In modern day the threats facing the Unites States have changed from nations as a whole to militant insurgencies and terrorist groups. The purpose of this study is to show how does the U.S. military effectively adapt and respond to the ever changing threat of insurgencies. I examine historical examples of U.S. military conflicts from the Gulf War to Special Operations Forces current involvement against insurgencies. In doing so, one can determine what specific factors led the U.S. to switch from deploying conventional forces to Special Operations Forces. U.S. conventional forces were efficient when fighting an identifiable enemy, such as the Iraqi Army. However, once terrorist backed insurgencies infiltrate like they did in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. conventional forces became less effective. Through the use of U.S. Government documents, newspaper articles, online articles, hearings and books, this thesis explains how the global insurgency America is fighting today has led the U.S. military to shift from conventional war fighting forces in favor of Special Operations Forces.


Sene, Ibra



Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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