One of the most challenging aspects of integrating Special Operation Forces (SOF) and General Purpose Forces (GPF) is determining the appropriate force for a mission. Sometimes those roles are clear, but there are many instances where the force selection process has been unclear. These missions, where a lack of clarity exists are a grey area of SOF and GPF employment. This grey area is explored through comparative case studies of Rangers in World War II, the Congo Dragon Operations, the Mayaguez incident, Operation Eagle Claw, and the Patilla Airfield assault in Operation Just Cause. These case studies evaluate the process of force selection for a particular mission and if that force was appropriate. This case study analysis reveals a reimagining of the range of military operations and how they relate to the roles of SOF and GPF. This reframing helps understand the force selection process and identifying the best suited force for a mission.
Introduction * Methodology * Literature Review * The Theory of Special Operations * Recognition of the Grey Area * Special Operations Forces and General Purpose Forces Integration * Case Studies And Analysis * Cisterna Italy * Background * Force Selection Criteria * Congo Operations * Background * Force Selection Criteria * Mayaguez * Background * Force Selection Criteria * Operation Eagle Claw * Background * Force Selection Criteria * Operation Just Cause * Background * Force Selection Criteria * Conclusion And Recommendations * What the Force Selection Criteria in Cases tells us * Reframing the Range of Military Operations * Indirect—Security Cooperation * Supporting * Direct—Decisive Action * Contingency Operations * Anti-Access, Area Denial Explained * Non-combatant Evacuation Operations Explained * Interest Protection * Developing Future * Contingency Forces
The first section includes the background of the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, significance of the study, definition of terms, theoretical framework, research questions, limitations, delimitations, and the assumptions of the study. The second section is the methodology of the monograph which includes the selection of the cases and how the process of SOF and GPF roles are traced to determine if there are conceptual gaps. The third section presents a review of the literature, which includes theories of SOF and SOF and GPF integration. The fourth section presents and analyzes the selected case studies, which are; the Ranger operation in Cisterna, Italy, Operation Dragon in the Congo, the hostage rescue during Mayaguez incident, the tragedy at Desert One during Operation Eagle Claw, and finally the SEAL assault on Paitilla Airfield during Operation Just Cause. The fifth section discusses the lessons that the case studies offer, relative to the misapplication of GPF or SOF. This section continues to elaborate on what the instances suggest for the application of force within the theoretical overlap, or "grey" area.
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