The Evolution Of Special Forces In Counter-Terrorism

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Overview

The threat of terrorism knows no borders, and, given the complexities of today's global system, no nation can afford to stand alone. This study considers the role that international cooperation plays in assisting elite military forces engaged in low-intensity and counter-terrorist operations, particularly hostage rescue efforts. Using historical examples from the experiences of Great Britain and the United States, the author concludes that cooperation (ranging from shared intelligence, to forward base access, to the provision of observers) can provide significant advantages in dealing with low-intensity operations. However, the most fruitful joint efforts involve shared activities by countries that possess a similar threat perception, usually in part a result of a common sociology in their view of historical developments.

Before turning to modern counter-terrorism, Taillon addresses the respective military experiences of Britain and America within the wider realm of conventional and low-intensity operations. The main Anglo-American focus of the book gives primary importance to the developments and doctrine for the employment of special forces, as well as an analysis of more recent low-intensity and counter-terrorism operations, such as the 1980 Iranian embassy siege in London and the failure, that same year, of the American hostage rescue attempt in Teheran. Taillon hopes to identify and highlight those key aspects of cooperation at an international level which have, at least in part, been absolutely essential to successful counter-terrorist operations in the past and which seem destined to remain so in the future.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
De B. Taillon (war studies, Royal Military College, Kigston Ontario) discusses the evolution of the use of special forces units in fighting terrorism. He outlines the development of this approach in the United Kingdom and the United States, and evaluates their performance in low- intensity conflict. Special consideration is given to hostage situations, with attention focusing on issues of intelligence, forward-basing, communications, training assistance, and political consequences. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

J. PAUL DE B. TAILLON is an Adjunct Professor for War Studies at the Royal Military College (RMC), Kingston Ontario.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

The Evolution of British Forces in Low-Intensity Conflict

British Special Forces in Low-Intensity Conflict

The Evolution and Role of British Special Forces

The Iranian Embassy Siege - London 30 April - 5 May 1980

The Evolution of American Forces in Low-Intensity Conflict

American Special Forces

The Evolution and Role of American Special Forces

Operation Eagle Claw--Delta's Raid into Iran

Considerations and Conclusions

Final Considerations

Conclusions

Appendix 1: Total Anti-U.S. Attacks, 1999

Appendix 2: Total International Terrorist Attacks, 1979-99

Appendix 3: Total International Attacks by Region, 1993-99

Appendix 4: Pattern of Revolutionary Warfare: Sequence of Insurgent Action

Bibliography

Index

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2001

    Understanding the complexities of special operations in counter- terrorism

    The author has done an excellent study of the evolution and deployment of spec forces in terrorism. Using interviews of senior spec ops and intel personnel,as well as comprehensive and to say the least extensive list of other studies and sources he traces the involvement of British and American forces in CT ops in an excceedingly well documented and highly informative manner. In an interesting way he underlines the issues and complexities that evolve around such operations and delves, in detail, on the ill fated American rescue in 1980 and the successful sortie of the SAS in London that same year .Moreover, Taillon reviews these operations against a demanding criteria for success and illuminates little known aspects of these two dramatic operations. This study stands as a solid work in this field for both the professional as well as the student of modern conflict.

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