Decisions integration a critical necessity for special operations
Dobocan, Claudiu O.
Tucker, David C.
Gustaitis, Peter J.
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In a world in which the use of violence continues to be viewed as an acceptable method to pursue political goals, the use of terrorism as a political method will also continue. And within that world, in the coming years, hostage rescues and other direct actions to combat terrorism are likely to be the most frequent type of missions conducted by state special operations forces, including those of Romania. This thesis explores the importance of integrating three types of decisions-informational, structural, and operational-for the successful outcome of special operations. The thesis analyzes four operations, conducted by American, Belgian, and Israeli forces, and the circumstances of their positive or negative outcomes. The historical cases show that, if any one of the three types of decisions was not integrated with the other two, the operation was doomed. The analysis also reveals that the integration of decision-making can best be realized by using interagency coordination mechanisms and a collocation of decision-makers, especially for situations in which command arrangements are highly complicated or unclear. In light of the findings in the four case studies, an analysis of the Romanian Special Operations Forces reveals that its overall structure does not favor either immediate-response or high-complexity missions. The thesis concludes with a number of recommendations for short- and long-term mitigation of current command and control problems faced by Romanian Special Operations Forces.
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