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Browsing Faculty of Military Sciences by Author "Bester, Louis Andries"
(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-04) Bester, Louis Andries; Esterhuyse, Abel; Stellenbosch Universty. Faculty of Military Science. School for Security and Africa Studies. Dept. of Political Science. (Mil)
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The fascination with special forces, which is especially prevalent in books, movies and news articles, could be ascribed to the prominence of their use in contemporary conflicts across the globe. The public’s imagination of special forces has become linked with military actions and the armed struggles in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Special forces are also strategically very appealing to policymakers for a number of reasons. The political confidence vested in special forces is clearly demonstrated in the creation of specialised commands across the world. This goes hand in hand with an increase in operating budgets, manpower and supporting structures for special forces operations. There is, however, a paradox of employing such a highly lethal force in order to pursuit peace. With peacekeeping evolving parallel with the strategic environment, especially in Africa, the trend towards more robust interventions has become prevalent since the end of the Cold War. As such, the requirement for accurate and timely intelligence in peace missions has become crucial. Admittedly, special forces would not necessarily be the soldiers expected to wear blue berets and participate in peace missions. It may come as a surprise to the uninformed, though, to learn that special forces have indeed participated, and are still involved, in peace missions across the globe. The dichotomy of this phenomenon leads one to enquire as to what gave rise to elite military forces, renowned for their rigorous training, specialised skills, and sophisticated equipment to be employed in peace missions.