The epic story of America's most elite warriors: the Special Operations Forces. Born as small appendages to the conventional armies of World War II, the Special Operations Forces have grown into a behemoth of 70,000 troops, including Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces, Special Operations Marines, Rangers, and Delta Force. Weaving together their triumphs and tribulations, acclaimed historian Mark Moyar introduces a colorful cast of military men, brimming with exceptional talent, courage and selflessness. In a nation where the military is the most popular institution, America's Special Operations Forces have become the most popular members of the military. Through nighttime raids on enemy compounds and combat advising of resistance movements, special operators have etched their names into the nation's registry of heroes. Yet the public knows little of the journey that they took to reach these heights, a journey that was neither easy nor glamorous. Fighting an uphill battle for most of their seventy-five year history, the Special Operations Forces slipped on many an occasion, and fell far on several. Presidents from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama have enthusiastically championed Special Operations Forces, but their enthusiasm has often surpassed their understanding, resulting in misuse or overuse of the troops. Lacking clearly defined missions, Special Operations Forces have had to reinvent themselves time and again to prove their value in the face of fierce critics-many of them from the conventional military, which from the start opposed the segregation of talent in special units. Highlighting both the heroism of America's most elite soldiers and the controversies surrounding their meteoric growth, Oppose Any Foe presents the first comprehensive history of these special warriors and their daring missions. It is essential reading for anyone interested in America's military history-and the future of warfare.
In this book, two national-security experts put the exploits of America’s special operation forces in historical and strategic context. David Tucker and Christopher J. Lamb offer an incisive overview of America’s turbulent experience with special operations. Starting with in-depth interviews with special operators, the authors illustrate the diversity of modern special operations forces and the strategic value of their unique attributes. Despite longstanding and growing public fascination with special operators, these forces and their contribution to national security are poorly understood. With this book, Tucker and Lamb dispel common misconceptions and offer a penetrating analysis of how these unique and valuable forces can be employed to even better effect in the future. The book builds toward a comprehensive assessment of the strategic utility of special operations forces, which it then considers in light of the demands of future warfare. This second edition of United States Special Operations Forces, revised throughout to account for lessons learned in the twelve years since its first publication, includes two new case studies, one on High Value Target Teams and another on Village Stability Operations, and two new appendixes charting the evolution of special operation missions and the best literature on all aspects of U.S. special operation forces.
This book provides a short and accessible introduction to the theory of strategy, examines the general theory of strategy in accordance with 23 key Principles and explains its nature, functions, and intended consequences. Theory of Strategy makes the radical argument that the familiar structure of strategy's general theory (political ends, strategic ways, military means - and assumptions) holds as sound for security at all times and in all places, of human necessity. Strategy is ever-varying in its character, but not in its nature, which is unchanging.
The U.S. Army's Role in Creating the Forever Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
Author: Pat Proctor
Pubpsher: University of Missouri Press
Colonel Pat Proctor’s long overdue critique of the Army’s preparation and outlook in the all-volunteer era focuses on a national security issue that continues to vex in the twenty-first century: Has the Army lost its ability to win strategically by focusing on fighting conventional battles against peer enemies? Or can it adapt to deal with the greater complexity of counterinsurgent and information-age warfare? In this blunt critique of the senior leadership of the U.S. Army, Proctor contends that after the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. Army stubbornly refused to reshape itself in response to the new strategic reality, a decision that saw it struggle through one low-intensity conflict after another—some inconclusive, some tragic—in the 1980s and 1990s, and leaving it largely unprepared when it found itself engaged—seemingly forever—in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The first book-length study to connect the failures of these wars to America’s disastrous performance in the war on terror, Proctor’s work serves as an attempt to convince Army leaders to avoid repeating the same mistakes.
America's Pursuit of Absolute Security at All Costs
Author: David C. Unger
Category: Political Science
Editor’s Choice, NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW “Ambitious and valuable” --WASHINGTON POST America is trapped in a state of war that has consumed our national life since before Pearl Harbor. Over seven decades and several bloody wars, Democratic and Republican politicians alike have assembled an increasing complicated—and increasingly ineffective—network of security services. Trillions of tax dollars have been diverted from essential domestic needs while the Pentagon created a worldwide web of military bases, inventing new American security interests where none previously existed. Yet this pursuit has not only damaged our democratic institutions and undermined our economic strength—it has fundamentally failed to make us safer. In The Emergency State, senior New York Times journalist David C. Unger reveals the hidden costs of America’s obsessive pursuit of absolute national security, showing how this narrow-minded emphasis on security came to distort our political life. Unger reminds us that in the first 150 years of the American republic the U.S. valued limited military intervention abroad, along with the checks and balances put in place by the founding fathers. Yet American history took a sharp turn during and just after World War II, when we began building a vast and cumbersome complex of national security institutions and beliefs. Originally designed to wage hot war against Germany and cold war against the Soviet Union, our security bureaucracy has become remarkably ineffective at confronting the elusive, non-state sponsored threats we now face. The Emergency State traces a series of missed opportunities—from the end of World War II to the election of Barack Obama—when we could have paused to rethink our defense strategy and didn’t. We have ultimately failed to dismantle our outdated national security state because both parties are equally responsible for its expansion. While countless books have exposed the damage wrought by George W. Bush's "war on terror," Unger shows it was only the natural culmination of decades of bipartisan emergency state logic—and argues that Obama, along with many previous Democratic presidents, has failed to shift course in any meaningful way. The Emergency State: America’s Pursuit of Absolute Security At All Costs reveals the depth of folly into which we’ve fallen, as Americans eagerly trade away the country’s greatest strengths for a fleeting illusion of safety. Provocative, insightful, and refreshingly nonpartisan, The Emergency State is the definitive untold story of how America became this vulnerable—and how it can build true security again.
The volume, comprised of fourteen contributions from specialists in the field, is a serious attempt to address and analyze key factors affecting US interests. It suggests measures for the US policy makers and provides a policy framework for enabling the US to face challenges and opportunities in the Muslim world.
Sure to be found controversial by some, compelling by all, this is the only available book-length examination of the way the U.S. Army and Department of Defense have tried to create the capabilities promised by the high-tech Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). Of more immediate concern, it is also the only in-depth account of the effect RMA and transformation concepts had on the American operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of the problems in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Adams argues, arose from the DoD's implacable desire to implement RMA-driven transformation concepts-whether they were appropriate or not. What we need to do, he maintains, is to fight the war we have, not the war we want. Over the last several decades, military theorists and others began to believe that new technologies were generating a "revolution in military affairs" (RMA), capabilities so revolutionary that they would redefine warfare. Spurred by these beliefs, and led by President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Department of Defense (DoD) set out to transform the U.S. armed forces by adopting RMA concepts-and spending billions to make the hypothetical capabilities real. The entire structure of the armed forces changed as a result. This vision, however, was totally dependent on a set of unproven suppositions and often nonexistent capabilities, especially a network of information technologies. Moreover, the services, the media, Congress, and industry each had its own agenda, all of which continue to come into play in the development of RMA strategies. The interplay of politics, technology and military reality offers a fascinating narrative.
In a rapidly evolving business environment, many successful companies have transformed themselves by reexamining their core missions and competencies and exploiting innovation in nontraditional ways. Applying this business model to national defense, the innovation landscape can be said to have three regions: products (airplanes, tanks, ships), processes (integrated systems), and retrofits of legacy systems. While the DoD is not a commercial enterprise, nor can it change its critical missions as a private firm might do, it, too, operates in a dynamic environment and should be in a continual process of transformation to adjust to and exploit change. Achieving the right balance of effort in these three regions will pay handsome dividends. Diagrams.
The explosive true story of the SAS and the secret war in Iraq
Author: Mark Urban
Pubpsher: Hachette UK
Category: Biography & Autobiography
When British and American forces invaded Iraq in April 2003, their intelligence operations got to work looking for the WMD their governments had promised us were there. They quickly realised no such weapons existed. Instead they become faced with an ever-increasing spiral of extremism and violence that was almost impossible to understand, let alone contain. This book tells the story of what happened next, one of the most dramatic and sustained operations in our recent military history. Up against the wall, under the aegis of the joint forces commanded by Major General McChrystal, our men moved into action using the wide variety of aircraft and weaponry at their disposal. Combining intelligence with brute force, the SAS went on the attack, night after night targeting Al-Qaeda and other insurgent groups with an intensity never before practiced by the service, destroying the terrorist threat and saving lives.