The Rise of U.S. Army Special Forces in the 20th and 21st Centuries
thesisposted on 14.05.2020, 00:00 by Bailey Deterding
From unconventional beginnings to the Global War on Terror, the need for US Army Special Forces has increased exponentially. With the fall of the Nazi regime in 1945 and the rise of the Iron Curtain across Europe, the US Army recognized the need for specialized troops who were experts in foreign language, friendly and enemy weapons, demolitions, airborne operations, counterinsurgency, and unconventional warfare. The Vietnam War provided a proving ground for the newly formed Green Berets. Their expertise in the science of warfare helped to train, advise, and assist South Vietnamese forces. Operations in El Salvador, Colombia, and Panama further advanced the teams’ credibility in direct action missions. Finally, Special Forces Groups’ footprints in CENTCOM ensured regional stability in the fight against international terrorism. From the Horse Soldiers in the early days of Afghanistan to the Syrian Civil War, the Green Berets have established themselves as one of the most premier special operations units in SOCOM’s arsenal. The purpose of my research is to shed light on the growing importance of US Army Special Forces going into the 21st Century.