My mates in England think the Al Qaeda problem can and should be tackled the same way the IRA problem was (apparently) tackled: by negotiation. I have no idea why they think that will work (not to mention what they think can be negotiated). Perhaps they're just trying to avoid the miserable alternative of "blood, toil, tears, and sweat."
One other thing, part of the 'edge' between the Brits and Yanks regarding the War on Terror comes from their still-simmering anger at Americans for sending funds to the IRA. That's what changed with 9/11, they say, and what finally enabled them to end their War on Terror.