AbstractsSocial Sciences

Special Reconnaissance and Surveillance

by Anders Westberg

Institution: Swedish National Defense College
Year: 2014
Keywords: Special Operations; Special Operation Forces; Special Reconnaissance and Surveillance; Collection; Principles; Theory; Social Sciences; Samhällsvetenskap; Krigsvetenskap, självständigt arbete (Förberedande kurs inför Högre stabsofficersutbildning (HSU)); Krigsvetenskap, självständigt arbete (Förberedande kurs inför Högre stabsofficersutbildning (HSU))
Record ID: 1341665
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-4618


Special operations as a military mean have become more important in today’s conflicts. During the last decade, the importance of reliable intelligence has increased. A principle task for special opera-tion forces is Special Reconnaissance and Surveillance, but there is not much open research regarding these kinds of Special Reconnaissance operations and related guiding principles and theories are missing. A theory would be valuable to improve the institution of special operation forces by creating the ability to explain what institutional features help or hinder the uses of special operations.Admiral McRaven’s principles and approach is widely accepted as a theory, but was done with McRaven’s own definition of special operation described as Direct Action. The Swedish Military Op-erational Doctrine, regarding special operations, has a foundation drawn from McRaven’s theory.To reach a better understanding and widen the knowledge for the Swedish Armed Forces there is a need for further explanations on what is unique to the special operation forces and special opera-tions. Deficiencies in knowledge and understanding can lead to the wrong use of these forces, when complex intelligence collection mission is to be conducted.The purpose of this case study is to compare McRaven’s principles regarding special operations and their application in conducting a Special Reconnaissance and Surveillance mission. As a result this paper shows that there are emerging guiding Special Reconnaissance principles of importance to be found. McRaven’s principles can be used to some extent, but should be done with caution, since they are not optimized for Special Reconnaissance missions.