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The Crossroads of Special Operations

Monday, November 29, 2021

For the US’s Vietnam-era covert special operators, the quietest missions were also the most dangerous | Business Insider

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The Military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG) was a covert special operations unit that operated in southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. They conducted a variety of sensitive missions but specialized in direct action, unconventional warfare, and intelligence gathering. The group was militarily diverse consisting of Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Air Commandos, and local fighters familiar with the territory. SOG, as they were known, conducted missions in places outside Vietnam where the US government had swore there were none. They were instrumental in supplying the insurgency along the Ho Chi Mihn Trail. Small teams of less than 10 SOG members routinely faced off against far superior enemy forces.

Intelligence gathering was useful but greater context was often needed to make sense of stolen documents. The capturing of live enemies was the best way to obtain information about troop movements and communications. This job often fell to SOG who were incentivized to take prisoners and often devised creative methods of capture.

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/capturing-prisoners-was-most-dangerous-macv-sog-vietnam-war-mission-2021-10

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