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The Special Trouble With Special Ops - WSJ
By Ian F.W. Beckett
April 24, 2017

Mark Moyar’s “Oppose Any Foe: The Rise of America’s Special Operations Forces” demonstrates, traces the rise of various American special forces, which date from the formation of the Army First Ranger Battalion in 1942, now number 70,000 members. They have moved from being a secondary weapon to a primary weapon.......But, at best, unconventional units have offered tactical rather than strategic success. The one exception was the ousting of the Taliban from Afghanistan in support of the Northern Alliance immediately after 9/11; operations against al Qaeda in eastern Afghanistan were not as successful. There has been a litany of failures, including Operation Eagle Claw in Iran in April 1980 and Operation Gothic Serpent in Somalia in October 1993. Successive presidents, however, have fallen under the spell of special forces, although their support has often been qualified and quickly withdrawn, as was the case with President Bill Clinton after Somalia......

It is Mr. Moyar’s contention that the problem has been that few incumbents of the White House have understood special forces’ limitations. Special forces, he says, are best suited to counterinsurgency. He sees little likelihood of future opportunities to use special forces in the strategic role they played in Afghanistan in 2001, for example. Indeed, he argues that given the persistence of conventional threats, “the best solution at the present time would be to expand conventional forces rather than special operations forces.” New roles and missions may evolve, but special forces must be properly integrated into broader strategic enterprises. Successive presidents, he writes, have made decisions about unconventional units “based on superficial and romanticized views.”....Following a policy preference instituted by Donald Rumsfeld, Barack Obama embraced “surgical strikes” as a substitute for a real strategy, because “they enabled him to show the American public that he was combating terrorism forcefully and efficiently.”.....
books  book_reviews  SAS  security_&_intelligence  counterinsurgency  SEALs  covert_operations  U.S._Special_Forces  unconventional_warfare 
may 2017 by jerryking
The Secret History of SEAL Team 6: Quiet Killings and Blurred Lines - NYTimes.com
By MARK MAZZETTI, NICHOLAS KULISH, CHRISTOPHER DREW, SERGE F. KOVALESKI, SEAN D. NAYLOR and JOHN ISMAY
JUNE 6, 2015
security_&_intelligence  U.S._Navy  covert_operations  SEALS  U.S._Special_Forces 
june 2015 by jerryking
A Medal of Honor - WSJ.com
October 23, 2007 | WSJ |editorial

Yesterday President Bush presented the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor for valor in combat, to the family of Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, a Navy SEAL who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005. It is the third Medal of Honor bestowed in the war on terror, and all have been awarded posthumously.
heroes  SEALs  Afghanistan  editorials 
august 2012 by jerryking
The Mission to Get Osama Bin Laden
August 8, 2011 |The New Yorker | by Nicholas Schmidle.
OBL  covert_operations  seals  CIA  Pakistan 
august 2011 by jerryking
An Inside Look at the SEAL Sensibility - WSJ.com
MAY 7, 2011

The SEAL Sensibility
From a member of the elite force, an inside look at the brutal training
and secret work of the commandos who got Osama bin Laden.

by ERIC GREITENS
Seals  covert_operations  training 
may 2011 by jerryking
U.S. Boosts Ranks of Elite Forces - WSJ.com
MAY 6, 2011

U.S. Boosts Ranks of Elite Forces
White House Has Secretly Expanded Strike Teams; Stepped-Up Raids Kill and Capture Thousands
By JULIAN E. BARNES
covert_operations  SEALs 
may 2011 by jerryking
Navy SEAL Osama kill team told to stay quiet - The Globe and Mail
KimBerlY Dozier
Washington— The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, May. 03, 2011
covert_operations  security_&_intelligence  OBL  SEALs 
may 2011 by jerryking

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