Special operations forces (SOF) as the “silver bullet”: Strategic helplessness and weakened institutional and extra-institutional civilian control

Kobi Michael

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this chapter I put forward four interrelated points: first, that the strategic helplessness of key civilian and military decision makers in the face of global jihadism has led to an emphasis on using SOF as a suitable, often preferred, response; second, that the sustained employment of such forces actually reinforces and intensifies this strategic helplessness; third, that the deployment and use of SOF necessitates forms of civilian control and oversight differing from those applied to conventional forces; and fourth, given the distinct political and ethical dilemmas posed by the use of SOF - especially targeted killings - the appropriate control of SOF must include both institutional and extra-institutional mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpecial Operations Forces in the 21st Century
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives from the Social Sciences
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages59-73
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781351802680
ISBN (Print)9781138632622
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

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