James D. Kiras shows how a number of different special operations, in conjunction with more conventional military actions, achieve and sustain strategic effect(s) over time. In particular, he argues that the root of effective special operations lies in understanding the relationship existing between moral and material attrition at the strategic level. He also presents a theoretical framework for understanding how special operations achieve strategic effects using a unique synthesis of strategic theory and case studies.
This study shows how the key to understanding how special operations reside in the concept of strategic attrition and in the moral and material nature of strategy. It also highlights major figures such as Carl von Clausewitz, Hans Delbrück, and Mao Zedong, who understood these complexities and were experts in eroding an enemy's will to fight. These and other examples provide a superb explanation of the complexities of modern strategy and the place of special operations in a war of attrition.
This book will be of great interest to all students and scholars with an interest in special forces and of strategic and military studies in general.