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US Special Forces Command Issues New Guide For Overthrowing Foreign Governments

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

No kidding – this is not our headline, but Newsweek’s: “US Special Forces School Publishes New Guide For Overthrowing Foreign Governments” – and as far as we can tell they are the only major mainstream outlet to have picked up on the fact that the US military is now essentially openly bragging on past and future capabilities to foster covert regime change operations.

The 250-page study entitled “Support to Resistance: Strategic Purpose and Effectiveness” was put out by the Joint Special Operations University under US Special Operations Command, which is the Army’s official unified command center which overseas all joint covert and clandestine missions out of MacDill AFB, Florida.

US Special Forces Command Issues New Guide For Overthrowing Foreign Governments

Via “Rare Historical Photos”: The CIA sent 2,300 Stinger missiles to various mujahedin outfits throughout Afghanistan over the course of the Afghan-Soviet war.

“This work will serve as a benchmark reference on resistance movements for the benefit of the special operations community and its civilian leadership,” the report introduces.

The study examines 47 instances of US special forces trying to intervene in various countries from 1941-2003, thus special attention is given to the Cold War, but it doesn’t include coups which lacked “legitimate resistance movements” — such as the case of ‘Operation AJAX’ in 1953 which overthrew Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.

Though infamous disasters such the abortive CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba are highlighted, the US military report (perhaps predictably) finds that among those nearly fifty covert interventions surveyed, most interventions were “successful”.

“One thing common to all 47 cases reviewed in this study is the fact that the targeted state was ruled either by an unfriendly occupying force or by a repressive authoritarian regime,” the author, Army Special Forces veteran Will Irwin wrote. The study focuses on historical regime change operations but in parts hints at the future, saying, “Russia and China have boldly demonstrated expansionist tendencies.”

* * *

Success vs. Failure data from the new US military study published earlier this week entitled Support to Resistance: Strategic Purpose and Effectiveness

US Special Forces Command Issues New Guide For Overthrowing Foreign Governments

It also asserts that unrest across the Middle East since the fall of the Soviet Union should ultimately be blamed on the legacy of past Soviet policy and failures, rather than on the United States.

Newsweek summarizes of the study’s conclusions:

Of the 47 cases analyzed, 23 were deemed “successful,” 20 were designated “failures,” two were classified as “partially successful” and two more—both during World War II—were called “inconclusive” as the broader conflict led to an Allied victory anyway. Coercion was the most successful method at a three-quarters rate of success or partial success, while disruption worked just over half the time and regime change only yielded the desired result in 29 percent of the cases reviewed.

And further another interesting element involved the failure of operations which intervened in countries “under peacetime conditions”:

Other major findings included observations that most operations “were carried out under wartime conditions, with those being nearly twice as successful as cases conducted under peacetime conditions” and “support to nonviolent civil resistance seems to be more likely to succeed than support to armed resistance.” At the same time, they were also “most effective when conducted in direct support of a military campaign rather than as an independent or main effort operation.”

The report identifies about half a dozen governments from Indonesia to Afghanistan to Serbia to Iraq that were “successfully” overthrown by US operations, but in many more cases identifies covert “disrupt” operations for a desired outcome.

US Special Forces Command Issues New Guide For Overthrowing Foreign Governments

The study did not include within its scope current US involved proxy wars which have unfolded in the past decade, such in Syria or Libya or Ukraine, but only mentions these in passing.

In concluding remarks the author acknowledges that the study could help “explore ways the timely application of SOF capabilities” can influence “resistance movements” which are becoming increasingly violent, “thereby possibly helping to prevent the next Syria”.

Whether this means swifter action would have resulted in quick regime change in Syria or if the study author believes US support to the “rebels” was doomed from the beginning remains unexplored.

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One could say that it is extremely delicious irony that a country which actually boasts about regime change in other countries then bitches and moans when other countries apply a little of that medicine in return. Normally I’d say its irony so think you can scoop it up and serve it in an ice cone, but this has become weapons grade irony. Irony so dense you can construct WMD’s out of it.


The us-brand of democracy, elsewhere called corruption, is justified to overthrow other regimes, because in essence that’s what corruption is: abuse of power.


America is lead by misleaded politicians. LOL


Trump smuggling missiles and rockets etc from overseas to Mideast very fast to destabilize another country in the region. Who are the facilitators of this illicit smuggling in Mideast.


qatar survived the saudi onslaught with turkey’s help and iran’s. qatar then later on lent a few billions to erdogan to survive the cia managed coup to over through erdogan and the attack on the turkish pound that followed. qatar shares the biggest natural gasfield with iran, the south pars, and the idea is to pipe it to europe through iraq and syria turkey and so on, which saudi and the uae can’t accept and thus not the neo-nazi morons in the white house.

but the real winner was jared kushner that coerced qatar to provide a cool billion dollars to the almost bankrupt kushner real estate company in new york by promising the qatai ruling family he could get the saudis off their back if they provided the 1 billion dollar to rescue the family company, without which it would founder. the 1 billion dollar was provided a few weeks later by a canadian subsidiary of the qatari wealth fund.

Brother Ma

Qatar has bankrolled Erdogan and his country’s rise for over fifteen years. Remember the Anatolian Tigers? Secret money funnelled in to make Erdogan and Turkey powerful to keep Turkey as the West’s Deputy in the Mid East. Hahah. It typically bit the Yanks in the bum!


Very good stuff.

Tommy Jensen

It proves America is a winner nation and Americans are winners.
All our regime change operations and colour revolutions were successful and gave US more influence and business in the said countries, and the local population loved it when we took over and they got burgers, cokes and dollar tips.


It’s good that I am well versed in that illusive language that is called sarcasm.


Don’t forget the sexual diseases that the US occupation forces generously give to the children and adults of the new ‘democracies’, Tommy .

As well as giving the populations the opportunity to sell a body organ. Why keep two kidneys when they have two.

Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

Someone should use this and overthrow US govt, I think its their turn :)


Trump trying to blackmail the whole world nations and their governments. Its direct effect is on children and women who are starving now due to this idiot.

You can call me Al

How strange !!, could this be a purposeful leak from the Trump administration, a threat or a misdirection ?.

It is shocking when you cannot trust a Country to say or do anything, time for them to go.


Life evolves as if there was an overwhelmingly supported UN resolution appointing the US to rule the world. Few seem to question their tactic or authority to impose their agendas.

The desperate groping of a dying empire or the fulfillment of Orwell’s roadmap that some hapless oligarchs embraced as ideal, when most of us cringed.


I read somewhere that the Taliban still use the old CIA training manuals left over from the American terror war against the Soviet Union.

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