Greatest "Special Operation" conducted by our enemy?

  • Thread starter Thread starter Boondocksaint375
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With the exception of 9/11, what do you think could be considered the "greatest special operation" conducted by our enemy and why? Unlike the other question asked about "most proficient military force", this does not have to be limited to the current time period, and can be any event in history, providing the US existed ;)
Iranian support of Iraqi insurgents, training and supply in IED's, etc., that is probably the most recent.

In terms of a spectacular resource-to-political impact ratio (bang for the buck), that's got to be the most successful by that criteria. Those explosions, and charred US HMMWV's have been seen on the news media of every nation on the planet. These forces have taken advantage of the fact that news stations like to LOOP videos over and over again. As a result, the casual or distracted viewer might get the impression that there is an i.e.d. destroying an American APC every 55 minutes, as soon as that loop video comes on again.

Something along the lines of JBS:

The bad guys ability to promulgate progaganda through the media and our inability or reluctance to counter their media flood is a huge factor in both theaters.

Our soldiers don't seem to realize that their hard earned dollars earned fighting the GWOT, then spending that money buying CAMERAS in theater, be them video or still digital, are funding the insurgents/AQI.

They are also, by sending units/names in the videos/pics, endangering their lives for years to come along with their fighting compadres.

They're winning that one....all the bombs/bullets we blow/shoot can't erase your face from the internet. :doh:
Hezballoh and Hamaz have run the most effective Special Operation campaigns in recent history. While I don't think you can tie them down to a single operation you have to look at the total campaigns they have waged. Also they may not be direct enemies of the US but there action effect us none the less.

I think more than anyone they understand low intensity conflicts better than most. They have a long term vision and understand better than anyone that the conflict isn't about a single battle. It also helps that the people they are fighting make stupid mistakes that hand them some of the success they need.

For example, early on in Bush's administration both Israel and the US where bemoaning how corrupt Fatah was and that the Palestine's needed new election and new representation. When they had new election the only other entity around to turn to was Hamaz. Hamaz wins the election and the US and Israel proceed to try and cut off Hamaz and they re-arm and fund Fatah so they can put them back in power. Hamaz throttles Fatah in street fighting. Add to there fighting there capability to deliver needed services to the mass they have been able to win the hearts and minds war for the Palestine people.

Israel along with US support again picks a horrible fight that they can't win against Hezbollah. Israel levels half of southern Lebanon in an attempt to destroy Hezbollah. It was a fight they couldn't win because they have to kill everyone which they can't and all Hezbollah had to do was survive which they did. On top of the defeat of Israel, Hezbollah provides the most support to the people affected by the campaign and in the process garners huge support within Lebanon. Later they throttle a US supported civilian militia created to support the government.

While they have lost the military battles against Israel both organization have grown stronger along with there influence over the people. They understand the hearts and mind game better than most and they can execute the plan as well. People may argue that they couldn't do it without outside support which is true, but you also need the leadership and the message that people will support. They have the organization than can execute the plan unlike Fatah and this private army that just got spanked in Lebanon.
^^^^^ Excellent Post Scott and I'm in agreement..I've seen Hezballoh close up while serving in South lebanon with UNIFIL and I can't count how many times they have got one up on the IDF.

I can remember this Special operation(if you could call it that) by them while I was there. An IDF Unit were on Patrol in the ICA or Israeli Controlled Area of South Lebanon. The ICA was a buffer zone of approx 10 km between south Lebanon and Northern Isreal.

The IDF Unit where being observed as soon as they arrived into the olive grove by the hezballoh. As soon as the IDF Unit went into the kill zone, two AT-3 sagger anti tank weapons exploded killing most of the unit. I remember seeing two red dots approach the olive grove from further down in the wadi.

An hezballoh kill team was close by and went in and finished off any survivors. It was big news at the time and published in all Lebanese papers.

[disclaimer]- I am not nor ever have been a fan of hezballoh.-[disclaimer]
The jihadist's ability to exploit the media right now. They're way better at it than we are.

One of our biggest threats (and this isn't just because of where I am) is that they gain the ability to attack us in cyberspace and then make it seem like a much larger event becasue of the way they've shown that they know how to use the media. They will convince people around the globe that they've done more damage than may actually be the case.
The Tet offensive.

Militarily not a great success but the propaganda value was enormous to the point that it could be argued the offensive was the catalyst for the north to win the war.

Public opinion in the US turned against the war and that was the end.
The Tet offensive.

Was that a "special operation" or a major, theater-wide, well coordinated, politcally-influenced, op?

They jumped on us from nowhere, but in the end, we put them down.

But, my point is, that it wasn't a "special op." It was (see first para) a coordinated, large scale, op.
I see your point and it's not wrong but one could shoot down all the other suggestions as well with different technical reasons. Iran in Iraq, a logistical, advisory mission, etc...

Tet was a clandistine op that infiltrated gear and pers into enemy territory then launched attacks that took it's enemy by surprised and facilitated victory for the commies.

Ifd you look at the US embassy in Saigon you get a different type of mission to the Taking of Hue for example one was clearly a special op the other not so much.
ITet was a clandistine op that infiltrated gear and pers into enemy territory then launched attacks that took it's enemy by surprised and facilitated victory for the commies.

Yep! Point taken - and understood. The Tet op was a country-wide, clandestine, offensive.

Their OPSEC (prior to the op) was very good - and that's one of the things that SOF does extremely well.
I am very impressed by the Los Zetas Commandos working for the Mexican Cartels. Small units armed to the teeth. They cross the Rio Grande on foot in the middle of the night, creep to houses, and kidnap Americans, and return to Mexico.
Iranian Republican Guard Corps - Special Groups (IRGC-SG) and the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut.

Semper fi
Italian Navy unit 'Decima Flottiglia MAS.' (The first SEALs)

March 25, 1941: The Italian destroyers Crispi and Sella depart Leros island in the Aegean at night, each carrying 3 small (2-ton) MTM (Motoscafo da turismo modificato) motor assault boats of the Decima MAS. Each MTM (nicknamed barchini or "little boats") carries a 300 kg (660 lb) explosive charge in its bow. The one-pilot craft are launched by the destroyers 10 miles off Suda Bay, Crete, where several British Royal Navy warships and auxiliary ships are at anchor. The MTMs are specially equipped to make their way through obstacles such as torpedo nets; the pilot steers the assault craft in a collision course at his target ship, and jumps from his boat before impact and warhead detonation. Once inside the bay, the six boats locate their targets: the heavy cruiser HMS York, a large tanker (the Norwegian Pericles of 8,300 tons), another tanker, and a cargo ship. Two MTMs hit the York amidships, flooding her aft boilers and magazines. The Pericles is severely damaged and settles on the bottom, while the other tanker and the cargo ship are sunk. The other barchini apparently miss their intended targets, and one of them is stranded on the beach. All six of the daring Italian sailors are captured. The disabled York is later scuttled with demolition charges by her crew before the German capture of Crete, while the Pericles sinks in April 1941 enroute to Alexandria.

December 3, 1941: The Sciré departs La Spezia carrying three manned torpedoes. At the island of Leros in the Aegean Sea, six Decima MAS crewmen come aboard, including Lieutenant Luigi Durand de la Penne. On December 19 Sciré releases the manned torpedoes 1.3 miles from Alexandria commercial harbor, and they enter the harbor when the British open their defenses to let three of their destroyers pass. After many difficulties, de la Penne and his crewmate Emilio Bianchi successfully attach a limpet mine under HMS Valiant, but have to surface as they attempt to leave and are captured. Questioned, they refuse to speak, and are detained in a compartment aboard Valiant. Fifteen minutes before the explosion, de la Penne asks to speak to the Valiant's captain, informs him of the imminent explosion, but refuses to give other information. He is returned to the compartment, but both he and Bianchi are not injured by the detonation of the mine. The other four torpedo-riders are also captured, but their mines sink the Valiant, the battleship Queen Elizabeth, . Although the two battleships sink in only a few feet of water and are subsequently refloated, they are out of action for over one year. The tanker Sagona was also sunk, and the destroyer HMS Jervis badly damaged.

(Other Operations as well, with 'Gamma Torpedoes' or Pigs as they were known.)

Link: to more info on operations & background on the unit!