World: The world's 5 best special-operations forces besides those of the US

Andy Dick Sentenced To Jail

  Andy Dick Sentenced To Jail Troubled Star Trek: Voyager actor and controversial comedian Andy Dick is making headlines once again after being sentenced to 90 days in jail. According to the Los Angeles Times, the disgraced star was convicted of sexual battery, which stems from an incident in April 2018 when an Uber driver accused Dick of groping him. The comic will check himself into the Los Angeles County Jail beginning on November 17. As if spending three months behind bars isn't bad enough, Andy Dick was also sentenced to 12 months of summary probation upon his release, and he is required to register as a sex offender.

Members of France's Commando Hubert train on the frigate Jean de Vienne off of Toulon in southern France in July 2017. FRANCK PENNANT/AFP via Getty Images © FRANCK PENNANT/AFP via Getty Images Members of France's Commando Hubert train on the frigate Jean de Vienne off of Toulon in southern France in July 2017. FRANCK PENNANT/AFP via Getty Images
  • Special-operations forces are some of the most prominent and active military units in the world.
  • US units, like the Navy SEALs, are well-known, but many countries field top-tier special operators.
  • Here are some of the world's other top units, based on combat experience and strategic utility.

Special-operations forces have become many countries' go-to military units for crisis response.

SOF units offer a low-cost, high-reward option, and their small footprint makes them more politically acceptable for policymakers when the public is wary of large military commitments.

Aaron Judge apologizes to Giancarlo Stanton after winning AL MVP

  Aaron Judge apologizes to Giancarlo Stanton after winning AL MVP Judge, who slugged 62 home runs during the regular season, joined MLB Network for an interview during the presentation of the award. His Yankees teammate, Giancarlo Stanton, presented him with the award. Stanton was elated to present Judge with the honor, and Judge was grateful to receive the award. But Judge apologized to Stanton for one thing. Passing the torch from the former tallest MVP in MLB history to the new [email protected] | @Giancarlo818 | @Yankees | #RepBX pic.twitter.com/G3kwIYGA20 — MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) November 18, 2022 “Sorry for beating you out on the tallest MVP now,” Judge joked to his teammate.

The US military boasts some of the best SOF units in the world, such as the Army's Delta Force and the Navy's SEAL Teams.

But what about non-US SOF units? Here's a brief list of the rest of the world's top units, based on combat experience and strategic utility.

Special Air Service (SAS)/Special Boat Service (SBS)

A British SAS member, left, and Kenyan security forces enter a building attached to the DusitD2 hotel in Nairobi on January 15, 2019. KABIR DHANJI/AFP via Getty Images © KABIR DHANJI/AFP via Getty Images A British SAS member, left, and Kenyan security forces enter a building attached to the DusitD2 hotel in Nairobi on January 15, 2019. KABIR DHANJI/AFP via Getty Images

Many consider the SAS the father of modern SOF units. The SAS was created in 1940 to help turn the tide against Axis forces in North Africa. Its maritime counterpart, the SBS, followed shortly afterward.

The units specialize in counterterrorism, hostage rescue, special reconnaissance, and direct action, with the SBS having a maritime focus.

Detroit Tigers tender contracts to six arbitration-eligible players for 2023 season

  Detroit Tigers tender contracts to six arbitration-eligible players for 2023 season The Detroit Tigers started the offseason with 13 arbitration-eligible players. New boss Scott Harris tendered contracts to six of them.Third baseman Jeimer Candelario, infielder Harold Castro and utility player Willi Castro were non-tendered and officially became free agents at Friday's 8 p.m. tender deadline. Earlier this offseason, the Tigers cut ties with four arbitration-eligible players: right-hander Drew Hutchison, outfielder Victor Reyes, righty reliever Miguel Díaz and righty reliever Kyle Funkhouser.

SAS and SBS troopers have seen action in Malaya, Borneo, Oman, Yemen, Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Sierra Leone, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, among other places.

One of their most famous operations was in 1980, when an SAS unit stormed the besieged Iranian embassy in London and freed several hostages. The action was immortalized in live television.

A Special Boat Service member sharpens a knife while deployed to the Aegean Sea in 1944. British Army/ Sgt. Turner © British Army/ Sgt. Turner A Special Boat Service member sharpens a knife while deployed to the Aegean Sea in 1944. British Army/ Sgt. Turner

The SAS and SBS now share a joint selection process with five phases. (SBS candidates have an additional phase of combat diving and underwater operations.)

The second phase, which takes place in the Brecon Beacons mountain range and lasts four weeks, is notorious for its difficulty. Candidates have to complete a series of increasingly difficult navigational exercises while carrying heavy loads.

Russian troops are building new defensive positions nearly 40 miles behind current front lines, a sign they're planning for more retreats, UK intel says

  Russian troops are building new defensive positions nearly 40 miles behind current front lines, a sign they're planning for more retreats, UK intel says An intelligence update said it's likely that Russia will try to redeploy troops who retreated from Kherson to support offensives in other regions.Ukrainian troops last week entered the southern city of Kherson after Russian President Vladimir Putin's defense chief ordered a retreat across the Dnipro (also called Dnieper) River. Kyiv's capture of the city, which was under Russian occupation since the early days of the war, followed Russian losses in the northeast and marked a massive battlefield humiliation and defeat for Moscow.

The rest of the phases include jungle and urban warfare, and survival, evasion, resistance, and escape, or SERE, training.

The US Army's Delta Force was modeled after the SAS, and the units share a close relationship. Similarly, the SBS shares a tight bond and frequent exchange programs with the US Navy's SEAL Team 6.

You'll often find Australian and New Zealander operators in the SAS and SBS, as their countries and units have a close relationship.

Special Air Service Regiment (SASR)

Members of the Australian Special Air Service Regiment. Australia Defense Forces © Australia Defense Forces Members of the Australian Special Air Service Regiment. Australia Defense Forces

Formed in 1957, the SASR is Australia's top-tier SOF unit. It specializes in counterterrorism, special reconnaissance, and direct action. SASR operators have seen action in Vietnam, Borneo, East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Africa.

A brutal 21-day selection ensures that only the physically prepared and mentally strong pass. In the concluding days, candidates carry heavy loads with almost no food and little sleep and are assigned tasked designed to be unachievable in order to test their ability to deal with failure while at the edge of human endurance.

Erdogan says Turkey to attack Kurdish militants with tanks, soldiers

  Erdogan says Turkey to attack Kurdish militants with tanks, soldiers By Huseyin Hayatsever and Daren Butler ANKARA (Reuters) -Turkey will attack militants with tanks and soldiers soon, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday, signalling a possible ground offensive against a Kurdish militia in Syria after retaliatory strikes escalated along the Syrian border. His comments came as Turkish artillery kept up bombardment of Kurdish bases and other targets near the Syrian towns of Tal Rifaat and Kobani, two Syrian military sources told Reuters.

Successful candidates then go to a 16-month reinforcement cycle where they learn the basics of being an SASR operator.

The SASR has been a loyal US partner, having been one of the first units to deploy to Afghanistan shortly after 9/11. Two SASR operators have won the Victoria Cross, the equivalent of the Medal of Honor, while in country.

New Zealand Special Air Service (NZSAS)

Members of the New Zealand Special Air Service. New Zealand Ministry of Defense. © New Zealand Ministry of Defense. Members of the New Zealand Special Air Service. New Zealand Ministry of Defense.

In 1955, the New Zealand government sought to fill a critical gap in its SOF capabilities by establishing the NZSAS.

Like its British and Australian cousins, the NZSAS primarily specializes in direct action, special reconnaissance, counterterrorism, and hostage rescue missions.

Additionally, the NZSAS has a great combat-tracking reputation that goes back to the Malayan Emergency and the Vietnam War. Despite technological leaps since then, NZSAS troopers still teach their tracking expertise across the world.

Selection for the NZSAS is a 10-day process with limited food and scant sleep. Constant physical events push candidates to their limits. Von Tempksy, one of the exercises, has candidates march for 24 hours in a straight line though whatever terrain they encounter carrying up to 100 pounds.

Selection ends with an untimed 38-mile ruck march with similarly heavy loads. A grueling months-long reinforcement cycle follows in which prospective operators learn the craft of an NZSAS operator. Candidates who pass selection can still wash out during the reinforcement cycle.

Throughout its history, the NZSAS has seen combat in the Malayan Emergency, Borneo, Vietnam, East Timor, and Afghanistan but has also deployed to numerous other countries. An NZSAS operator received the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan.

Le Commando Hubert

Commando Hubert members at the funeral of Alain Bertoncello, killed during a raid in Burkina Faso, in France on May 18, 2019. ROMAIN LAFABREGUE/AFP via Getty Images © ROMAIN LAFABREGUE/AFP via Getty Images Commando Hubert members at the funeral of Alain Bertoncello, killed during a raid in Burkina Faso, in France on May 18, 2019. ROMAIN LAFABREGUE/AFP via Getty Images

The elite of the French Navy.

Equivalent to the British SBS and the US's SEAL Team 6, Commando Hubert is at the tip of the spear of French SOF. It specializes in hostage rescue, counterterrorism — with a focus on maritime environments — direct action, and underwater special operations.

The French Navy has seven Commandos. To serve in the Commando Hubert, a sailor must have been in another commando for a few years before applying. The unit's rigorous selection process mainly focuses on combat diving training and advanced underwater operations.

The unit has deployed to Algeria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Africa, spearheading the fight against jihadists in the Sahel. In 2019, two members of the unit were killed in action during a daring hostage rescue in Burkina Faso.

Light Reaction Regiment (LRR)

Philippine Light Reaction Regiment operators. Philippine Army © Philippine Army Philippine Light Reaction Regiment operators. Philippine Army

A quiet but deadly Filipino SOF unit that has seen lots of combat in recent years.

It was created in 2000 after a series of terrorist attacks and kidnappings rocked the Philippines. The US funded the training and provided Army Special Forces soldiers to stand up the unit.

The LRR specializes in counterterrorism, direct action, hostage rescue, and special reconnaissance. It has been pivotal in the fight against Abu Sayyaf, ISIS-Philippines, and other jihadist groups.

The unit is best known for its actions during the Zambo, Marawi, and Zamboanga sieges. It is also famous for a Trojan horse operation in which a small element dressed as if it was going to a wedding, with several operators pretending to be women, and killed a high-value target.

Like the other units in this list, the LRR has military free-fall and combat-swimmer capabilities.

Honorable mention

Sayeret Matkal commandos with the Mercedes they used in the hostage rescue at Entebbe on July 4, 1976. Israeli Defense Forces © Israeli Defense Forces Sayeret Matkal commandos with the Mercedes they used in the hostage rescue at Entebbe on July 4, 1976. Israeli Defense Forces

A number of other SOF units have distinguished themselves but didn't make the list.

The South African Special Forces Brigade, called the Recces, is known for its performance during the Angolan Civil War, where it conducted hairy operations hundreds of miles behind enemy lines.

The Israeli Sayeret Matkal succeeded in saving scores of hostages during the legendary operation in Entebbe.

The British Special Reconnaissance Regiment and its predecessors conducted some pioneering close reconnaissance and undercover ops in Northern Ireland.

This story was first published in September 2020.

Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. He is working toward a master's degree in strategy and cybersecurity at the Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies.

Finnish leader says the brutal truth is Ukraine shows Europe isn't 'strong enough' without the US .
"The US has given a lot of weapons, a lot of financial aid, a lot of humanitarian aid to Ukraine and Europe isn't strong enough yet," Marin said.Among these weapons are shoulder-launched anti-tank weapons, unmanned combat aerial vehicles, and mobile rocket launchers — game-changing systems that have helped Ukraine derail Russian President Vladimir Putin's campaign, whether it was defending Kyiv in the early spring or keeping Russian forces at bay in eastern Ukraine over the summer.

See also