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The high cost of peace in Northern Ireland
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The recent announcement that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) is to decommission its arms in October was met with both relief and suspicion.
Nonetheless, there is an official consensus that this particular arms struggle is virtually over for the foreseeable future. In a feature article, The Daily Telegraph summed up the incredible cost since 1969: "3,637 killed, 45,000 wounded, 15,300 bombs, 36,000 shootings, 30,000 terrorism convictions, 300,000 troops deployed since 1969 and a financial bill of £100 billion+."
In light of this staggering toll, several questions may well be asked: When the present war on terror is finally finished, what will the statistics look like? How many lives, both civilian and military, will have been lost in this effort to overthrow Western civilization? How much money will have been spent? The IRA was mostly confined to one relatively small part of the British Isles. Today's terrorism is global. (Source: The Daily Telegraph [London].)