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Old 05-29-2019, 10:31 AM
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How efficient were the IRA insurgents during the Troubles?


Wikipedia quotes IRA casualties at 368, Ulster Loyalist casualties at 162 and British security forces casualties at 1049. Presuming that the fight was mainly between the IRA on one side and the UK/Ulster Loyalists on the other, that gives the IRA a casualty ratio of about 3.3/1 in their favor. It's uncommon for insurgencies to inflict more casualties than they absorb. How come the IRA was able to do that? How did the IRA compare to Iraqi insurgents for the UK military?


How effective was the Provisional IRA strategy for objectives which fell short of republicanism? While republicanism was a strong motivating factor, civil rights were also important. How effective was the IRA in changing that situation? How much effect did attacks on economic targets like the 1993 Bishopsgate or 1992 Baltic Exchange bombings produce?
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Old 05-29-2019, 01:55 PM
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How much effect did attacks on economic targets like the 1993 Bishopsgate or 1992 Baltic Exchange bombings produce?
I can't recall the book I read it in (something tells me it was 'A Secret History of the IRA' by Ed Maloney or 'Armed Struggle' by Richard English) that although they didn't realise it at the time the IRA had hit on a 'war-winning' strategy with these massive economic attacks, that the British government were told in a secret meeting by advisers that the British economy could take one, maybe two, more such incidents mainly as foreign investment was pulling out as a result.

Luckily, or unluckily I guess depending on perspective, the peace process was also coming to fruition at this time and they moved away from such tactics.

Last edited by Atomic Alex; 05-29-2019 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 05-29-2019, 02:34 PM
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I can't recall the book I read it in (something tells me it was 'A Secret History of the IRA' by Ed Maloney or 'Armed Struggle' by Richard English) that although they didn't realise it at the time the IRA had hit on a 'war-winning' strategy with these massive economic attacks, that the British government were told in a secret meeting by advisers that the British economy could take one, maybe two, more such incidents mainly as foreign investment was pulling out as a result.
It did strike me that driving a truck with a few thousand dollars of payload to inflict a billion dollars in damage is seriously punching above one's weight while avoiding most of the ethical and PR problems of McVeigh/Bin Laden.

What would the UK government have done if the IRA had kept remodeling British downtown areas?


I'm surprised they didn't go after bridges and interchanges; They're accessible to the public and vehicles, vulnerable to collapse, non-trivial to repair, highly visible chokepoints. They're pretty much the bread and butter target of sabotage and airbombing. I'm trying to think of a way to protect them that wouldn't slow a city to a crawl and I'm coming up short.
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Old 05-29-2019, 02:47 PM
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One of their terrorist bombings killed the older brother of a schoolmate, so my view is somewhat biased.

The City of London is currently protected by what's known as the Ring of Steel.
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:16 PM
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It did strike me that driving a truck with a few thousand dollars of payload to inflict a billion dollars in damage is seriously punching above one's weight while avoiding most of the ethical and PR problems of McVeigh/Bin Laden.

What would the UK government have done if the IRA had kept remodeling British downtown areas?


I'm surprised they didn't go after bridges and interchanges; They're accessible to the public and vehicles, vulnerable to collapse, non-trivial to repair, highly visible chokepoints. They're pretty much the bread and butter target of sabotage and airbombing. I'm trying to think of a way to protect them that wouldn't slow a city to a crawl and I'm coming up short.
I've wondered this as well, perhaps its simply a case that while economic targets are more effective they're also less 'showy' than targeting police and soldiers (and the 'collateral damage' of unfortunate civilians who get in the way) and a major part of a terrorist campaign is media coverage.

But yes I agree its puzzling and I'd be interested in the answer to that one.

I grew up in a Republican/Nationalist part of Northern Ireland during The Troubles, and although on a much smaller scale problems are still rumbling on even during nominal peace and people are still being killed for 'the cause'.
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:27 AM
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One of their terrorist bombings killed the older brother of a schoolmate, so my view is somewhat biased.

The City of London is currently protected by what's known as the Ring of Steel.
That seems like it would be useful to identify suspects after the fact but not stop it from happening. Wouldn't a crude disguise defeat CCTV?



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I've wondered this as well, perhaps its simply a case that while economic targets are more effective they're also less 'showy' than targeting police and soldiers (and the 'collateral damage' of unfortunate civilians who get in the way) and a major part of a terrorist campaign is media coverage.

But yes I agree its puzzling and I'd be interested in the answer to that one.

I grew up in a Republican/Nationalist part of Northern Ireland during The Troubles, and although on a much smaller scale problems are still rumbling on even during nominal peace and people are still being killed for 'the cause'.
That... must have been interesting. In terms of guerilla warfare, how were the Republican areas different from the Loyalist ones? Mao talked about insurgents being fish that swim in the sea of the local population. That seems especially relevant when there are two seas.
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Old 05-31-2019, 10:00 AM
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It all depends how you define "efficiency". If one's looking for efficacy in achieving stated political objectives, then what resulted, in the Good Friday Agreement, was way short of a united Ireland, but a substantial advance in terms of status and (peaceful) political input. On the other hand one can speculate as to whether the outcome was any better for the IRA or the hard-line unionists than what was on offer 20 years earlier (as was quipped at the time, "Sunningdale for slow learners").

Or one might even ask whether Ireland as a whole is any better off now than it would have been if the Home Rule Act had gone into effect and the whole "physical force tradition" had withered on the vine with no Easter Rising.
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Old 05-31-2019, 10:23 AM
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I'm surprised they didn't go after bridges and interchanges; They're accessible to the public and vehicles, vulnerable to collapse, non-trivial to repair, highly visible chokepoints. They're pretty much the bread and butter target of sabotage and airbombing. I'm trying to think of a way to protect them that wouldn't slow a city to a crawl and I'm coming up short.
What could possibly have been the strategic benefit of hitting "chokepoints"? The IRA wasn't trying to slow the advance of an invading army.
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:21 AM
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It all depends how you define "efficiency". If one's looking for efficacy in achieving stated political objectives, then what resulted, in the Good Friday Agreement, was way short of a united Ireland, but a substantial advance in terms of status and (peaceful) political input. On the other hand one can speculate as to whether the outcome was any better for the IRA or the hard-line unionists than what was on offer 20 years earlier (as was quipped at the time, "Sunningdale for slow learners").

Or one might even ask whether Ireland as a whole is any better off now than it would have been if the Home Rule Act had gone into effect and the whole "physical force tradition" had withered on the vine with no Easter Rising.
If we define efficiency as the ratio of casualties, why do you think the IRA was able to inflict more casualties on UK/Ulster forces than it received?

How effective was the IRA at stopping discrimination in jobs and housing, gerrymandering and other forms of civil rights violations?


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What could possibly have been the strategic benefit of hitting "chokepoints"? The IRA wasn't trying to slow the advance of an invading army.
Disrupting economic activity. Huge prolonged traffic jams as a result of guerilla action would be a daily reminder of the effects of war.
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:22 AM
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Wikipedia quotes IRA casualties at 368, Ulster Loyalist casualties at 162 and British security forces casualties at 1049. Presuming that the fight was mainly between the IRA on one side and the UK/Ulster Loyalists on the other, that gives the IRA a casualty ratio of about 3.3/1 in their favor. It's uncommon for insurgencies to inflict more casualties than they absorb. How come the IRA was able to do that? How did the IRA compare to Iraqi insurgents for the UK military?
The Troubles aren't really comparable to the Iraqi insurgency. The latter was something much closer to open war. You wouldn't see civilians walking through downtown Mosul during the height of the Iraqi insurgency, and there were hundreds of thousands of Iraqis displaced by the fighting. By contrast, Belfast was mostly peaceful even from 1969 to 1972, and while there were refugees being displaced until the mid-1970s they were in much smaller numbers.
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:30 AM
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That... must have been interesting. In terms of guerilla warfare, how were the Republican areas different from the Loyalist ones? Mao talked about insurgents being fish that swim in the sea of the local population. That seems especially relevant when there are two seas.
Well it was only an unusual upbringing in retrospect, and thankfully the area I grew up in was removed from the worst of the violence although there was the occasional incident. Ironically Northern Ireland in general still has a significantly lower level of ordinary violence and crime than the rest of the UK or more urban areas of the Republic.

I first discovered the internet in my early twenties, that was an eye-opener I can tell you.

As for Republican VS Loyalist areas I can't really comment on that as I have no experience of the latter. Although to give you an idea of how divided the communities were in a discussion a few days ago a colleague from the Shankill Road in Belfast commented that he never knowingly met a Catholic until he was in his late teens, and that was far from unusual.

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What could possibly have been the strategic benefit of hitting "chokepoints"? The IRA wasn't trying to slow the advance of an invading army.
Economic targets again? And general nuisance-making, blowing up bridges and other important infrastructure is going to have a major impact, provided you can keep the pressure up. Look at the disruption caused recently in England by a drone being sighted over an airport, it was closed for days.
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:32 AM
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Disrupting economic activity. Huge prolonged traffic jams as a result of guerilla action would be a daily reminder of the effects of war.
I think you might overestimate the amount of traffic Ireland has. But regardless, you shouldn't be surprised they focused on more symbolic attacks rather than trying to slow traffic. It was a political campaign not an actual war for control of the territory.
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:37 AM
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Well it was only an unusual upbringing in retrospect, and thankfully the area I grew up in was removed from the worst of the violence although there was the occasional incident. Ironically Northern Ireland in general still has a significantly lower level of ordinary violence and crime than the rest of the UK or more urban areas of the Republic.

I first discovered the internet in my early twenties, that was an eye-opener I can tell you.

As for Republican VS Loyalist areas I can't really comment on that as I have no experience of the latter. Although to give you an idea of how divided the communities were in a discussion a few days ago a colleague from the Shankill Road in Belfast commented that he never knowingly met a Catholic until he was in his late teens, and that was far from unusual.
Listening to Ian Paisley and his use of apocalyptic language, I get the impression that many NI Protestants feared they would be massacred like the Tutsis later were by the population they used to dominate. NI Catholics seemed to be treated much like blacks in the US South. Is that about right? Could Northern Ireland have turned into Yugoslavia?



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I think you might overestimate the amount of traffic Ireland has. But regardless, you shouldn't be surprised they focused on more symbolic attacks rather than trying to slow traffic. It was a political campaign not an actual war for control of the territory.
Ireland wouldn't have been the target. London and other large English cities would. Maybe the Chunnel. That could have been embarrassing.

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 05-31-2019 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 06-02-2019, 11:04 AM
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Wikipedia quotes IRA casualties at 368, Ulster Loyalist casualties at 162 and British security forces casualties at 1049. Presuming that the fight was mainly between the IRA on one side and the UK/Ulster Loyalists on the other, that gives the IRA a casualty ratio of about 3.3/1 in their favor. It's uncommon for insurgencies to inflict more casualties than they absorb. How come the IRA was able to do that? How did the IRA compare to Iraqi insurgents for the UK military?


How effective was the Provisional IRA strategy for objectives which fell short of republicanism? While republicanism was a strong motivating factor, civil rights were also important. How effective was the IRA in changing that situation? How much effect did attacks on economic targets like the 1993 Bishopsgate or 1992 Baltic Exchange bombings produce?
With regards the IRA having a casualty rate in their favour you have to bear in mind that apart from a few instances the British Army's main objective was not to maximise the number of IRA dead, though I have no doubt many in the army celebrated any casualties inflicted on the IRA.
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Old 06-02-2019, 12:15 PM
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With regards the IRA having a casualty rate in their favour you have to bear in mind that apart from a few instances the British Army's main objective was not to maximise the number of IRA dead, though I have no doubt many in the army celebrated any casualties inflicted on the IRA.
True. I was comparing it other insurgencies and the NI insurgency was milder than many others. The fact that the IRA insurgents were white and English-speaking likely contributed to counter-insurgency operations having less of a bodycount focus.

Was the main British military objective to keep the peace? If so, how successful was it at that?
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Old 06-02-2019, 06:14 PM
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True. I was comparing it other insurgencies and the NI insurgency was milder than many others. The fact that the IRA insurgents were white and English-speaking likely contributed to counter-insurgency operations having less of a bodycount focus.
The nature of the insurgency itself is probably more relevant to how it played out.

In the US doctrinal manual about counter-insurgency (FM 3-24) there's some talk about the differing natures of insurgencies. Some are more violence or economic centric. Some are more political centric. The Troubles is a good example of a politically centric insurgency. Violent attacks were a supporting effort to the overt political efforts of Sinn Fein. The insurgents weren't generally looking to progress up Mao's three phases to the last phase, mobile operations, and defeat the government. In some insurgencies that's the approach. Comparing them, simply because they both fall under the umbrella of insurgency, can lead to bad conclusions.

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Old 06-02-2019, 06:55 PM
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They did try to blow up a bridge: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1996...ng?wprov=sfti1

And tried again in 2000. Fizzled both times luckily.
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Old 06-02-2019, 07:10 PM
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The nature of the insurgency itself is probably more relevant to how it played out.

In the US doctrinal manual about counter-insurgency (FM 3-24) there's some talk about the differing natures of insurgencies. Some are more violence or economic centric. Some are more political centric. The Troubles is a good example of a politically centric insurgency. Violent attacks were a supporting effort to the overt political efforts of Sinn Fein. The insurgents weren't generally looking to progress up Mao's three phases to the last phase, mobile operations, and defeat the government. In some insurgencies that's the approach. Comparing them, simply because they both fall under the umbrella of insurgency, can lead to bad conclusions.
You're right.

How good were those violent attacks at supporting Sinn Fein's political efforts?

What did the UK want out of its deployment? To act as a kind of internal UN Peacekeepers between Catholics and Protestants in NI? That must have presented plenty of predictable visible targets to the IRA.
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Old 06-02-2019, 07:54 PM
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How good were those violent attacks at supporting Sinn Fein's political efforts?

What did the UK want out of its deployment?
Northern Ireland is still part of the United Kingdom and not the Republic of Ireland. That's what both the security forces and the protestant paramiliitaries wanted. The Irish Republican forces failed to accomplish that.

The Easter Peace accord did establish self rule under the United Kingdom. It covered possible separation but one that requires a majority vote. The protestant majority liked that. The Irish Catholic minority got some provisions for increased cross border cooperation with Ireland. (Which incidentally have caused issued for Brexit.) It was a compromise in the face of stalemate. Compromise is actually a pretty common part of ending many insurgencies. Government reforms undercut, weaken, and marginalize the insurgents left after giving the insurgency something. To an extent Sinn Fein was successful at getting part of what they wanted.

Both the republican and unionist paramilitaries used the chaos to do some local ethnic cleansing. It wasn't as violent as what we associate with the term in the Balkans but there was some sorting of people into non-diverse neighborhoods and localities based on lower levels of threat. They both pursued to a limited degree so in a sense they got something they wanted that the security forces likely didn't have as a goal.

It stalemated for decades; eventually both sides worked out a deal that the parties mostly liked enough to marginalize what was left of the paramilitaries.


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That must have presented plenty of predictable visible targets to the IRA.
Counter-insurgents have to secure the people and protect stuff to succeed. That severely constrains their ability to be unpredictable and/or seize the initiative.
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Old 06-02-2019, 08:13 PM
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If we define efficiency as the ratio of casualties, why do you think the IRA was able to inflict more casualties on UK/Ulster forces than it received?
. . .
Many good points made already. But it must also be pointed out that the unionists and British forces often were able to define their retaliatory actions as government sanctioned law enforcement. This skews the kind of count you are attempting to make. If you jail a man for life he doesn't get counted among the casualties of war, even though everybody knows why it really happened.
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Old 06-02-2019, 08:24 PM
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The Easter Peace accord did establish self rule under the United Kingdom. It covered possible separation but one that requires a majority vote. The protestant majority liked that. The Irish Catholic minority got some provisions for increased cross border cooperation with Ireland. (Which incidentally have caused issued for Brexit.) It was a compromise in the face of stalemate. Compromise is actually a pretty common part of ending many insurgencies. Government reforms undercut, weaken, and marginalize the insurgents left after giving the insurgency something. To an extent Sinn Fein was successful at getting part of what they wanted.

[...]

It stalemated for decades; eventually both sides worked out a deal that the parties mostly liked enough to marginalize what was left of the paramilitaries.

I remember some Lt Col giving a presentation where he said that the die-hards are about 10% of insurgents and 90% of the others can be neutralized by, basically, honest and competent government. Sympathizers even more so. That seems to have been a major problem for the US in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.



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Counter-insurgents have to secure the people and protect stuff to succeed. That severely constrains their ability to be unpredictable and/or seize the initiative.
What are the most effective ways they can be pro-active or at least appropriately reactive?
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:18 PM
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It's uncommon for insurgencies to inflict more casualties than they absorb. How come the IRA was able to do that? How did the IRA compare to Iraqi insurgents for the UK military?
Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people. The Beltway snipers killed 17 people. It seems like it would be pretty simple for insurgents to just all do a truck bombing, with one bombing for every 2 insurgents in the cell. Simultaneously so that the authorities can't take countermeasures or cut off their supply of explosives.

I mention the beltway snipers because they were examples of terrorists who basically turned themselves in. Had they not sent ransom notes and made other major errors - but instead just drove around and kept killing people randomly - their shooting spree could have gone on much longer. Apparently, the authorities didn't have a shred of evidence and were looking for the wrong vehicle.
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:58 AM
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Disrupting economic activity. Huge prolonged traffic jams as a result of guerilla action would be a daily reminder of the effects of war.
Indeed. I've always insisted that if you wanted to harm the US government and economy while minimizing casualties you need to blow up a few bridges and one tunnel. Destroying the ways federal workers can get to their jobs and you've halfway paralyzed the American governments ability to respond to things for years.

Ditto NYC. Cut off the workers for the financial and media systems from where they can do things and watch the economic disruption spread.

Relatively soft targets that would take real time to repair or rebuild and disruption is maximized while also killing few people. That's how a group efficiently uses bombings.
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:17 PM
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They weren't killing the same people, so it's hard to compare. Loyalists overwhelmingly killed civilians (85.5%). Republicans killed mostly military/police, with a sizeable civilian victim group (53 and 35). The government killed mostly civilians, with a sizeable Republican death rate (51 and 40).
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:28 PM
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Who are you counting as "civilians" killed by loyalists? They didn't have anyone to kill except civilians.
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Old 06-03-2019, 02:09 PM
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Who are you counting as "civilians" killed by loyalists? They didn't have anyone to kill except civilians.
It doesn't break it down by religious status or anything. They could've killed Republican operatives, too but didn't for reasons unknown to me. It is possible that there is difference in reporting; it's not like paramilitaries wear badges.
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:53 PM
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I remember some Lt Col giving a presentation where he said that the die-hards are about 10% of insurgents and 90% of the others can be neutralized by, basically, honest and competent government.
I'm assume you are talking about LTC (now retired) John Nagl. He was one of the lead authors of FM 3-24 when we finally recreated counter-insurgency (COIN) doctrine in 2006. He also became the face of public relations for DOD to explain the new doctrine and why it would make a difference for a while.

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What are the most effective ways they can be pro-active or at least appropriately reactive?
It depends. Insurgencies and counter-insurgencies are all affected by multiple factors... and how their opponent chooses to operate within the factors constraining their choices. There was a phrase bouncing through the US Army as we rotated into a COIN focus for Iraq and Afghanistan. COIN was "the graduate level of war." It would be a big deal to try and summarize a highly complex operational environment in a post or two.

DOD put the effort into summarizing the subjects for me. If you really want to delve into it you might check out:
FM 3-24 INSURGENCIES AND COUNTERING INSURGENCIES
FM 3-24.2 TACTICS IN COUNTERINSURGENCY

A couple important notes. DOD issues their own security certificates so the typical checks treat their certificates as invalid. You are likely to get security warnings from those links; I didn't but probably already allowed the exceptions. More importantly it's not necessarily easy reading. The Army writing style is supposed to focus on avoiding passive phrasing and keep things relatively simple for those that don't necessarily have college level of reading skills. For doctrinal manuals it usually does. It can rely heavily on bodies of knowledge that are just assumed to exist in the target audience. though. Acronyms, initialisms, and abbreviations are spelled out the first time they are used. There's a lot of them though. Pretty quickly it can devolve into a firehose of jargon and acronyms.* US military English is also effectively it's own dialect. There can be very specific meanings for words and phrases that aren't clear to someone inexperienced with the dialect. Those differences can have a big effect on meaning. Don't be afraid to consult the glossary. It might be useful to start with the glossary. Searching for ADP 1-02 and/or ADRP 1-02 can also help if you are struggling with a term that didn't make the glossary.

* As an example consider this quote from FM3-24.2. It actually points to one way I could have mentioned for the counter-insurgent can try to retain the initiative - the targeting process.
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The targeting process comprises the four functions of decide, detect, deliver, and assess (D3A).Targeting is critically linked to the MDMP. The decide function derives critical information that develops from mission analysis through course of action approval. Both detect and assess functions are tied to the unitís RSTA/ISR plan which is driven by IPB, the MDMP, and tactical site exploitation.
Clear as mud, right?
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:08 PM
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It doesn't break it down by religious status or anything. They could've killed Republican operatives, too but didn't for reasons unknown to me. It is possible that there is difference in reporting; it's not like paramilitaries wear badges.
Generally speaking, both Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries largely refrained from killing or trying to kill the other side (with some exceptions). It was a trick easily repayable in kind. They did feud amongst themselves to some extent, often over control of protection or drugs rackets rather than doctrinal differences. Informers, or suspected ones, were dealt with mercilessly.
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:26 AM
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Generally speaking, both Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries largely refrained from killing or trying to kill the other side (with some exceptions). It was a trick easily repayable in kind. They did feud amongst themselves to some extent, often over control of protection or drugs rackets rather than doctrinal differences. Informers, or suspected ones, were dealt with mercilessly.
Sounds like the bulk of the IRA was self-glorified street gangs. I suppose that would be some of the first people to join and some of the most enthusiastic operators. Someone like David O Connell, an IRA leader, didn't strike me as a street thug, however. He didn't give that impression to the UK government either.


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Indeed. I've always insisted that if you wanted to harm the US government and economy while minimizing casualties you need to blow up a few bridges and one tunnel. Destroying the ways federal workers can get to their jobs and you've halfway paralyzed the American governments ability to respond to things for years.

Ditto NYC. Cut off the workers for the financial and media systems from where they can do things and watch the economic disruption spread.

Relatively soft targets that would take real time to repair or rebuild and disruption is maximized while also killing few people. That's how a group efficiently uses bombings.
So much of economic activity is predicated on economies of scale and network effects that those networks and activity flow pattern they enable can present bottlenecks. If you wanted to do high amplitude of damage quickly, aim for the those necks.


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It depends. Insurgencies and counter-insurgencies are all affected by multiple factors... and how their opponent chooses to operate within the factors constraining their choices.
While the FMs are very well placed to give an abstract, high-level view, I'm curious to know what that meant in its practical manifestations with which you might be familiar. Could you contrast not the theoretical underpinnings but how they shaked out in different situations?



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Originally Posted by DinoR View Post
More importantly it's not necessarily easy reading. The Army writing style is supposed to focus on avoiding passive phrasing and keep things relatively simple for those that don't necessarily have college level of reading skills. For doctrinal manuals it usually does. It can rely heavily on bodies of knowledge that are just assumed to exist in the target audience. though. Acronyms, initialisms, and abbreviations are spelled out the first time they are used. There's a lot of them though. Pretty quickly it can devolve into a firehose of jargon and acronyms.*
Thanks for the links. I've been working my way through FMs since my teenage years when I became fluent in English and lost interest in GI Joes (I guess I never really did). Each one sounds like a novel written by and for T-800 Terminators.

I'm currently working my way through Weapon System and Information Warfare by Thomas Rona, a DoD paper about the impact of information technology on warfare. Since it's from 1976 and it dared to make predictions, it's interesting to see how they turned out.


Related to this, I guess a lot of the problem for soldiers in COIN is a bit like being at sea in a shark movie. Since one party is usually overwhelmingly strong, the other party has to rely on stealth in various forms, like a sniper or submarine has to. That means that as the stronger, COIN side, you're usually lacking critical information about threats/opportunities because that's where the game is played. If you didn't lack that, you'd be on the way to win already. When getting hit would be fatal, whether we're talking about nukes, an AsHM for a ship or COIN airstrikes for insurgents, the performance bottleneck for either side is information.

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 06-05-2019 at 09:28 AM.
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