"Why should students of intelligence take an interest in special forces? Both subjects have in common a swaddling of secrecy on the one hand, and lurid popularization on the other. More importantly, however, since the Second World War special forces have played an important role with respect to intelligence in a number of ways. First and foremost, they serve as gatherers of useful information....
"Special forces can also play important roles in the area of counterintelligence....
"At the same time special forces are also consumers of intelligence, and particularly demanding ones at that....
"Finally, special forces can serve as rival or even impediments to intelligence collectors.... This tension between spies (who want a somnolent enemy) and saboteurs (who invariably sting him into wakefulness) pervades all organizations of this kind." Eliot A. Cohen, Intelligence and National Security 3, no. 4 (Oct. 1988), 167.
Readers specifically interested in the area of U.S. military special operations and unconventional warfare in the contemporary world are referred to the journal Special Warfare, published since 1988.
The "Miltary Analysis Network" on the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Website offers text access to a number of Special Operations-related materials: http://www.fas.org/man/eprint/index.html#sof.
Reference Materials and Web Sites
Guerrilla Warfare and Counterinsurgency:
Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Special Operations through the 1990s:
U.S. Army Intelligence Support Activity (ISA)
Special Operations in the 2000s:
Special Operations in the 2010s:
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