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Title: International co-operation in the use of elite military forces to counter terrorism : the British and American experience, with special reference to their respective experiences in the evolution of low-intensity operations
Author: Taillon, Joseph Paul de Boucherville
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1993
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This thesis examines the employment of elite military forces in low-intensity and counter-terrorist operations, and in particular, placing the principal emphasis on the aspect of international co-operation in the latter. The experiences of Great Britain and the United States in such operations are the main elements of the discussion, reflecting their heavy involvement in such operations. However, to analyze the experiences of those two countries out of context would be difficult and would distort the perceptions of the problems and desiderata as they evolved historically. Therefore, a survey of contemporary international terrorism, and the reaction to it, is also incorporated within the body of this paper. The British and American sections of the thesis begin by addressing their respective military experiences in the wider realm of low-intensity operations before dealing specifically with modern counter-terrorism. Equally necessary, for a balanced perspective, is the inclusion of the Israeli and West German experience in counter-terrorism; this is briefly addressed in two short case studies on Entebbe and Mogadishu. The main Anglo-American focus of the study gives primary importance to the development and doctrine for the employment of special forces, as well as an analysis of more recent low-intensity and counter-terrorism operations, such as the 1980 Iranian embassy siege in London and the failure that same year of the American hostage rescue attempt in Tehran. At this point this thesis attempts to identify and highlight those key aspects of co-operation at an international level which have, at least in part, been the sine qua non of successful counter-terrorist operations in the past and seem to be destined to remain so in the future. While it will be shown that international co-operation is essential in the areas of intelligence, exchanges and attachments between counter-terrorist forces, 'forward-basing' in relevant countries, as well as the acquisition of secure internal and external communications, it will also be argued, nonetheless, that the historical experience and state interest of different countries makes such co-operation more difficult than might appear at first sight. All of these, however, are impossible without the political will on the part of potential co-operating governments to undertake such initiatives. Particularly when one considers the very delicate nature of elite counter-terrorist force employment and the potential for embarrassment which is inherent in their activities and, therefore, cannot always be taken for granted. The findings of this study suggest that such co-operation can indeed provide significant advantages when low-intensity operations call for a response including 'the final option' - the employment of elite counter-terrorist forces. Also clear from this analysis is that the greatest progress in such international co-operation is likely to come from joint activities by countries having a similarly heightened sense of the threat which also implies that they share a common 'sociology' in their view of these historical developments.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available