Training for Urban Resistance

The Case of the Provisional Irish Republican Army

by Brian A. Jackson

Download Free Electronic Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Understanding the efficacy of terrorist training efforts is a key element in assessing the threat posed by a terrorist group. This task requires insight into what training really accomplishes for the group, expressed by how the information passed to members meets the organization’s needs and the impacts of training on group outcomes. The author uses the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) as an example case to describe and evaluate a terrorist training effort. He describes induction of the new recruit, PIRA’s military and intelligence and counterintelligence training, and the limitations of clandestine training. Finally, he cautions that while descriptive information on PIRA training is comparatively available, the data needed to assess its efficacy are much more sparse. Thus, PIRA provides insights into the types of information required to more completely and successfully assess a group’s raining programs.

Originally published in: The Making of a Terrorist: Recruitment, Training and Root Causes, Volume Two: Training, pp. 119-135. Edited by James J. F. Forrest.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.