Britain's Long War: British Strategy in the Northern Ireland by P. Neumann PDF

By P. Neumann

Britain's lengthy warfare 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 unlimited variety of basic assets together with lately published cupboard papers, Peter Neumann analyzes the goals, method and restraints of British coverage in Northern eire.

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

Sample text

68 In the meantime, London hoped, the ‘men of goodwill’ from both sides would work together in order to strengthen the ‘moderate centre’ and defeat the ‘men of violence’. Even so, the practical difficulties with this approach were numerous. Most significantly, the requirement of mutual consent meant that both sides – Unionists as well as Nationalists – were at liberty to veto the terms of any settlement. Had Westminster’s assumptions about the ‘moderate centre’ been accurate, this would not have posed a problem.

Of particular interest are the influences which have determined the government’s use of the main instruments at its disposal, that is, the principles that have guided the government’s views about the province’s constitutional status vis-àvis Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland (the constitutional instrument), the assumptions that have determined London’s decisions on how to enforce the rule of law (the military instrument), the values that have guided the government’s views on the distribution of political power within the province (the political instrument) and the beliefs that have determined London’s judgements in setting the economic and social framework (the economic instrument).

The first was the notion of the British government as an ‘honest broker’ between the two sides. As London thought of itself as an outsider who had no stake in the inter-communal power struggle except the desire for peace and reconciliation, it believed itself in a perfect position to play the role of a mediator between the conflicting aspirations of the two communities. Accordingly, the British 34 Britain’s Long War government would make sustained efforts to balance both sides’ interests, and tease out the ‘middle ground’ where agreement could be found.

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