Secret history of U.S. Special Operations Command published





As the missions and budgets for U.S. Special Operations Command
steadily expand, a new official history looks back at the
origins and development of SOCOM.

"Since its creation in 1987, USSOCOM has supported conventional
forces and conducted independent special operations throughout
the world, participating in all major combat operations,"
writes SOCOM Commander General Bryan D. Brown.

The new account, prepared by the SOCOM history office and
obtained by Secrecy News, describes in new detail the major
SOCOM operations of the past two decades up through the
present.

"After 9/11, the first SOF [special operations forces]
counterterrorism operations were not conducted in Afghanistan
or even in the Middle East, but in Europe," the SOCOM history
notes.

"In late September 2001, U.S. SOF learned that Islamic
extremists with connections to Usama bin Laden were in Bosnia.
SOCEUR forces quickly put together Operation RESOLUTE EAGLE to
capture them. U.S. SOF surveilled the terrorists, detained one
of the groups, and facilitated the capture of another group by
coalition forces. These raids resulted in the capture of all
the suspected terrorists and incriminating evidence for
prosecution and intelligence exploitation."

Other operations, like the battle of Tora Bora, were admittedly
less successful.

"The fact that SOF came as close to capturing or killing UBL
[Usama bin Laden] as U.S. forces have to date makes Tora Bora
a controversial fight. Given the commitment of fewer than 100
American personnel, U.S. forces proved unable to block egress
routes from Tora Bora south into Pakistan, the route that UBL
most likely took."


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