Special Forces Missions: A Return to the Roots for a Vision of the Future   [open pdf - 5MB]

From the thesis abstract: "This study traces the development of Special Forces (SF) missions from the OSS [Office of Strategic Services] in 1944 to the present to determine how the doctrinal missions evolved. Five specific operations/events are examined; including the Jedburghs and Operational Groups in France, Unconventional Warfare during the Korean War, Operation White Star in Laos, Special Forces conduct of the CIDG [Civilian Irregular Defense Group] program and its participation in MACV-SOG [Military Assistance Command, Vietnam - Studies and Observations Group] during the Vietnam War, and SF operations in the Dominican Republic. The possible characteristics of conflict in the Post Cold War World are established. These characteristics are compared with the five specific operations examined to determine the likenesses and differences among them, as well as lessons learned that will have application for future Special Forces training. The study concludes that because the Post Cold War World will be characterized by chaos and uncertainty, SF requires the broadest training possible. It should focus on two missions and all others should become collateral activities. The wartime mission should be Unconventional Warfare and the peacetime mission should be Unconventional Operations. Training for these missions provides flexible, language capable, culturally aware, highly skilled, and disciplined soldiers that will meet the requirements across the spectrum of conflict."

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