Malachi O’Doherty believes that in moving away from the sackcloth and ashes planned for it by Ian Paisley, it is moving into an even deeper dilemma:
…the IRA loses either way. If it does not go back to war at the next reversal, then its bluff will have been called. If it goes into the next two years and more of likely stalemate without raising a threat, then it will have been neutered. From the point of view of many, this will be proof of the success of the peace process. From the perspective of republicans it will be proof of its failure.