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Special Operations Forces in Iraq

Special Operations Forces in Iraq Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2009 Title Special Operations Forces in Iraq
Author Leigh Neville Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2008 ISBN 978-1-84603-357-5
Format 64 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $18.95


When it comes to getting unusual jobs done quickly and efficiently, leave it to the special forces. Each of the world's major military powers have set aside a group of highly trained specialists who can penetrate deep into enemy territory undetected, neutralize a smaller target or designate a larger target for an airstrike, then egress just as efficiently. These unconventional warriors are sometimes nicknamed 'snake eaters' as they sometimes have to improvise on food supplies.

In the UK and Commonwealth countries, these special forces are the Special Air Service (SAS). In the US, each branch has its own elite forces: Rangers for the Army, SEALS for the Navy, Recon for the Marines, and Pararescue Jumpers (PJ) for the USAF. Another group was quietly stood up and referred to as Delta Force. Eventually, these various assets were pulled together under Special Operations Command which is a joint force that has almost become its own branch of service within the US. SOF

The author looks at these special forces warriors from various nations in the context of capturing and securing Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Several key operations are highlighted in this title which underscore the capabilities and differences between the special ops forces and their conventional force brethren.

The title is well-illustrated to put each of these encounters into context, and the title goes further to examine the equipment and weapons used by the special forces of these various nations. It is interesting to see how the weapon of choice for one group quickly trickles across into other forces.

If you're interested in contemporary warfare, tactics, and armaments, this title will be an excellent addition to your library. This book is a must have for the modeler and historian alike. Recommended!

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!