Mission Success Requires Special Operations Force in The Ugly American by William Lederer

1054 Words5 Pages
The Special Operations Force (SOF) Imperatives prescribe key operational requirements that Special Forces Soldiers must incorporate into their mission planning and execution for the greatest chance at mission success. The Ugly American is a fictional book first published in 1958 that offers an insight to American arrogance, incompetence, and corruption, but bears a remarkable resemblance of how America stills thinks and functions abroad today. The book portrays characters serving as foreign dignitaries in Southeast Asia whom, for the most part, were grossly ineffective in their duties. A number of these characters served in key positions that could have made a difference in the struggle with communism had they incorporated the SOF Imperatives. A few characters of lesser stature displayed the SOF Imperatives in a positive and effective manner; however, American politics always seemed to find a way to make those efforts fruitless. I will discuss three characters from the book that either portrayed or failed to achieve the SOF Imperatives in a multitude of ways. These characters are Father Finian, U Mang Swe, and Gilbert MacWhite. Father Finian is an excellent example of the right thing to do. He was a Catholic Priest that readily accepted an assignment to Burma. Having a previous misjudged encounter with a Marine preparing to enter into battle, Finian realized that he had to educate himself on the opposite spectrum to get a full understanding of communism in its full form. Although the book doesn’t mention it, it conveyed to me that Finian was a humble man. This humble approach was invaluable to his effectiveness in combating communism. Finian understood his operational environment because he tediously studied literatur... ... middle of paper ... ..., know the local customs, and provide their own support personnel. Swe goes on to explain how the Russians’ effective propaganda heavily outweighs the United States’ superior economic aid. By not understanding what motivates the local population, no amount of money will be effective. Swe explained how the communist nations participated in all holiday celebrations and had circuses and entertainers throughout the country. Americans never thought to participate in any festivities. This reminds me of a time when I was in Colombia in the latter part of 2010. Thanksgiving arrived and I remember a Colombian Soldier that I was training approach me and say that he knew it was a special day for my country and wanted to wish me a happy day. I was blown away! Looking back, that was probably one of my most memorable experiences there and it didn’t cost Colombia a cent.

More about Mission Success Requires Special Operations Force in The Ugly American by William Lederer

Open Document