The campaign of the Provisional IRA, a classic, has followed a generally agreed pattern, recognized by all concerned. Except for the imputation of unpleasant motives - wicked, evil men - and the perception of future events - the direction of history - there is a remarkable agreement on the evolution of the IRA’s armed struggle. The campaign has been a lowintensity, nationalist insurgency in a post-industrial, democratic state with limits imposed by law, self-interest, the unavowed rules of engagement, and by the morality of the involved leading to an endgame. All observers, as well as the participants, most of the time, tend to agree on the stages, the intensity levels, and even the reasons for the shifting tactics and strategy of all. The disagreements deal with the application of theories, first causes, the nature of the clandestine.