From Bosnia to Baghdad the evolution of US Army Special Forces from 1995-2004
Ramirez, Armando J.
Gustaitis, Peter J.
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This thesis presents a historical analysis of the evolution of US Army Special Forces operations from 1995 to 2004, focusing specifically on operations conducted in the Balkans (Bosnia and Kosovo), Afghanistan and Iraq, answering the research question: How have the operations conducted by US Army Special Forces evolved from the Balkans in 1995 through Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)? The thesis examines the progression of Special Forces operations during each of the aforementioned campaigns, analyzing their evolution in the areas of intelligence operations, unconventional warfare and foreign internal defense, close air support, integration with conventional forces and the institutionalization of lessons learned. The thesis concludes by examining future roles of US Army Special Forces with respect to employment. Tracing the progression of Special Forces employment from the Balkans to OIF is critical to understanding the factors contributing to the success of Special Forces operations in both the decisive operations and stability and support (SASO) phases of OEF and OIF.
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