Role of SOF in paramilitary operations
Cox, Steven J.
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This thesis is a historical study of United States paramilitary operations since World War II. It presents a typology of operational environments based on the level of political constraint imposed upon the National Command Authority. An inductive approach is used to study three cases: OSS operations during WWII; attempts by the United States to overthrow the Castro regime; and efforts by the United States to destabilize the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. From these cases emerge a set of criteria that are useful in defining operational success across a spectrum of paramilitary environments. These criteria can be used to evaluate the possible use of future paramilitary operations, as well as provide benchmarks to judge which organizations, or combination of organizations, would be best suited to perform the paramilitary mission.
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