The Evolution Of Special Forces In Counter-Terrorism

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $106.02
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 19%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (7) from $106.02   
  • New (5) from $107.69   
  • Used (2) from $106.02   


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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

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 (
Read More Show Less

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.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


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


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



Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)