From the thesis abstract: "On 24 April 1980 the United States Military's attempt to rescue the fifty-three American hostages held in Tehran suffered ignominious defeat in the Iranian desert. A combination of some training defects, command and control problems, adverse weather conditions and bad luck caused early cancellation of the mission. Eight men died in the effort, and the hostages remained in captivity for a total of 444 days. It was a good idea -- American pride and honor had been badly injured and this was an opportunity to show the world Americans were capable of dealing with international terrorism in a carefully calculated and measured way. But flawed planning and execution spelled doom for the endeavor and made an already bad political situation even worse. This paper examines what led up to the raid, what was planned, what went wrong, and what lessons can be drawn from the experience."