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Perilous Options Special Operations as an Instrument of U.S. Foreign Policy

by Lucien S. Vandenbroucke

  • ISBN: 9780195045918
  • ISBN10: 0195045912

Perilous Options Special Operations as an Instrument of U.S. Foreign Policy

by Lucien S. Vandenbroucke

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
  • Publish date: 10/01/1993
  • ISBN: 9780195045918
  • ISBN10: 0195045912
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Description: Throughout the history of warfare, small battalions of warriors have repeatedly conducted sudden strikes on enemies deep within enemy lines with limited resources. These strikes rely largely on surprise, speed, and maneuver to defeat an often numerically superior enemy. In the past three decades, the United States has repeatedly used such special operations in an effort to achieve key foreign policy objectives. Many of these operations carried out by highly trained commando forces have failed. In Perilous Options: Special Operations as an Instrument of U.S. Foreign Policy, Lucien Vandenbroucke examines the use and misuse of special operations through an in-depth analysis of four operations - the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Sontay raid to rescue POWs in North Vietnam, the Mayaquez operation, and the Iran hostage rescue mission. He identifies recurrent problems in the way the United States government has prepared and executed such operations that account for their poor outcomes. These include faulty intelligence, poor interagency and interservice cooperation and coordination, inadequate information and advice provided to decisionmakers, wishful thinking on the part of decisionmakers, and micromanagement from outside the theater of operations. In addition to identifying the recurrent problems that have plagued U.S. special operations in the past. Vandenbroucke explores the extent to which recent efforts to revitalize the U.S. operations capability have addressed these problems, identifying additional changes that can improve the government's ability to plan, evaluate, and execute such operations. Drawing extensively on recently declassified government documents, interviews with keydecisionmakers and participants, and other primary material, Perilous Options is the first systematic in-depth analysis of the way the United States plans and executes strategic special operations. This-original analysis will be essential reading for scholars and students of United States foreign policy, contemporary diplomatic history, and political science.
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