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Special Operations

For Decades, US Special Operations Units Copied the British, but Now the Tables Are Turning

by SOFREP News Apr 22, 2021
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Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

In March, the British Ministry of Defense announced a strategic shift and major reorganization of its military forces, emphasizing special operations units.

Like its U.S. counterpart, the British military is evolving to stay relevant in the age of great-power competition.

China and Russia are seen as the most important threats, and although the British military will downsize, it expects to be more competitive against Moscow and Beijing.

A Special Relationship

UK Britain Special Air Service North Africa World War II WWII
A heavily armed patrol of SAS members after a three-month patrol in North Africa during World War II. The crews of the jeeps are all wearing “Arab-style” headdresses, as copied from the Long Range Desert Group. British army/Imperial War Museum

As in other domains, the U.S. and U.K. militaries share a very close relationship. That connection is even closer when it comes to special operations forces since modern U.S. special operations units have drawn inspiration from their U.K. counterparts.

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