggle weapons and pull off attacks, and gain some measure of political legitimacy without some smart guys running the show. So successful was the IRA as an insurgent group that British Army analysts admitted that the conflict eventually, from a military standpoint, ended in a stalemate. The IRA could not win the conflict through violence because of the intense military, police, and intelligence pressure constantly exerted upon them, and the British Army and RUC simply couldn't completely stamp out by force an organization that, by the 1990s, had become the most lethal, well-armed, and well-organized insurgent force in Europe. Depending on who you ask, both sides claim they won.

    Unfortunately, a negative byproduct of the PIRA's "defeat" was the dismantling of the ruthlessly efficient intelligence machine that had waged the covert war in Northern Ireland. RUC's Special Branch was disbanded in the early 2000s. MI5 and MI6 have spent the last decade operating in the Middle East and conducting surveillance on Moslem (not Irish) terrorists. The 14 Intelligence Company was transformed into the Special Reconnaissance Regiment and sent to Iraq and Afghanistan (and now Libya). The SRR has been operating again in Northern Ireland over the last few years, but is still being dwarfed by the efforts against Islamic extremism. With Northern Ireland again becoming a problem, the British are scrambling to build back the enviable spy machine they operated for so many years.
  2. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    31 May '11 18:27
    When I was a wee kiddy (5 years of age) the first song we learnt to sing on the schoolyard went:

    When I was one,
    I bought a drum,
    But the only tune,
    That I could play,
    Was *&^%& the queen and the UDA,
    IRA,
    All the way,
    *(*^& the queen and the UDA.
  3. Standard member DrKF
    incipit parodia
    31 May '11 18:33
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    How much moral legitimacy do the modern Irish Republican terrorists/patriots have?

    http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htterr/articles/20110531.aspx

    May 31, 2011: The British government is running into some big problems in Northern Ireland. The recent rise in terrorist attacks by dissident Irish Republican groups has highlighted the dangerous fa ...[text shortened]... build back the enviable spy machine they operated for so many years.
    Good article that hits the nail on the head. As part of the change from the RUC to the PSNI, an enormous number of the most experienced police retired (not least because 'most experienced' seems like something of a euphemism to the Republican community). Special Branch lost a huge number of handlers and a large number of informants were retired. (Including, of course, the one-time head of PIRAs internal security apparatus.) 'Corporate knowledge' quickly dissipated. The result is a threat that, back in the day, would have been worthy of a short-lived splinter group, but today is much harder to counter.
  4. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    31 May '11 18:37
    Generalissimo sent me a PM to complain about this thread. Hi G-mo!
  5. Standard member DrKF
    incipit parodia
    31 May '11 18:40
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Generalissimo sent me a PM to complain about this thread. Hi G-mo!
    Start another one on Natural Rights, say 'No1 Marauder' three times and he'll appear.

    It's a good article, as I say, but it reminds me of something else I read recently, and can't remember what or where, irritatingly.
  6. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    31 May '11 18:42
    Originally posted by DrKF
    Start another one on Natural Rights, say 'No1 Marauder' three times and he'll appear.

    It's a good article, as I say, but it reminds me of something else I read recently, and can't remember what or where, irritatingly.
    That site is notorious for doing what I just did - stealing articles. It's also highly opinionated and somewhat partisan, and the administration can't spell.

    But it's still a good site overall if you keep these things in mind.
  7. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    31 May '11 18:52 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    When I was a wee kiddy (5 years of age) the first song we learnt to sing on the schoolyard went:
    Did you grow up in Ireland?

    This is the UDA:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Defence_Association

    Apparently the Northern Ireland equivalent to the IRA.
  8. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    31 May '11 19:49
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Did you grow up in Ireland?

    This is the UDA:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Defence_Association

    Apparently the Northern Ireland equivalent to the IRA.
    Nope. Never been to Ireland in my life.
    British politics is a fickle affair.
  9. 31 May '11 21:55 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Generalissimo sent me a PM to complain about this thread. Hi G-mo!
    What precisely was the substance of the complaint? Perhaps generalissimo (if he's willing) could now publicise it? Or you could, I suppose, since you've mentioned it. Although I'm not convinced it's absolutely the best possible debating form to make a PM public, if you were not the one who sent it...
  10. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    31 May '11 22:29
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Did you grow up in Ireland?

    This is the UDA:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Defence_Association

    Apparently the Northern Ireland equivalent to the IRA.
    Hardly.
  11. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    01 Jun '11 00:29
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    How much moral legitimacy do the modern Irish Republican terrorists/patriots have?

    http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htterr/articles/20110531.aspx

    May 31, 2011: The British government is running into some big problems in Northern Ireland. The recent rise in terrorist attacks by dissident Irish Republican groups has highlighted the dangerous fa ...[text shortened]... build back the enviable spy machine they operated for so many years.
    Trying to run the whole damn world can be such a pain sometimes. A tear for the UK and their overworked spies and informers.:'(
  12. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    01 Jun '11 00:45
    Eyes of the IRA are Upon You
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htNSUBjXV6g
  13. 01 Jun '11 00:47
    What does any of this have to do with individual retirement accounts?
  14. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    01 Jun '11 00:49
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Generalissimo sent me a PM to complain about this thread. Hi G-mo!
    Oh. So it's not just me who gets creepy PMs from generalissimo.
  15. 01 Jun '11 17:13
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    What precisely was the substance of the complaint? Perhaps generalissimo (if he's willing) could now publicise it? Or you could, I suppose, since you've mentioned it. Although I'm not convinced it's absolutely the best possible debating form to make a PM public, if you were not the one who sent it...
    The PM I sent to ATY was composed with certain concerns in mind, about the prospects of this debate in terms of the practicality of the discussion, whether it could arrive any at concrete conclusion that hasn't already been concluded before.