Insurgencies are as psychological and political as much as military. In the War of Independence, the Irish needed to remain active for longer than the nerves of liberal Britain could stand, and they succeeded. Irish governance, rather than military victory, was always the goal. If success can be defined as doing more with less, then Michael Collins must be counted as among the great guerrilla planners of the twentieth century. He understood the limits of what could be achieved by violence – and when to forgo violence for negotiation.