Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
December 13, 2011
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
January 13, 1986
Content Type: 
PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00965R000706970013-2.pdf119.94 KB
STnT Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/12/13: CIA-RD TIME ON t kG __l_CQ___ -13 January 1986 Nation i Warrior Elote Dirty Jobs the For ' s growing Special Forces seek a role America I n military jargon they are called "low- intensity conflicts." More commonly they are known as "dirty little wars." By any name they are the kinds of bat- tles most likely to be fought by U.S. troops in a precarious nuclear age: rescuing hos- tages from terrorism, fighting guerrillas or teaching allies how to fight them, protect- ing disparate American interests in a va- riety of regions. These unorthodox struggles require a special type of soldier: bold and resource- ful, often trained in the black arts of stealth and sabotage, suitable for an elite unit that can vanish into alien territory or strike anywhere with speed and surprise. Recent events have underscored the need for such mobile, small-scale fighting units. As Americans abroad have become in- creasingly vulnerable to terrorist attacks like the Christmas-week atrocities in Rome and Vienna, Washington has rec- ognized more than ever the utility of a quick and certain response. At the same time. the Reagan Administration has placed increased emphasis on a "new globalism" designed to assert U.S. inter- ests abroad by providing covert and overt assistance to rebels fighting Soviet- backed regimes around the world. Deciding just how the U.S. should go about organizing and deploying such Spe- cial Forces has provoked a fierce debate in the corridors of the Pentagon and in secret congressional hearings over the past few months. When he went West for New Year's, President Reagan took with him a secret report from the Holloway Commis- sion, a White House task force set up six months ago to explore new ways of fighting terrorism. Next week the debate will spill into the open, as Secretary of State George Shultz and Defense Secretary Caspar Wein- berger join more than 100 experts to discuss the future of low-intensity conflict at a sym- posium at Fort McNair in Washington. Every U.S. President since John F. Kennedy has preferred, whenever possi- ble, to use the scalpel of a Special Forces operation rather than the blunter tools of conventional warfare. The Reagan Ad- ministration has given top priority to building up Special Forces, increasing their budget from $441 million in 1982 to $1.2 billion this year, and the number of troops from 11,000 to nearly 15,000. At the very least, the Administration has rescued special operations from the post-Viet Nam era of neglect, which was so igno- miniously exposed in the wreckage of De- sert One during the failed Iranian hostage rescue mission of 1980. The military command, however, has been a good deal less enthusiastic about this new breed of warrior. Special Forces are often regarded by the brass as unwor- thy of precious defense dollars and a bit too independent to boot. Disclosures last No- vember that members of the supersecret Delta Force had been charged with skim- ming covert intelligence funds only _het tene enta on sus ions that the Special Forces are a bunch o freebooters. Shrugged retired Army Brigadier General Donald Blackburn, an expert on uncon- ventional warfare: "Special Forces have always been the bastards of the Army - Partly as a result of this attitude. Amen- ca's Special Forces are still woefully unpre- pared for the challenges they could face Though it is far more likely that the U.S would use its handful of quick-reaction shock troops rather than any of its 17 acti'e Army divisions or 13 Navy carrier battle groups, special operations still receive less than I