Page 1 of 10 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 183

Thread: Northern Ireland (merged thread)

  1. #1
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    17

    Default Northern Ireland

    Moderator's Note

    Today, 16th April 2012, I have merged five threads from various areas and changed the thread's title.(Ends)


    I would be glad for any member to point me towards available past and present documents pertaining to the use of military and police forces in Northern Ireland.
    I would be especially interested in the "Blue Book" if anybody has it.
    Thank you.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-16-2012 at 10:38 AM. Reason: Add Mod's Note

  2. #2
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default Welcome...

    .. to the board and looking forward to your contributions to the discussions here.

    If I remember correctly, the Blue Book is a restricted publication and should not be passed on through unofficial channels. Would recommend the normal official means for such a request.

    Best,

    Dave

  3. #3
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Stafford, VA
    Posts
    262

    Default

    I echo the comments above. I believe that this is a restricted document. However, the Canadians have incorporated much of the Northern Ireland lessons learned into their Dispatches series. I would try to contact them as well. In addition, I would try to locate a copy of the UK COIN manual which should cover much of what you are looking for.

    As for a book recommendation, Moloney's A Secret History of the IRA is the best book on the subject that I have read.

  4. #4
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Thank you for the recommandations; I have read Moloney's book and found it very informative indeed; I am currently reading the updated version of The RUC: a force under fire by Chris Ryder which is quite interesting too.

    If anybody is aware of personal, maybe unpublished first-person account of rural tours....I have already read the usual suspects such as Bandit Country and Brigadier Morton's 3 PARA: emergency Tour Armagh 1976" as well as a few others.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2

    Default

    If you have any question I would be happy to try to answer them.
    e-mail me at neilpresage@hotmail.com

  6. #6
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    11,799

    Smile A few books on Ulster

    Below is a list of books collected when 'The Troubles' were "hot" and I've added asterisks to the best ones - although read years ago. I've not checked their availability on Amazon.com, most were published in the U.K.

    **Bandit Country: The IRA & South Armagh, by Toby Harnden; pub. Coronet 1999

    **Rebel Heart: Journeys within the IRA’s soul, by Kevin Toolis; pub. Picador 1996 (explains what makes the IRA tick)

    **The Irish War: The Military History of a domestic conflict, by Tony Geraghty; pub. Harper & Collins 1998)

    **Shadows: Inside Northern Ireland’s Special Branch by Alan Barker; pub. Mainstream Publishing 2004 (insiders account)

    **The Thin Green Line: The History of the Royal Ulster Constablulary GC by Richard Doherty; pub. Pen & Sword 2004

    **Phoenix: Policing the Shadows by Jack Holland & Susan Phoenix; pub. Hodder & Stoughton 1996 (insiders account of RUC surveillance and CT work)

    The Guineapigs, by John McGuffin, pub. Penguin 1972; (internment interrogation allegations)

    The Informer, by Sean O’Callaghan, pub. Corgi Books 1999; (informer inside PIRA for the Garda Siochana - Irish Police)

    Amush: The war between the SAS & IRA, by James Adams, Robin Morgan & Anthony Bambridge, pub. Pan 1988

    Stone Cold, by Martin Dillon, pub. Arrow 1993 (Michael Stone and Milltown massacre)

    Fishers of Men, by Rob Lewis; pub. Coronet 2000 (British Army FRU insiders account)

    Ten-Thirty-Three, by Nicholas Davies; pub. Mainstream 1999 (FRU expose by investigative journalist)

    Beating the Terrorists: Interrogation in Omagh, Gough and Castlereagh by Peter Taylor; pub. Penguin 1980 (RUC methods 1976-79, by a journalist who became a regular writer on Ulster)

    A Secret History of the IRA by Ed Moloney; pub. Penguin 2002

    Twenty-five years of terror: The IRA’s war against the British by Martin Dillon; pub. Bantam Books 1996

    Nights in Armour by Blair McMahon; pub. Ulster Society 1993 (fiction about serving in the RUC)

    14 May Days: The inside story of the Loyalist Strike of 1974, by Don Anderson; pub. Gill & Macmillan 1994

    Behind the Lines: The story of the IRA and the Loyalist ceasefires by Brian Rowan; pub. The Blackstaff Press 1995

    The Serpents Tail by Martin Dillon; pub. Richard Cohen Books 1995 (novel about informants)

    A Testimony to Courage: The Regimental History of the Ulster Defence Regiment by John Potter; pub. Pen & Sword 2001

    The RUC: A Force under Fire by Chris Ryder; pub. Methuen 1989 (several editions since then by a well known local journalist)

    Dead Ground: Infiltrating the IRA by Raymond Gilmour; pub. Little, Brown & Company 1988 (informer for the RUC)

    Loyalists by Peter Taylor; pub. Bloomsbury 1999 (book for the BBC TV series; similar book for PIRA)

    The Long War: IRA and Sin Fein by Brendan O’Brien; pub. O’Brien Press 1993

    Pig In The Middle: The Army in Northern Ireland 1969-1984 by Desmond Hamill; pub. Methuen 1985 (revised edition later)

    The Provisional IRA by Patrick Bishop & Eamonn Mallie; pub. Heinmann 1987

    Big Boys Rules: The Secret Struggle against the IRA by Mark Urban; pub. Faber & Faber 1992

    The Dirty War by Martin Dillon; pub, Hutchinson 1988

    Policing Under Fire: Ethnic Conflict and Police-Community Relations in Northern Ireland by Ronald Weitzer; pub. SUNY 1995

    Any questions ask via private message.

    Davidbfpo

  7. #7
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo
    Below is a list of books collected when 'The Troubles' were "hot" and I've added asterisks to the best ones - although read years ago. I've not checked their availability on Amazon.com, most were published in the U.K.

    **Bandit Country: The IRA & South Armagh, by Toby Harnden; pub. Coronet 1999

    **The Irish War: The Military History of a domestic conflict, by Tony Geraghty; pub. Harper & Collins 1998)

    **The Thin Green Line: The History of the Royal Ulster Constablulary GC by Richard Doherty; pub. Pen & Sword 2004

    **Phoenix: Policing the Shadows by Jack Holland & Susan Phoenix; pub. Hodder & Stoughton 1996 (insiders account of RUC surveillance and CT work)

    The Informer, by Sean O’Callaghan, pub. Corgi Books 1999; (informer inside PIRA for the Garda Siochana - Irish Police)

    Amush: The war between the SAS & IRA, by James Adams, Robin Morgan & Anthony Bambridge, pub. Pan 1988

    Fishers of Men, by Rob Lewis; pub. Coronet 2000 (British Army FRU insiders account)

    A Testimony to Courage: The Regimental History of the Ulster Defence Regiment by John Potter; pub. Pen & Sword 2001

    The RUC: A Force under Fire by Chris Ryder; pub. Methuen 1989 (several editions since then by a well known local journalist)

    Pig In The Middle: The Army in Northern Ireland 1969-1984 by Desmond Hamill; pub. Methuen 1985 (revised edition later)

    Big Boys Rules: The Secret Struggle against the IRA by Mark Urban; pub. Faber & Faber 1992
    I read the above books; thanks for the list. I found "The thin green line" very disappointing having read "A force under fire" just before. "The thin green line" seems to be a poor copy of Chris Ryder's book on the RUC with a lesser depth of analysis.

    Bandit Country and Big Boys Rules were among my favourite as well as "NI soldiers talking" by Max Arthur for its "view from the ground" feel.

    I will try to get some of the others.

    Regards,

    W

  8. #8
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    17

    Default French magazine on Northern Ireland.

    The French language magazine RAIDS has published a special issue on the Security Forces in Northern Ireland to prepare for the end of Op Banner in Aug. 2007.



    Summary:


    • Operation Banner
    • Chronology of the conflict
    • Republican paramilitaries
    • PIRA's improvised weaponry
    • Loyalist paramilitaries
    • Paramilitaries' weapons
    • Pre-deployment training in the British Army
    • The Royal Ulster Constabulary
    • The Ulster Defence Regiment
    • Intelligence gathering
    • Armoured vehicles of the security forces
    • Border operations
    • The Peace process and today's military situation


    http://raids.histoireetcollections.c...erie-n-21.html

  9. #9
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default Northern Ireland Holds Iraq Lessons

    24 October Washington Times - Northern Ireland Holds Iraq Lessons by Rowan Scarborough.

    Some of the Army's brightest minds gathered Oct. 16 in an auditorium in the Pentagon to hear a British general explain how Britain won in Northern Ireland after 37 years of fighting insurgents and how those lessons might be applied in Iraq...

    The Army lecture featured Gen. C. Redmond Watt, Britain's top land forces commander who headed government troops in Northern Ireland when the Irish Republican Army announced disarmament last year. That 37-year campaign offered a textbook of lessons on how to defeat armed groups who use unconventional warfare to kill people, military and civilian alike.

    Gen. Watt told the senior Army people, who included Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the chief of staff, that the British initially made mistakes by trying for quick tactical victories instead of embracing a long-range plan.

    A person at the lecture noted that Gen. Watt said Iraq is 10 years away from a "sufficient outcome." It will take that long to bring along the Iraqi security forces, disarm militants and nurture the politicians needed to sustain a democratic society.

    Gen. Watt was not invited especially because of Iraq. His appearance was part of a long-standing Kermit Roosevelt Lecture series to forge close British-American ties. But his talk did give Army officials insights into how to win in Iraq.

    "Listening to a British general makes sense because the British, through a hard and long experience, discovered some of the ways to force armed groups to give up armed struggle," said Mr. Shultz, author of "Insurgents, Terrorists and Militias: The Warriors of Contemporary Combat."

    He added, "The British understood there were different factions in Northern Ireland. They helped some. They worked against others. You also need to be able to degrade insurgents. That's how others have done it. This includes the Israelis and the British. The key to success was intelligence. They developed a method for local intelligence that was able to put the IRA back on its heels. The chieftains can't breathe. They have to worry about their own security. The reason the IRA finally came to the table is because they just knew they weren't going to win the armed struggle."

    Iraq is just as complex, if not more so. American commanders face different types of deadly enemies. An Army officer in Baghdad said in an interview that it is now impossible to say how large the enemy is. "It's gang warfare," the officer said.

  10. #10
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    17

    Default

    I have yet to meet a British serviceman claiming that the British army "won" in NI.

    Most admit that PIRA was a very hefty opponent and that they struck almost at will in some area.

    They generally speak about having reached "an acceptable level of violence" but after having lost 763 KIA in "the province", the only victory for the British army is that a political process has been followed, (the Belfast Agreement); it will eventually, in all probability, end with the Sinn Féin, the PIRA's political wing, reaching power in the near future.

    I don't see any victory there. Containment for sure, but victory I think not.

  11. #11
    Council Member Mondor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    64

    Default Victory?

    I guess it is a matter of definition. If victory, meaning the political objective, was to force the armed groups to give up armed struggle then the UK was victorious. If one defines victory as militarily crushing the enemy and forcing them to accept your solution then there was/is no victory in NI.

    Once the troubles started and it became clear that a military/reaction only solution was not going to work the UK government(s) shifted gear and worked to end the political support for the Provos. It took some time but I think that there are lessons to be learned here. Once the UK shifted their mind set and addressed local grievances then the support for “active service operations” by the Provos dried up. (Massive oversimplification of this conflict thrown in at no charge!)

    I think we should look at both the stated and unstated goals. In Iraq the stated goal is a viable democratic Iraqi state. However the administration’s primary focus of effort seems to be on achieving a military defeat of the enemy (insurgents, terrorists, rogue militias, terrorist state proxies, etc.). Perhaps a shift to something more than the current focus on a military solution provided by the US and a political solution provided by the Iraqis might be worth exploring.
    It is right to learn, even from one's enemies
    Ovid

  12. #12
    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    CO
    Posts
    681

    Default

    It is dangerous to make comparisons between N. Ireland and Iraq. There are definite similarities to be sure but there are some important differences as well. The troubles were not about religion. The catholics and protestants did not hate each other because of their particular religious beliefs. For the purposes of the conflict "Catholic" and "Protestant" could be considered ethnic groups rather than religious sects. It wasn't/isn't about whether or not you believe in the saints or take communion it was/is about whether you grew up on the Falls road or the Shankill, whether or not you believe in a united free Ireland or a British Northern Ireland. I'm not saying that that is not present in Iraq but I believe that the differences in religious beliefs between Sunnis and Shia are still central the to fighting (with a healthy dose of good old fashioned racism toward the Kurds thrown in). Zarqawi (SP?) was said to have hated the Shia more than the coalition. The British had to address the political but could pretty much ignore the religious. That is not the case in Iraq where we must pay attention to both the religious and political. At least that is the way I see it.

    SFC W

  13. #13
    Council Member Mondor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    64

    Default Danger

    I’ll agree that there is a danger in comparing different conflicts, but it is not a new danger to comparative studies. Having said that, I’ll have to disagree with your analysis on the role of religion in NI conflict. Religion played a primary role in cultural identification. Victimes/casualities were nearly always identified by their religious affiliation. People refer to areas as being not just republican or union, but protestant and catholic. To ignore the impact of religion in NI would be a grave mistake. The same as ignoring the impact of the sunni and shia tensions on Islam in general or the differences between shias amongst the twelvers, the ismaili, and the zaidiyyah. Either way, the compression between the two conflicts focusing on religion as being the primary cultural identification is valid.

    Forgive me if I mix my tenses here, I still have a hard time using the past tense when referring to the NI conflict.
    It is right to learn, even from one's enemies
    Ovid

  14. #14
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,098

    Default

    From the Jan-Feb 07 issue of Military Review:

    Counterinsurgency Intelligence in a "Long War": The British Experience in Northern Ireland
    ...The totality of the British intelligence experience in Northern Ireland, both its successes and challenges, is what makes it a valuable example from which to draw insight to shape contemporary COIN intelligence operations. Had the practices from earlier British conflicts transferred seamlessly and flawlessly into the fight against PIRA, the value of the Northern Ireland experience as a case study would likely be much more limited. Given the adaptability of insurgent groups and the specificity of local circumstances, effectively implementing COIN operations will almost always demand learning and adaptability on the part of military and intelligence organizations. These units must shape themselves appropriately for the fight, apply the right tools to collect and analyze intelligence, and use the intelligence effectively against the insurgency. The British experience provides lessons in all these areas....

  15. #15
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default BBC - Northern Ireland's Lessons for Iraq

    Today's BBC - Northern Ireland's Lessons for Iraq by Mike Wooldbridge.

    It is not decommissioning of arms that is the crucial issue but decommissioning of mindsets, Andrew Sens like to say, quoting what he calls a wise man involved in the Northern Ireland peace process...

  16. #16
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Stafford, VA
    Posts
    262

    Default

    I think the "troubles" in Northern Ireland offer the most lessons for those making policy decisions. As for military lessons, British intelligence operations that resulted in their infiltration of every major PIRA unit are worthy of further study. It is also worth noting that "negotiations" with the PIRA that resulted in the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 were begun in the mid-80s, demonstrating how long these things take to work-out. In the end, if the Brits can tolerate Gerry Adams or Martin McGuinnes in Parliament, maybe there is hope for the Shia, Sunni, and Kurds.
    Last edited by Strickland; 01-25-2007 at 12:25 AM.

  17. #17
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SOCAL
    Posts
    2,148

    Default

    Uboat, was it you who wrote something a while ago about figuring out whether we were trying to (heavy paraphrasing here) win the counter-insurgency or defeat the insurgency? I know that's not quite it, but it was similar.

    To go back to the Ireland and Iraq comparisons...We don't have 37 years, or at least the American public does not have that level of patience. The coalition is so culturally distinct from the Iraqi people that there are no comparisons there either.

    I think the lower-level tactics, say in terms of RUC coordination with British regular forces, have gems to look at. In terms of the strategic and political level, I think the only points to be drawn from the N. Ireland situation must be applied by the Iraqi government and security apparatus.

  18. #18
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default Top Secret Army Cell Breaks Terrorists

    4 January London Daily Telegraph - Top Secret Army Cell Breaks Terrorists by Sean Rayment.

    Deep inside the heart of the "Green Zone", the heavily fortified administrative compound in Baghdad, lies one of the most carefully guarded secrets of the war in Iraq. It is a cell from a small and anonymous British Army unit that goes by the deliberately meaningless name of the Joint Support Group (JSG), and it has proved to be one of the Coalition's most effective and deadly weapons in the fight against terror.

    Its members - servicemen and women of all ranks recruited from all three of the Armed Forces - are trained to turn hardened terrorists into coalition spies using methods developed on the mean streets of Ulster during the Troubles, when the Army managed to infiltrate the IRA at almost every level. Since war broke out in Iraq in 2003, they have been responsible for running dozens of Iraqi double agents.

    Working alongside the Special Air Service and the American Delta Force as part of the Baghdad-based counter-terrorist unit known as Task Force Black, they have supplied intelligence that has saved hundreds of lives and resulted in some of the most notable successes against the myriad terror groups fighting in Iraq. Only last week, intelligence from the JSG is understood to have led to a series of successful operations against Sunni militia groups in southern Baghdad.

    Information obtained by the unit is also understood to have inspired one of the most successful operations carried out by Task Force Black, in November 2005, when SAS snipers shot dead three suicide bombers.

    The killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq up until his death in June last year, followed intelligence obtained by the JSG, as did the rescue of the kidnapped peace campaigner, Norman Kember...

  19. #19
    Council Member carl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Denver on occasion
    Posts
    2,460

    Default

    And now it appears the JSG has decided it would be useful if everybody in Baghdad looks at everybody else and wonders "could he be working for..."

  20. #20
    Council Member bismark17's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Seattle, Wa
    Posts
    206

    Default 14 Intel Co.

    So this group must be different from the 14nth Intel Company in that they are not themselves conducting surveillance operations but are just running sources? I have always been fascinated by those U/C units that operated in Northern Ireland and still think there are a lot of applicable lessons to be learned that would be relevant to my line of work. The book, Big Boys Rules, seems to be the best I have found so far on them. It discusses how some of the teams got spotted because people were running around trying to look "undercover" with beards and long hair which made them stand out.

    It seems you have to fit in your AO. I went to a surveillance school back in the mid 90s which was really funny. Guys from my Department were running around in hoopdies when another Agency from a wealthier area came in with nice high end SUVs. Some of our guys started laughing at them and telling they would be getting burned right off the bat in those things. They were like...yea, but everybody in our area rides 'em...food for thought...if anyone finds anything more on this group please post it!

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 971
    Last Post: 12-05-2013, 06:45 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •