Special Operations & Counterinsurgency

Reference Materials

Included here:

1. Print Materials

2. Web Sites


1. Print Materials

Beckett, Ian F.W. Encyclopedia of Guerrilla Warfare. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1999. New York: Facts on File, 2001.

A Terrorism Bookshelf Review [] notes that "[t]he entries in this well written and easy-to-understand guide cover guerrilla warfare from the late 18th century to the present day.... The entries cover the countries, wars, revolts, conflicts, movements, leaders, strategies, and concepts related to this type of military tactic.... The book also provides an extensive bibliography and a comprehensive historical time line of guerrilla warfare."

Beede, Benjamin R. Intervention and Counterinsurgency: An Annotated Bibliography of Small Wars of the United States. New York: Garland, 1985. [Petersen]

Cornog, Douglas. Unconventional Warfare: A Bibliography of Bibliographies. Washington. DC: GPO, 1964. [Petersen]

Costa, Mark R., comp. Insurgency/Counterinsurgency: A Selected Bibliography. Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College Library, Jun. 2007. []

Crouch, Thomas W. An Annotated Bibliography on Low Intensity Conflict Taken from the Joint Low-Intensity Conflict Final Report of 1 August 1986. 2 vols. Langley AFB, VA: Army-Air Force Center for Low Intensity Conflict, 1987. [Petersen]

Gebhardt, James F. Soviet Special Purpose Forces: An Annotated Bibliography. Fort Leavenworth, KS: U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, Soviet Army Studies Office, May 1990. [Gibish]

Gibish, Jane E., comp. Special Operations: A Selected Bibliography. Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College Library, March 1995. []

This work lists over 300 titles -- books, monographs, and articles -- dealing with U.S. and other "special operations" forces and activities. There are a limited number of brief annotations. This work updates, but does not duplicate, Shope and Kutulas (1989).

Joes, Anthony James. Guerrilla Warfare: A Historical, Biographical, and Bibliographical Sourcebook. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1996.

Bulloch, Parameters (Summer 1998), notes that the author "has assembled a vast amount of material about guerrilla warfare in general which should satisfy the most avid reader by providing sufficient useful information to begin more detailed research." Nevertheless, the reviewer expresses "reservations about the items chosen for this source book, and the degree and level of analysis which ... affect the status and authority of the book as a whole."

The biographical section of the book "has a fairly obvious American bias.... [S]everal European, Middle Eastern, and African personalities who have achieved prominence since the Second World War do not get a mention," including Grivas, Tsombe, and Sir Robert Thompson. Additionally, the analysis of some of the campaigns is "not ... neutral or factual." The book is "irritating ... in the geographic comparison of a particular country or region, say Greece, with individual states in the USA."

Metz, Steven. The Literature of Low-Intensity Conflict: A Selected Bibliography and Suggestions for Future Research. Langley AFB, VA: Army-Navy-Air Force Center for Low Intensity Conflict, 1988.  [Petersen]

Nagl, John A. Learning Counterinsurgency: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2006.

Ney, Virgil. "Bibliography on Guerrilla Warfare." Military Affairs 29 (Fall 1960): 146-149. [Petersen]

Shope, Virginia C., and Nancy Kutulas, comps. Special Operations: A Selective Bibliography. Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College Library, March 1989.

Gibish (1995) updates, but does not duplicate, this work.


2. Web Sites

These sites do not focus specifically on the intelligence aspects of military special operations units or activities, but intelligence acquisition and covert operational actions remain two of the functional roles expected of special operations forces.

Active sites checked 10 December 2011. (no longer active)

Special Operations Forces Posture Statement 2000: "Special operations have been a part of our military history since the colonial era. In every conflict since the Revolutionary War, the United States has employed special operations tactics and strategies to exploit an enemy’s vulnerabilities. These operations have always been carried out by specially trained people with a remarkable inventory of skills. This publication offers a look at today's U.S. special operations forces (SOF) -- their mission, organization, unique capabilities, and role in meeting the security challenges of this new century."

This site includes links to material on both U.S. and international special operations forces.

This is the Website of the U.S. Army Ranger Association.

This is the official Website of the Sons & Daughters Organization of the Ranger Battalions Association of World War II. It officially opened on 19 June 2002. The site includes a brief history of each of the six Ranger battalions that served in World War II.

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