Page 10 of 11 FirstFirst ... 891011 LastLast
Results 181 to 200 of 210

Thread: Northern Ireland (merged thread)

  1. #181
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    849

    Default To davidbfpo RE: Northern Ireland

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo
    PIRA was going nowhere, maybe even in reverse.
    Possibly, but consider the sheer scale of the British and Northern Irish manpower tied down in the 1990s by 750 to 1,000 “active service unit” members and non-combat support personnel. Yet as we and the author all seem to agree, most of that manpower was unnecessary, and in my own view, may have worsened the situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo
    As the Loyalist paramilitaries were more criminal gangs than a political movement…
    Which now applies to the remnants of the Catholic Republican paramilitaries post-1999 it would seem. With the power of the Northern Irish state on their side and benign neglect and collusion from the British one, the Loyalists had no need for competence. As for the PIRA’s exploits, necessity is truly the mother of invention.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo
    Yes there were incidents that troubled many, notably in one distinct period in the 1980' and it is remarkable as the author states: 99.5% of covert operations confronting armed terrorists resulted in arrests.
    That is a very, very interesting statistic. Arrest rates are not exactly sexy, but prisoners are as much part of irrecoverable losses to a fighting organization as deaths.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo
    Both Army units are included, especially the FRU which continued to try to run agents. Plus the author acknowledges their skill set suited the border areas, eventually - even in South Armagh - the RUC and Army could work well together.
    Ah, I see. So rather than drawing a clear line between military and police, the author is drawing a line between the regular military and the blended units that were the tip of the spear…

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo
    I understand attitudes to the Army and RUC were very different across Northern Ireland; they also varied according to anniversaries and events. Yes there was hatred, but even in Londonderry there was a longstanding unofficial PIRA ceasefire. The Army's urban presence was minimal for a long time, although oddly the last big deployment was to back up the RUC confronting Loyalist violence over schooling in Belfast.
    I understand that following Operation Motorman, the Catholics were relieved because they had thought that the British Army had deployed to protect them. This lack of understanding prior to deployment is no doubt familiar to anyone also familiar with Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo
    Some of the lessons could have had application, but the level of civil violence and insurgent attacks alongside the absence of effective, indigenous security forces meant a military response was the option taken.
    Interestingly, Dublin was concerned about the possibility of cross-border activities by the PIRA and its use of the Republic as a base provoking London into a war. The Irish reckoned that they stood no chance against the British and did take action against the PIRA on their side of the border, albeit with less enthusiasm than say the Army and RUC did on theirs. In contrast, Pakistan had no qualms about the Taliban or Al Qaeda operating in its ungovernable north, and indeed preferred that Pashtun organized violence be directed at heretics and infidels in Afghanistan than toward Islamabad.

    The pacification of Iraq was made utterly impossible by the sheer stupidity of the CPA’s de-Ba’athification program, which as an aside, seemed to be more thorough than the original program it was modelled upon.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo
    Plus the knowledge that insurgents, whether PIRA or Loyalists paramilitaries, had been so infiltrated their activities were exposed to a high risk of failure, arrest and potentially death.
    Exactly. Moreover, the British could increasingly rely upon their own intelligence/SOF units rather than colluding with the Loyalists…

  2. #182
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default Two resources

    Yesterday in the IISS Library I found two additional resources on the issues raised. They are both online if your library is a subscriber.

    'Northern Ireland and minimum force: the refutation of a concept' by B.W. Morgan and Prof. M.L.R. Smith, in the journal Small Wars & Insurgencies Vol. 27, No. 1 February 2016.

    'Shadowboxing in the dark: Intelligence and Counter-terrorism in Northern Ireland' by Rory Finegan (linked to the Irish Army), in the journal Terrorism and Political Violence Vol.26, No.3 2016, a special issue in Irish Republican violence.
    davidbfpo

  3. #183
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default The value and dangers of recruiting an informant

    An update on Post 174, a BBC News item on the value and dangers of recruiting an informant in a CT campaign:
    The most senior loyalist ever to agree to become a so-called supergrass volunteered to kill a Catholic to cover up the fact he was an informer.....He worked as an informer for 13 years...has pleaded guilty to 202 terror offences, including five murders, as his part of a controversial state deal that offered a significantly reduced prison term in return for giving evidence against other terrorist suspects.
    He is said to have provided information on:

    • 55 murders
    • 20 attempted murders
    • 56 conspiracies to murder
    • 24 bombing offences
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-42337250

    This also appear on the HUMINT thread.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-15-2017 at 04:33 PM. Reason: 160,686v 21k up since last post
    davidbfpo

  4. #184
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default Gary Haggarty: Ex-senior loyalist jailed (Part 2 of 2)

    Post 174 being Part 1.

    On the 29th he was finally sentenced:
    A loyalist "supergrass" who admitted the murders of five people among hundreds of offences has had a 35-year jail term reduced to six-and-a-half years for helping the police.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-42857474

    Local comment has been critical, enhanced as he is likely to be released in weeks; The Good Friday Agreement provisions apply to his crimes, as they did for many others, he is just the latest beneficiary.
    davidbfpo

  5. #185
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default Stakeknife the UK's most important spy (Part 4 of 4)

    Posts 169-171 refer to previous, recent posts.

    Now:
    One of the British state’s most important agents inside the IRA, “Stakeknife”, has been arrested by detectives investigating 18 murders during the Northern Ireland Troubles.Republican and security sources in Belfast confirmed on Tuesday that a 72-year-old man detained by police officers working for Operation Kenova is Freddie Scappaticci.

    Accused of being the IRA’s chief spycatcher, the Belfast man stands accused of being a double agent who was working for the security forces while overseeing the murder of informers within the republican movement.
    Link:https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknew...on/ar-BBItYyq?

    (Added later)

    The Irish journalist Ed Moloney, now in NYC and a SME on the IRA, has a blogsite and has commented upon the arrest.
    Link:https://thebrokenelbow.com/2018/01/3...s-that-follow/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-19-2020 at 06:47 PM. Reason: 163,774v
    davidbfpo

  6. #186
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default When politics fails, the police remain

    A wider commentary on Brexit and Northern Ireland has this stunning passage, with my emphasis:
    As its 20th anniversary looms within weeks, after all, the agreement is not functioning, with neither the Northern Ireland assembly and executive nor the North-South Ministerial Council in being.
    Indeed, what remains is the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Ironically, this is because policing was so difficult an issue in the talks leading to the agreement—going as it did, as with the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons, to the heart of the contest over the state—that it was passed to an impartial independent commission to solve. Informed by the region’s human-rights lobby born of the ‘troubles’, the consequent Patten report led to the old, overwhelmingly Protestant and ‘securitised’ Royal Ulster Constabulary being transformed into a police service founded on human-rights principles and committed to neighbourhood policing. Far from adequate, it is however the one institution—despite the still hugely controversial nature of Northern Ireland’s decades of lead—still standing.
    Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/bre...day-agreement?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-22-2018 at 11:20 AM. Reason: 166,996v
    davidbfpo

  7. #187
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default

    A rare public comment by a former PIRA volunteer on the success of British intelligence infiltration; he ends with:
    They didn’t come out and say that they were penetrated. Yes, the IRA volunteers knew there was penetration, as that was par for the course, but I don’t believe the volunteers on the ground knew the extent of the penetration, and to a large extent the leadership concealed the level of penetration from them.
    Link:https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/cr...ltar-1-8402927
    davidbfpo

  8. #188
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default How many murders can a police informer get away with?

    An excellent article on the history of informants after the Haggerty case and trial recently (see previous posts).
    Link:https://www.theguardian.com/news/201...get-away-with?
    davidbfpo

  9. #189
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default A violent peace for some

    There have been 158 "security-related" deaths in Northern Ireland since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, according to independent research. The majority of the deaths were murders carried out by republican and loyalist paramilitaries, who mostly targeted victims within their own communities....up until April of this year, republican paramilitaries were responsible for 74 deaths while loyalist paramilitaries were responsible for 71....There have been 68 Catholic civilians killed - 38 have been the victims of republican organisations operating within those same communities. "There's a further 22 who have been killed by loyalists and then two where attribution is not possible....But, in total, 41 loyalist paramilitaries have been killed. Every single one of them has been killed by other loyalist paramilitaries.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-43862294?
    davidbfpo

  10. #190
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default Northern Irish police to release Troubles-era report on informants

    Transparency of sorts after a legal action:
    Police have agreed to release a secret special branch report on agent-handling during the Troubles that allegedly protected paramilitary informants from arrest. The 1980 report, drawn up by the senior MI5 officer Sir Patrick Walker, is believed to have established agent-handling practices that have since been widely criticised as prioritising intelligence-gathering over other concerns.
    The Walker report was commissioned to improve intelligence penetration of paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland when IRA activity was high.
    Link:https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...rt-informants?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-03-2018 at 07:29 PM. Reason: 177,282v
    davidbfpo

  11. #191
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default Counter-Insurgency Against Kith and Kin’: Combat and Cohesion

    A short article, summarising a new book, and the full title of the article is 'Counter-Insurgency Against Kith and Kin’: British Army Combat and Cohesion in Northern Ireland'. The focus is on the early years:
    During my research for a book on small unit cohesion in Northern Ireland – comparing operational watchkeepers’ log-books, other unit reports and interviewing soldiers who served in Northern Ireland during the exceptionally violent years of 1971-1973 – I observed that the Army would often use hundreds, and occasionally thousands, of rounds of ammunition, in exchanges of fire with IRA units along the border.
    A reminder how bloody that period was for the British Army:
    the British Army suffered more operational fatalities in one year – 134 in 1972 – than in any year during the recent campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    Link:https://defenceindepth.co/2018/05/07...thern-ireland/

    The book is actually titled 'An Army of Tribe: British Army Cohesion, Deviancy and Murder in Northern Ireland' and the author Edward Burke is a Professor at Nottingham University.

    A link to the book publisher's website found in the summary:
    The central argument of this book is that British Army small infantry units enjoyed considerable autonomy during the early years of Operation Banner and could behave in a vengeful, highly aggressive or benign and conciliatory way as their local commanders saw fit. The strain of civil-military relations at a senior level was replicated operationally as soldiers came to resent the limitations of waging war in the UK.
    Link to UK option:https://liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/products/108172

    Published in the USA in August 2018:https://global.oup.com/academic/prod...cc=us&lang=en&
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-09-2018 at 06:38 PM. Reason: 178,342v
    davidbfpo

  12. #192
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default Counter-Insurgency Against Kith and Kin: WoTR Review

    A wide-ranging review by a UK academic familiar with the issues, so a few sentences:
    On an autumn evening in late October 1972, Michael Naan was working on his isolated farm a few miles from the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic with Andrew Murray, a young hired laborer, when they were set upon, beaten, and stabbed to death.
    In his fascinating new book, An Army of Tribes: British Army Cohesion, Deviancy and Murder in Northern Ireland, Ed Burke explores why these soldiers committed the murders and what consequences their actions had for the local community. Burke places the actions of the soldiers in two overlapping contexts — the institutional framework of the British Army and the historical environment in which they found themselves deployed.
    An Army of Tribes is a rigorous work of painstaking scholarship that places the security dimension of the Northern Irish Troubles in much greater tactical and operational context than ever before. In assessing the micro-ethics of soldiering in such a local setting, Burke also provides us with a rich glimpse into how military operations shaped strategy, and vice versa.
    Link:https://warontherocks.com/2018/05/wh...urn-to-murder/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-14-2018 at 08:26 AM. Reason: 179,463v
    davidbfpo

  13. #193
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default Amnesty for British soldiers fuels division over dealing with Northern Ireland’s past

    The "sore" of historical allegations rumbles on. There are many who argue on each side; should criminal allegations (including murder) from 'The Troubles' be investigated, indeed prosecuted today - especially after the amnesty to the paramilitaries in the Good Friday Agreement? Politics aside there is a current prosecution for a 1974 incident where a soldier shot a youth dead, amidst controversy.
    Link:https://theconversation.com/amnesty-for-british-soldiers-fuels-division-over-dealing-with-northern-irelands-past-96425?
    davidbfpo

  14. #194
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default RUC told to put intelligence before arrests, reveals secret MI5 report

    One of the sources cited by Dr. Matchett is the "Walker Report", a document prepared in 1980-1981 by a then senior member of the British Security Service (MI5) and following a lengthy legal case a redacted copy is now in the public domain. It is relatively short and opens with:
    In January 1980 the Chief Constable commissioned a report - known as the Walker Report - on the interchange of intelligence between Special Branch and CID and on the staffing and organisation of units in C1(1) in Crime Branch.
    Link:http://www.patfinucanecentre.org/policing/walker-report

    The legal case is explained here:https://caj.org.uk/2018/05/01/psni-a...-rights-group/

    Two journalists from 'The Guardian' have written an overview, it starts with:
    A secret MI5 report that resulted in Northern Ireland’s police covertly prioritising intelligence-gathering over fighting crime has been made public after almost 40 years. The report resulted in detectives of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) – now the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) – being ordered never to arrest a suspected terrorist without consulting the force’s intelligence-gathering section.

    Detectives were also told that anyone who was arrested could be recruited as an agent rather than charged with a criminal offence.
    As a consequence, a number of British agents are now known to have been involved in murders, bombings and shootings, while continuing to pass on information about their terrorist associates.
    Link:https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...thern-ireland?

    There are a number of similar MI5 reports cited which remain secret.

    Informant handling is always an activity fraught with risks, even more so in CT / COIN and 'The Troubles' lasted a very long time, with the UK fighting a very capable enemy, PIRA and often violent Loyalists who waged their own campaign.
    davidbfpo

  15. #195
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default Walker Report 1980: the interchange of intelligence

    Following the legal tangle a slightly edited / redacted copy of this report is now available. A reminder the author was a senior British Security Service officer and this is the RUC's version. There are forty pages and I have only skimmed the first half. As it was written in 1979-1980 there is no mention of IT systems.
    Link:https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/c...eport-1980.pdf
    davidbfpo

  16. #196
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default Before 'Bloody Sunday' there was Ballymurphy

    Two articles on an incident many had forgotten, it occurred just after Internment was introduced and in summary:
    More than 40 years after the shootings in a west Belfast neighbourhood, the Guardian has reconstructed the events surrounding what appears to be a killing spree by soldiers of the Parachute Regiment, just months before Bloody Sunday
    This is a 'long read', not too long and in places admits the Army were fired upon - before the disorder and the "killing spree":https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jun/26/-sp-ballymurphy-shootings-36-hours-west-belfast-northern-ireland-10-dead

    The second is based on a new film on the incident by Callum Macrae, a film maker with many awards:https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...-belfast-derry
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-29-2018 at 07:53 AM. Reason: 204,691v today
    davidbfpo

  17. #197
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default Police Recorded Security Situation Statistics 1 September 2017 to 31 August 2018

    I rarely catch this publication and whilst the level of violence has dropped, it remains painful for many - mainly from "punishment" attacks - and that only 10% are charged rate for those arrested for terrorism.
    Link:https://www.psni.police.uk/globalass...ugust_2018.pdf
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-26-2019 at 08:47 PM. Reason: 211,301v today
    davidbfpo

  18. #198
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default Republican violence: we have NOT gone away, guns not ballot boxes

    Violence from the Republican "dissidents" has happened before, with several deaths (policemen, soldiers and others) and this week a "spectacular" bomb outside the courthouse in Londonderry (Derry to some). See:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-46937061 and:https://thedefensepost.com/2019/01/1...thern-ireland/

    Understandably as the author has been researching her book on the "dissidents" for years she has been busy and her book 'Unfinished Business – The Politics of ‘Dissident’ Irish Republicanism' is due out next month.

    A "lurker" recommends the book. Here are a couple of sentences as a "taster":
    The principle of consent was anathema – the onus remained on dissidents achieving unity by the Armalite (or Kalashnikov) rather than the ballot box.
    They will say it could have succeeded if it were not for decisions taken by the leadership.
    Link:https://www.irishtimes.com/news/irel...king-1.3770643
    davidbfpo

  19. #199
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default Will Brexit increase the threat from dissident republicans?

    A good overview of whether the "dissidents" pose a real threat to the peace; with a mass of links within:
    In sum, there will be no return to a higher frequency of attacks. Dissident republicans will continue with occasional attacks, such as they do for the past 20 years, with or without a hard border. Hence, all warnings that Brexit "could revive the Troubles" do not reflect existing research.
    Link:https://www.rte.ie/eile/brainstorm/2019/0204/1027467-will-brexit-increase-the-threat-from-dissident-republicans/?
    davidbfpo

  20. #200
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,338

    Default One soldier to face charges over Bloody Sunday killings

    After a long wait ‘Soldier F’ of the Parachute Regiment is to be prosecuted in Northern Ireland, for murder and attempted murder over 1972 killings in Derry and the UK MoD will pay his legal costs. This follows the 12-year-long Saville inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday, which found the killings were unjustified and that none of the 14 dead was carrying a gun, no warnings were given, no soldiers were under threat and the troops were the first to open fire. Other charges of perjury may follow.

    Link:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-47540271 and https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/mar/14/one-soldier-to-face-charges-over-bloody-sunday-killings

    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-14-2019 at 07:41 PM. Reason: 213,200v today
    davidbfpo

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
  •