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Thread: Why Did The Security Forces Kill So Few Militant Republicans?

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    Default Why Did The Security Forces Kill So Few Militant Republicans?

    I've just been taking a look at The CAIN site regarding deaths in The 'Troubles' and was slightly surprised at the following figures:

    Militant Republicans killed by The Security Forces: 145
    Security Forces killed by Militant Republicans: 1080

    Does it strike anybody else as odd, that a powerful nation such as The UK with a well equipped, well armed and highly motivated army/police should have endured such an attrition rate at the hands of small paramilitary groups drawing their support from a minority of the population in a small province of said nation?

    If this was almost anywhere else in the world, one would expect to see the attrition rates reversed (Israel would be one example).

    How has this come to pass? Can anyone get a handle on these figures and explain them to me?

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    Politics.ie Member mutley's Avatar
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    Because any Catholic, not just a Terrorist would do?

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    You are forgetting you won the war for Britian...The Loyalist death squads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SevenStars View Post
    You are forgetting you won the war for Britian...The Loyalist death squads.
    Did they get the better of the republican death squads then?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Portstewart View Post
    Did they get the better of the republican death squads then?
    That wasnt the stratergy.

    Its one thing being willing to risk your own life.

    Its another thing being willing to risk the lives of those not involved.

    The randomn nature of the Loyalist death squads campaign finally and understandably broke down the resolve of the volunteers to continue on the struggle.

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    Politics.ie Member The Caped Cod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharpcut View Post
    I've just been taking a look at The CAIN site regarding deaths in The 'Troubles' and was slightly surprised at the following figures:

    Militant Republicans killed by The Security Forces: 145
    Security Forces killed by Militant Republicans: 1080

    Does it strike anybody else as odd, that a powerful nation such as The UK with a well equipped, well armed and highly motivated army/police should have endured such an attrition rate at the hands of small paramilitary groups drawing their support from a minority of the population in a small province of said nation?

    If this was almost anywhere else in the world, one would expect to see the attrition rates reversed (Israel would be one example).

    How has this come to pass? Can anyone get a handle on these figures and explain them to me?
    It's worth remembering how it was nationalist the army was initially supposed to be protecting. Britain certainly has the means to eradicate militant republicans, but not without large colateral looses and having to act little different from occupying forces in Iraq. They can win the military war but what has, and still does, count more is the PR war. Hearts and minds etc.

    The British used the IRA to justify their presence in the North, the IRA used the British presence to justify their activities.
    It would seem that, on the whole, the British forces did well not to follow an official hardline with nationalist paramilitaries. As mutley said, because any catholic might have done.
    "Authority that cannot be questioned is tyranny and I will not accept tyranny, any tyranny, even that of heaven."
    - Terry Pratchett

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    Politics.ie Member Cruimh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharpcut View Post
    I've just been taking a look at The CAIN site regarding deaths in The 'Troubles' and was slightly surprised at the following figures:

    Militant Republicans killed by The Security Forces: 145
    Security Forces killed by Militant Republicans: 1080

    Does it strike anybody else as odd, that a powerful nation such as The UK with a well equipped, well armed and highly motivated army/police should have endured such an attrition rate at the hands of small paramilitary groups drawing their support from a minority of the population in a small province of said nation?

    If this was almost anywhere else in the world, one would expect to see the attrition rates reversed (Israel would be one example).

    How has this come to pass? Can anyone get a handle on these figures and explain them to me?
    Big Factor mate - the ROI

    Previous campaigns the ROI was much, much tougher on the IRA - look at the numbers who died in hunger strikes and were executed and interned .

    If Lynch had come down hard on the buggers it would have been a very different story. But internal politics meant that was never going to happen.

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    Politics.ie Member mutley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruimh View Post
    Big Factor mate - the ROI

    Previous campaigns the ROI was much, much tougher on the IRA - look at the numbers who died in hunger strikes and were executed and interned .

    If Lynch had come down hard on the buggers it would have been a very different story. But internal politics meant that was never going to happen.
    How do you work that out?
    Did the ROI prevent the British security forces, from murdering more IRA members?

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    The problem here for Britiain is that the conflict was either 'war' or 'criminality'.

    If its a war, then there is no problem shooting enemy combatants.
    However the position of the UK was that it was not a war - the IRA were criminals.

    But the UK authorities don't shoot London criminals, or Manchester criminals in a 'war' like fashion do they?
    So if its criminal, then you have to arrest them when possible, instead of shooting them on sight.

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    Politics.ie Member mutley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meriwether View Post
    The problem here for Britiain is that the conflict was either 'war' or 'criminality'.

    If its a war, then there is no problem shooting enemy combatants.
    However the position of the UK was that it was not a war - the IRA were criminals.

    But the UK authorities don't shoot London criminals, or Manchester criminals in a 'war' like fashion do they?
    So if its criminal, then you have to arrest them when possible, instead of shooting them on sight.
    Nail on head there, meriwether

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