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Description - US Special Operations Forces in Action by Thomas K. Adams

Modern armies are planned and structured to fight massive World War II-type operations involving the large-scale movements of tanks and machinery across continents. In fact they are rarely called upon to participate in such conflicts. It is far more common for them to find themselves involved in lower-level, ill-defined, politically charged, messy situations known collectively as "unconventional warfare", typified by the 1990s conflicts in Somalia, Haiti, Rwanda, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Thomas Adams argues that, for the most part, the conventional war-fighting forces of the USA are not the best military forces to deal with such situations, where there is a lack of a clearly-defined enemy and a need for persuasion, negotiation and even community leadership alongside elements who are willing to resort to deadly force. The appropriate components of the US miltary to deal with this, in his view, are the Special Operations Forces (SOF). He discusses the composition of the SOF and their varying roles, discussing their evoluation, strengths and weaknesses, and gives a history of US involvement in non-conventional warfare from the American revolution to the 1990s.
He argues that the US Department of Defense still sees military conflict in the form of conventional warfare, with its emphasis on high-technology combat. The very existence of high-technology systems, however, makes conventional warfare less likely, with the result that the US Army may become vulnerable to "low-tech" offensives, and already there has been an increase in "unconventional" conflicts since the demise of the Soviet Union. Adams proposes a change in strategic thinking together with investment in training and a usable military doctrine to guide develoment. A shift in expectations is required, with a greater willingness to accept lengthy commitments and incremental progress.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780714647951
ISBN-10: 0714647950
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x mm)
Pages: 400
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Jun-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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