While how to deal with the past continues to be discussed, the Army has produced its official analysis of its operation in Northern Ireland, Operation Banner (pdf file). The document does not claim victory rather that it had
“shown the IRA that it could not achieve its ends through violence” “The violence was reduced to an extent which made it clear to the PIRA that they would not win through violence.”. The document was released under an FoI request by the Pat Finucane Centre who have criticised the analysis.It seems the BBC NI is doing some rowing back/clarification from what it said earlier.
The original article said the following:
“The Army has admitted for the first time that it did not win the war against the IRA. ”
It now says:
“An internal British army document examining 37 years of deployment in Northern Ireland contains the claim by one expert that it failed to defeat the IRA.”
The quote marks in the headline were also removed. Although they still make no mention that the document talks of the “defeat of the PIRA” and call the operation a “major achievement”, a “success” and a “unique” one at that.
UPDATE: You will note I have added a strikethrough in ” shown the IRA that it could not achieve its ends through violence”, this is because despite a number of searches I cannot find this phrase in the report, despite it appearing in quotation marks in the BBC report. I have lifted a direct quote from the report. If any of you find the original BBC quote in the document, please tell me and I will restore it.