By P. Neumann

Britain's lengthy conflict assesses the method of strategic swap in the British Government's place on Northern eire, beginning with Westminster's first intervention in 1969 and finishing with the Belfast contract in 1998. Drawing on an enormous diversity of fundamental resources together with lately published cupboard papers, Peter Neumann analyzes the goals, procedure and restraints of British coverage in Northern eire.

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Extra info for Britain's Long War: British Strategy in the Northern Ireland Conflict 1969-98

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In essence, a responsible government would try to contain the negative effects of the conflict to Northern Ireland. As a result, the proximity of the province and the sense of responsibility it had induced resulted in two – seemingly contradictory – lines of thinking: there was an incentive to distance Northern Ireland from Great Britain, yet at the same time there The Strategic Tradition of the British Government 23 was a disincentive to bring this process to its apparently logical conclusion, that is, to withdraw from the province.

35 From London’s point of view, the use of force to pursue 26 Britain’s Long War political objectives in the United Kingdom was anti-democratic rather than just anti-foreign. It was an attempt to defy the Westminster system of government, and it set a dangerous precedent. As a result, the government’s campaign to preserve its authority was a matter of principle, the significance of which went far beyond the question of what national state the province would belong to. Second, the hybrid nature of the conflict in Northern Ireland necessitated separate types of response.

It may have reflected the government’s alienation from the province, the belief that Irish problems are best left to the Irish, and the conviction that the British – whether soldiers or politicians – could do no good on Irish soil. It also appeared to make London’s engagement more sustainable in the long term, particularly with regard to public opinion in Great Britain and the need to fulfil other commitments elsewhere. Most importantly, it helped to reinforce the notion of the IRA as an anti-constitutional challenge to civilian government.

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