Special Operations Forces--Responsive, Capable, and Ready
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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In April 1980, the failed Iranian rescue mission prompted renewed attention to US special operation capabilities. Specifically, the lack of focus and inability to coordinate forces in response to crisis in the lower spectrum of warfare prompted formation of the US Special Operations Command USSOCOM in April 1987. USSOCOM is now three years old. Do we have more Special Operations Forces SOF capability with a unified focus Recent actions during Operation Just Cause in Panama at decades end demonstrated that our special forces have come a long way. Having a firm commitment to SOF and a ready military to respond, the policymakers and SOF leaders must also continue to provide a mission for SOF employment. This analysis shows how at times our vision has been blurred with respect to SOF employment. However, congressionally prompted renewed emphasis in SOF and low-intensity conflict has demonstrated dividends. As defense budgets shrink and military forces are trimmed, SOF units united with highly skilled conventional forces will likely be the option of choice in response to future conflicts.
- Unconventional Warfare