The Role Of Special Operations Forces In The War On Terror
Authors: Addicott, Jeffrey F. (St. Mary’s University)
Abstract: While all components of the American military deserve recognition for superior accomplishments over the past two years of conflict, no arm of the military has offered more to winning the war on terror than America’s Special Operations Forces (SOF). Indeed, SOF has emerged as the premier fighting force in the war on terror. Paradoxically, the makeup, mission and impact of these elite soldiers remain cloaked in mystery. For instance, one often hears such questions as: Who are these “special” warriors? Do they follow the rules of warfare or are they simply paid assassins? Why are they necessary if we already have regular soldiers? The purpose of this chapter is to describe the nature of SOF and to detail the role that these fighters have played and continue to play in both winning the broadly defined and often confusing war on terror andjust as importantlywinning the peace.