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The evolution of special forces in counter-terrorism : the British and American experiences
Taillon, J. Paul de B., 1953-
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, [2001]

Physical Description:
xv, 190 pages ; 25 cm.
Format :


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U262 .T35 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The threat of terrorism knows no borders, and, given the complexities of today's global system, no nation can afford to stand alone. This study considers the role that international cooperation plays in assisting elite military forces engaged in low-intensity and counter-terrorist operations, particularly hostage rescue efforts. Using historical examples from the experiences of Great Britain and the United States, the author concludes that cooperation (ranging from shared intelligence, to forward base access, to the provision of observers) can provide significant advantages in dealing with low-intensity operations. However, the most fruitful joint efforts involve shared activities by countries that possess a similar threat perception, usually in part a result of a common sociology in their view of historical developments.

Before turning to modern counter-terrorism, Taillon addresses the respective military experiences of Britain and America within the wider realm of conventional and low-intensity operations. The main Anglo-American focus of the book gives primary importance to the developments and doctrine for the employment of special forces, as well as an analysis of more recent low-intensity and counter-terrorism operations, such as the 1980 Iranian embassy siege in London and the failure, that same year, of the American hostage rescue attempt in Teheran. Taillon hopes to identify and highlight those key aspects of cooperation at an international level which have, at least in part, been absolutely essential to successful counter-terrorist operations in the past and which seem destined to remain so in the future.

Author Notes

J. Paul de B. Taillon is an Adjunct Professor for War Studies at the Royal Military College (RMC), Kingston Ontario.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
1. The Evolution of British Forces in Low-Intensity Conflictp. 1
2. British Special Forces in Low-Intensity Conflictp. 27
3. The Evolution of American Forces in Low-Intensity Conflictp. 59
4. American Special Forces in Low-Intensity Conflictp. 85
5. Considerations and Conclusionsp. 125
Bibliographyp. 151
Indexp. 187