Last Updated: 24 October, 2015
This page has some useful documents of and links to Special Forces (SF) and Special Operations Forces (SOF) around the world:
- Special Forces – Strategic Asset is a paper written by Simon Anglim (University of Reading) in 2011 which is a thought provoking essay on the need of Special Forces, and if there is such a thing as Elite Forces!
- Key Perspectives on Special Forces: Force Multiplier for the Asymmetrical Age is a paper by Captain Yap Kwong Weng, at the time of writing the head of the Curriculum, Instructional and Leadership Development Branch of the Commando Training Institute (within the Singapore Armed Forces). The publication introduces the first comprehensive monograph involving Singapore’s Special Forces, and provides a critical examination on the history, theory and experience of Special Forces, as well as key reflection on the future of special operations.
- The Devil’s Advocate: Special Forces is an article written by Chris B, commentator and occasional guest article writer for the website “Think Defence”, making the case against Special Forces (SF) as separate, dedicated units, especially in these times of squeezed budgets. Chris makes some interesting observations between the selection and training of WWII SF and their contemporary brethren.
- Special Forces Recruiting Methodologies for the 21st Century is a thesis written by Major Richard Wheeler, US Army, in 2000 which examines the Special Forces recruiting methodologies for the 21st Century. The analysis highlights the origins of the US Army Special Forces from 1952 to the establishment of the Special Forces as a separate combat arms of the US Army on 09 April 1987.
World War 2 (WW2) Specific
- Documents written by the US during WW2 on a variety of countries:
- Documents about British Commandos during WW2:
- Service in a Commando by Lieutenant Colonel A.C. Neman
- Commando Country, Special Training Centres in the Scottish Highlands, 1940-45 (Allen, 2011)
- Defence of a village by Lieutenant Colonel A.C. Newman No2 Commando
- Physical Preparation of Commandos, The (Levick, 1944)
- Development of Britain’s Airborne Forces during WWII (Greenacre, 2008)
- Development of British Airborne Forces in WWII & the… (Jarmain, 2010)
British Army Paratroopers
- A Physical Demands Analysis of the 24-week British Army Parachute Regiment Recruit Training Syllabus (Wilkinson et al., 2008)
US Joint Special Operations University (JSOU) Papers
A part of the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM):
- JSOU Pam 05-1, Russian Special Forces (Turbiville, 2005)
- JSOU Pam 05-2, Canadian SOF (Taillon, 2005)
- JSOU Report 05-1, Article 1 (JSOU, 2005)
- JSOU Report 05-7, Coast Guard SOF (Bowen, 2006)
- JSOU Report 06-1, Implications for SOF, Page37 (Alexander, 2006)
- JSOU Report 06-8, SO Aviation in NATO (Newton, 2006)
- JSOU Report 07-1, Filling SOF Gaps with Civilian Expertise (Powers, 2006)
- JSOU Report 07-3, Isreali Approach to Irregular Warfare (Henriksen, 2007)
- JSOU Report 07-7, A Theory of SOF (Spulak, 2007)
Australian Strategic Policy Institute
- Future of Australia’s Special Operations Capability, The (Davies et al., 2014): Over the past decade, the demands of the ADFs global and regional operations saw an unprecedented growth in Australia’s special operations capability. Indeed, Special Operations Forces became the ‘capability of choice’ for the Australian Government. However, as the ADF enters a period of transition from almost constant high-tempo operations to what might be a ‘soft power decade’, there’s a need to consider the future of the capability.
- Building on Beersheba: Special Operations Capability (2014): this paper was written by the Strategic Plans Branch of the Australian Army and is the sixth discussion paper regarding future capability for the Australian Army, with this particular paper focussing upon the Special Operations Capability.
- ADF Special Forces Direct Recruitment Scheme (DFRT, 2004): this paper provides some background on why the Australian Army thought it necessary to widen entry to the Australian Commandos direct to civilian entrants, as well as serving ADF personnel.
Canadian Special Operations Forces
- Canadian Special Operations Forces: A Blueprint for the Future (Brister, 2004): also takes a brief look at the Australian and British models of SF at the time of writing.