Book Special operations and strategy : from World War II to the War on Terrorism / James D. Kiras.
Associated Name: Gray, Colin S.
Associated Name: Andrews, Robert.
Publication year: 2006.
Call Number U262 .K36 2006
Media class: Book
Publisher: London ;New York : Routledge
ISBN: 0415702127 9780415702126
Includes Fore. by Colin S. Gray.
Includes Pref. by Robert Andrews, Principal Assistant Secretary of Defense, Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict.
Includes list of Abbreviations (p. [xvi]-xvii).
Series title: Cass series--strategy and history ; 17
Extent: xvii, 230 p. : ill., plans ; 24 cm.
Historically, special forces have been prone to misuse or misapplication. In particular, how special operations achieve their strategic effects has not been well understood. This stems in part from the Western historical tradition of the independently decisive 'great raid'. This work examines how a number of different special operations, in conjunction with more conventional military actions, achieve and sustain strategic effect(s) over time. In particular, this thesis argues that the root of effective special operations lies in understanding the relationship that exists between moral and material attrition at the strategic level through an examination of strategic theory and case studies. The key to understanding how special operations improve strategic performance resides in the concept of strategic attrition, and by extension, the nature of strategy. The nature of strategy reflects the complexities associated with moral and material interactions between competing adversaries. Theorists including Carl von Clausewitz, Hans Delbr
Special operations and great raids -- "Seeing 'black lights' before sinking into oblivion" : theories of strategic paralysis -- "A dark picture of destruction" : special operations, the persistance of ideas, and dambusting -- Death by a thousand cuts : special operations, attrition, and the nature of warfare -- "Looting a burning house" : the SAS in the campaign of attrition in Normandy, 1944 -- Conclusion : special operations and the nature of strategy.