'Scalpel' or 'easy button'? Neither - and some further considerations
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When examining the political risk implications of using SOF, it is important to acknowledge that political risks may be impossible to accurately calculate, since whether an operation or mission proves worthwhile will depend on who is doing the assessing, at what moment in time, and for what ends. Indeed, some missions may yield results whose value degrade rather than increase over time. This seems truer of expeditionary Direct Action (DA) missions than is commonly recognized. Expeditionary Military Assistance (MA) missions, on the other hand, can have a long-lasting strategic impact, but only if careful thought is given to how to employ MA and SOF strategically.