Secret Victory: The Intelligence War That Beat the IRA


Secret Victory: The Intelligence War that beat the IRA shows what a successful rule of law approach looks like in an irregular war.

“A superbly researched, highly readable, and very thoughtful examination of the strategy that defeated the IRA – and of the implications of that model for contemporary challenges.”  

General David Petraeus, US Army (Ret.), the commander of coalition forces during the “surges” in Iraq and Afghanistan, and subsequently Director of the CIA.


Intelligent, captivating and disturbing in equal measure. William Matchett's  ‘Secret Victory’ reveals how the IRA was infiltrated, degraded and strategically defeated – at times with violent and deadly consequences. To read this book is to understand how intelligence drives irregular conflicts. “

Doug Beattie MC
, Author of, An Ordinary Soldier

Dr. William Matchett is a Senior Researcher at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, National University Ireland Maynooth. He holds a PhD from the University of Ulster. He has a 30-year police career in Northern Ireland and has implemented police-building programmes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Secret Victory is his first book.