IACES hosted a webinar on Dr Huw Bennett's latest book on Wednesday, 31 Jan 2024. Chaired by IACES President, Dr Giada Lagana (Leverhulme ECR Fellow at Cardiff University), it explores how Uncivil War reveals the full story of how the British army acted to save Great Britain from disaster during the most violent phase of the Northern Ireland conflict. Huw Bennett's study shows how the army's ambivalent response to loyalist violence undermined the prospects for peace and heightened Catholic distrust in the state. British strategy consistently underestimated community defence as a reason for people joining or supporting the IRA whilst senior commanders allowed the army to turn in on itself, hardening soldiers to the suffering of ordinary people. By 1975 military strategists considered the conflict unresolvable: the army could not convince Catholics or Protestants that it was there to protect them and settled instead for an unending war.
Discussants are Dr Thomas Leahy (Cardiff University and author of The intelligence war against the IRA); and Dr Eleanor Leah Williams (Oxford University).