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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77553 Find in a Library
Title: Hostage Rescue in a Hostile Environment - Lessons Learned From the Son Tay, Mayaguez, and Entebbe Missions (From Political Terrorism and Business - The Threat and Response, P 212-244, 1979, Yonah Alexander and Robert A Kilmarx, ed. - See NCJ-77538)
Author(s): J E Winkates
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 33
Sponsoring Agency: Praeger Publishers
Westport, CT 06881
Sale Source: Praeger Publishers
88 Post Road West
Westport, CT 06881
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines the diplomatic, military, and political lessons learned from three dramatic hostage rescue efforts: the Son Tay prisoner-of-war mission to North Vietnam in 1970, the 1975 Mayaguez case, and the 1976 Entebbe operation.
Abstract: In all three cases, a group of foreign nationals was captured and held for the political purposes of the captors. All three cases also involved military missions designed to extract the hostage group by force. The summary judgments provided are based on documented research, unclassified accounts of the participants in the missions, and media reporting that accompanied or followed the operation. Following synopses of the rescue missions, the rescue efforts are assessed in the areas of diplomatic efforts, intelligence and reconnaissance appraisals, mission force structure and execution, logistics, command, control, and communications. Reaction following the raids is also examined. Results do not argue for a military rescue as the first or preferred response to hostage incidents, because the evidence shows that the risks are unattractively high. Findings indicate that preventive measures can obviate the need for hostage rescue. In each case examined, certain preventive efforts could have thwarted the hostage-taking incident. Hostage rescue in a hostile environment requires the well-honed skills of a professional military team working closely with the political authorities under severe time constraints. A total of 149 notes are listed.
Index Term(s): Case studies; Critiques; Hostages; Policy analysis; Terrorism/Mass Violence
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