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July 7, 2011 |  Print  Your Research  

Journal Article: Special Forces - Strategic Asset

Simon James Anglim: The study of Special Forces has largely been neglected in academic literature, but they remain among the most effective military tools available. Modern armies should continue investing in Special Forces to carry out tactical missions that conventional military units are ill-suited to perform.

Special Forces are military assets designed and trained to conduct tactical actions that if conducted by conventional units may have disproportionate negative impacts on policy. In theory, Special Forces deliver high precision and lower risk and cost than might otherwise be possible. This short piece aims to justify this description in the face of some questioning of their usefulness in the literature, serious and otherwise.

Simon Anglim lectures in military history and strategic studies at the University of Reading. He is the author of Orde Wingate and the British Army, 1922-1944 and several papers on special forces and counterinsurgency.


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