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The Military Assistance Command-Vietnam Studies and Observations Group-A Case Study in Special Operations Campaigning

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Technical Report

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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Special Operations Forces SOF are a limited resource that cannot be rapidly produced. SOF are designed to be a tool for achieving strategic objectives but recent operational experience has seen an increased demand for SOF at the tactical level. What factors contribute to the employment of SOF on tasks that are directly linked to the achievement of strategic objectives Previous studies of special operations have concentrated on defining special operations and how they achieve disproportionate results. Much of the literature deals with tactical considerations. There is some literature that has identified conditions associated with successful employment of SOF. This qualitative research study examines the case study of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam, Studies and Observations Group MACVSOG, as an example of a special operations campaign, and conducts a comparative analysis against the existing conditions for successful employment of SOF. This thesis examines the factors and common themes from this study, considering how they can contributed to the success or failure of a special operation campaign. These themes are considered for their applicability to Australian Special Operations Command in order to make recommendations for the future conduct of special operations campaigns.

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