Saturday, July 27, 2013

Skill and Luck - The Keys to Successful Tactical Resolutions

Miami-Dade SWAT have implemented a successful takedown of an apparently crazed gunman. The suspect was killed after he threatened the lives of two hostages he was holding. From video that's been released, it's obvious that the SWAT team was in a position of great danger. But, as with all tactical resolutions, they had to balance this risk with the need to preserve life. The need, in this case, to save the hostages. It's worth noting that security forces regularly receive great criticism when they're perceived to have overstepped the line in terms of force application. See criticisms (I do not share) of Operation Flavius. However, the skills required for the formation and maintenance of top level tactical teams are undeniably significant. From France to the FBI, hostage crisis situations can arise anywhere and at any time. The difficulty of achieving a successful resolution to these challenges is magnified greatly when the target is located abroad. As evidenced by DEVGRU's January 2012 rescue operation in Somalia and the British SBS operation in March 2012 Nigeria, sometimes things go well and sometimes things go badly

Ultimately, effective tactical teams require a sustained level of investment, operational flexibility and rigorous standards for entry. Achieving this balanced dynamic explains how, in recent years, the British SAS were able to do this. And DEVGRU do this. And ACE (aka Delta Force) do this. We're lucky to have them.

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