Presently, the world is at a dangerous precipice in the annals of mankind. These troubles are so great that all nations are being affected by them, whether at the economic or political level. Since 2008, economic troubles that have not been seen since the Great Depression era, have been afflicting the world markets turning already poor nations into destitute nations and forcing rich nations to make painful cuts to vital governments programs. At times though these efforts have not been enough and have resulted in many countries accepting or initiating bailout programs of their own (Greece, Ireland, Portugal US, and China). The political atmosphere throughout the world isn’t any better especially with the US involved in three different conflicts overseas, an emerging Chinese military power, a resurgent Russia, the Jasmine Revolution (Arab Spring), Pakistan and India tensions, and Iran.
This particular paper is focused on analyzing and determining past and current events revolving around the historical, economic, and political makeup of Ireland and Northern Ireland that might signify the return of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) as a terrorist organization, a political entity, or both. In order to better understand whether any of these scenarios are even possible in today’s day and age, we must look at the overall picture in sections. First, the history behind the formation of Ireland and Northern Ireland as two states independent from each other but still under the authority of Great Britain. Second, any current economic and or political fractures between the two states that might be cause for hostilities to break loose. Third, the present abilities of the IRA and whether or not any splits exist within the organization since the signing of the peace treaty. Fourth, if the IRA were to return would the UK military and or police be able to respond with the same level of preparedness. Fifth, any present connections to other terrorist groups. Once all of this has been touched on a conclusion will be reached as to whether or not the return of the IRA is even possible.
In 1603, Britain successfully gained complete control of all of Ireland in a decisive victory over opposing forces (Cockburn). By 1921, underlying religious and political differences stemming from over three hundred years of occupation and subjugation forced the hand of an empire to implement the "final solution of the Irish Problem" by dividing the country into two states; the Irish Free State in the south and the creation of Northern Ireland in the north (Cockburn). It was thought that by having the two states independent of each other but still under the authority of the Crown, that any future outbreaks of conflict could be avoided. Unfortunately for British politicians, this would not be the case at all. Instead, they only exacerbated the problem by speeding the movement for independence in the Irish Free State, as well as hastening the North’s violent sectarian movement.