The Ira succeeded when they started targetting economic targets in London and refused to respond to counter-insurgency butchery by the SAS/Loyalists in Belfast.
Good article, contrasts the IRA with al Qaeda, who has gone for blood and failed.
Al Qaeda did everything wrong, spending all their assets and going for maximum kill, and the IRA, the poster-boy for long, slow, crock-pot guerrilla warfare, did it exactly right. In fact, it’s sort of scary how Adams and/or McGuinness seem to have thought three or four moves ahead every step of the way. You realize they declared their final ceasefire just a couple of years before 9/11, when the US jumped into the anti-terrorist thing fulltime? That’s timing, incredible finesse and timing.
And they did it against the Brits, too, the SAS, best counterinsurgency specialists in the world, too. What can I say? I was absolutely wrong. Nerf wins—low-casualty, high-cost performance-art style guerrilla bombings. And Al Qaeda style maximum-splatter is for hotheaded idiots who forget that the real job of a guerrilla force is to stay in existence, lean on the enemy, wear him out and bankrupt him.