Provisional Irish Republican Army
The Provisional IRA emerged from the split in the Irish Republican Army in 1969-1970 out of the faction which supported the traditional republican commitment to parliamentary abstentionism. Its political counterpart was initially known as Provisional Sinn Féin. Sean McStiofain was the Provisionals' first chief of staff. According to MacStiofan, the Provisionals initial strategy in early 1970 was based on three phases, with the first focused on defending nationalist areas from renewed attacks by loyalists and the security forces. This was to be followed by a second phase of combined defence and retaliation, and a third phase of all out offensive action.