Accession Number : ADA296683

Title :   The Misuse of Special Operations Forces.

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis,

Corporate Author : NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA

Personal Author(s) : Winters, Edward G. ; Paro, Kent A.

PDF Url : ADA296683

Report Date : DEC 1994

Pagination or Media Count : 205

Abstract : By their nature, special operations forces (SOF) are central to policy in a world-order dominated by low-intensity conflicts. Therefore, the proper use of SOF is essential. Based on published doctrine and decision making theory, this thesis develops a theory that defines misuse and provides a systematic framework for analyzing the use of SOF. Misuse occurs at the decision point. We have quantified the decision process and determined that misuse occurs when SOF are used while GPF have an absolute and comparative advantage, or, misuse occurs when SOF are not used while they have both an absolute and comparative advantage over GPF. The concepts of absolute and comparative advantage are crucial to our theory of the misuse of SOF. Absolute advantage is achieved if the expected value of conducting a specific mission outweighs the expected cost. Assuming that both forces have an absolute advantage, the force with the greatest expected value-to- expected cost ratio is sald to have the comparative advantage. Absolute and comparative advantage are the necessary and sufficient conditions for proper use and allow us to delineate specific types of errors. Through the use of four case studies, illustrative of four types of error, this thesis demonstrates a systematic method of considering the proper employment of SOF.

Descriptors :   *SPECIAL FORCES, RATIOS, POLICIES, DECISION MAKING, THESES, COSTS, CASE STUDIES, MISSIONS, DECISION THEORY.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE