Home » Strategic Analysis Of U.S. Special Operations During The Korean Conflict by Major Steve A. Fondacaro
Strategic Analysis Of U.S. Special Operations During The Korean Conflict Major Steve A. Fondacaro

Strategic Analysis Of U.S. Special Operations During The Korean Conflict

Major Steve A. Fondacaro

Published September 21st 2014
ISBN :
Kindle Edition
98 pages
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This study analyzes the strategic effectiveness of special operations conducted by the Far East Command (FECOM) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Korea during the Korean Conflict from 1950 to 1953. Each organization’s effectiveness isMoreThis study analyzes the strategic effectiveness of special operations conducted by the Far East Command (FECOM) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Korea during the Korean Conflict from 1950 to 1953. Each organization’s effectiveness is determined by examining the areas of strategy, organization and operations. Special operations as defined in Joint Chiefs of Staff Publication Number 2, Unified Action Armed Forces (UNAAF) was the standard by which operations were selected for examination. The study answers four questions: 1) What were the U.N. Command strategic objectives within the Korean theater, and how did these change?, 2) How these changing strategic objectives development and coordination of special operations objectives, forces and headquarters?, 3) What did U.S. special operations in Korea accomplish strategically? 4) What conclusions can be drawn from U.S. special operations forces’ effectiveness or ineffectiveness in Korea?FECOM special operations were limited to partisan operations and psychological operations. The partisans consisted of anti-communist North Koreans organized and led by U.S. cadre beginning in January, 1951. Psychological operations were conducted continuously from July, 1950 by a separate staff element whose capabilities expanded dramatically during the course of the conflict. CIA operations within Korea consisted of intelligence gathering and special (or covert) activities controlled from headquarters in Japan. CIA operations remained autonomous of FECOM control throughout the conflict. The control issue was the source of bureaucratic conflict that inhibited operational coordination between FECOM and CIA throughout the conflict.The study concludes that lack of strategic objectives and limited capability rendered FECOM operations in Korea strategically insignificant. CIA operations were well planned and successfully achieved well-defined strategic objectives in support of the war effort in Korea. This experience highlights existing operational coordination problems between military and CIA special operations. Additionally, the use if of indigenous forces in Korea foreshadow problems that resurface on larger scale in Viet-Nam, and may apply to current operations in Central America.