Operation Eagle Claw-Lessons Learned
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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The failed hostage rescue attempt at Desert One led to many changes in how joint military operations are conducted. This paper will analyze Operation Eagle Claw and evaluate the evolution in the conduct of joint operations. A study of Operation Eagle Claw reveals three recurring themes regarding the failure of the operation, Operations Security OPSEC, Command and Control, and equipment reliability. Operation Eagle Claw failed to rescue the American hostages in Iran however it did leave many lessons that were applied to subsequent operations. Eagle Claws greatest contribution was that it provided a catalyst for change in the Department of Defense. It contributed to the development of the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act, and gave impetus to the creation in 1987 of the U.S. Special Operations Command.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics