10 Most Elite Special Forces

10 Most Elite Special Forces In The World 10 Special Service Group – Pakistan Pakistan’s SSG might not be the most famous in the world, but it’s well known in the middle east for its counter-terrorist operations, including retaking the entire Pakistani army headquarters from insurgents in 2009

The SSG bases its high quality training on American special forces after the two cooperated through the Cold War But it wasn’t always so success In one of the SSG’s early outings during the 1965 Indo-Pakistani war, 200 paratroopers were dropped on three Indian airbases in a disastrous assault Thanks to poor planning and no solid intelligence, just 22 escaped But with a couple decades to shape up, the SSG became an integral part of the Soviet-Afghan war

Pakistani forces trained an estimated 500,000 mujahideen fighters and ran reconnaissance, sabotage and combat missions against the Soviets And in one particularly impressive feat in 1994, SSG commandos rescued 16 hostages from the Afghan embassy in Islamabad in just 20 seconds 9 National Gendarmerie Intervention Group – France Formed in response to the 1972 attack on the Munich Olympic Games, the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group, or GIGN, is France’s crack paramilitary police unit It’s essentially SWAT meets Delta Force, but French

The remarkable thing about GIGN is its incredibly strict training During a documentary on the the force, just 18 of the 120 new recruits lasted more than 2 weeks of the so-called ‘easy’ stages After that, prospective operatives had to undertake what’s called ‘punitive boxing’ against trained fighters to test their mettle Upon completion, the 200-person squad is tasked with domestic counter-terrorism operations and hostage negotiations, claiming to have rescued well over 600 hostages in its lifetime It was also involved in the response to the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine

8 Delta Force – US Like it’s maritime counterpart in the navy SEALs, Delta Force is renowned as one of the most elite fighting forces in not just the US but the world Formed in 1977, it has been involved in many American counter-terrorism operations abroad, like ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ against the Taliban from 2001 onwards and ongoing operations against ISIS in the middle east Across missions in 2015 alone, Delta Force units managed to take out key ISIS figure Abu Sayyaf, and rescue 70 hostages from an ISIS prison in Syria It hasn’t always been such a success though

Delta Force’s very first outing in 1980, Operation Eagle Claw, ended disastrously when the unit failed to free 52 American hostages in Iran and suffered 8 casualties on the team, bringing down Jimmy Carter’s presidency in the process But since then, the unit has garnered a reputation as a military force to be reckoned with, especially against terrorism 7 Spetsnaz – Belarus Most people don’t know that much about Belarus The post-soviet nation has only existed since 1991, but still has a lot of the trappings of the USSR

Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice famously called it “Europe’s Last Dictatorship”, and it still holds onto a market-socialist economy But the Belarusian Spetsnaz is about as soviet as you can get These counter-terrorist special forces have to endure freezing weather, run over obstacles while being shot at and even break flaming concrete blocks with their heads during training to earn their elite status The military prowess of one group within the unit, called ‘The Diamond’, even led President Alexander Lukashenko to co-opt it as his own personal security But because of its close governmental relationship, the spetsnaz is alleged to be implicated in numerous political disappearances over the decades, and according to the EU Observer, Diamond members were asked to beat and kill political opposition to Lukashenko

6 Naval Special Warfare Force – Spain If you’ve ever had a tough entrance exam, you’ll know how stressful it can be So imagine already passing military training, then taking a course with such high standards that 100% of applicants have been known to fail That’s the case for the Unidad de Operaciones Especiales [Uni-dad de op-er-ass-eon-es es-pess-ee-ales], the most elite branch of the Spanish Navy Originally formed in 1952 and later reorganised under British SBS and US Navy Seal guidance, the 169-strong unit is at the forefront of Spain’s crack military and counter-terrorist activities

Over its history, the Special Warfare Force has taken on a wide range of missions, including the evacuation of Spanish citizens from Equatorial Guinea in 1969 and a 40 year history of dealing with Basque pro-independence terrorists It even took on North Korea in 2002 when it intercepted a vessel in Spanish waters attempting to smuggle scud missiles under the guise of the Cambodian flag 5 Jegertroppen – Norway Norway is much better known for its fjords and fish than its special forces, but it’s ahead of the pack when it comes to innovative warfare That’s thanks to the Jegertroppen, the world’s first all-female special forces group formed in 2014

You might be wondering about the need for such a unit, but it was actually conceived for missions that men can’t do – like in areas of Afghanistan where male soldiers are forbidden from speaking with local women And like other special forces, only the best succeed Just dozens out of hundreds of applicants make the unit, and Jegertroppen soldiers handle identical training to men In the case of some of the smaller members, that means taking on tasks like carrying their own weight in equipment Between that and other gruelling tasks including catching wild animals for food to survive training, it’s safe to say the Jegertroppen have earned the name ‘hunter troop’

4 Alpha Group – Russia As a general rule, you should probably take a group seriously when it’s described in the media as “part spy network, part counterterrorism team, part general-purpose commando squad — and entirely terrifying” That’s the case for Alpha Group, also known as Spetsgruppa A This elite subsection of the KGB is renowned in Russia for its swift effectiveness, having been entrusted with everything from protecting the Russian leadership to securing the 2014 Sochi Winter olympics In the Soviet era, the unit worked with a wider KGB group in 1979 to assassinate the Afghan president Hafizullah Amin, as part of a coup in the preliminary stages of the Soviet Afghan War

And in 1991 it stormed a Lithuanian TV station, killing 14 civilians in an atrocity that the Soviet government blamed on military heads But that betrayal just showed Alpha Group’s importance, since it later refused to carry out assassination orders against Boris Yeltsin and ultimately unravelled the attempted 1991 Russian Coup 3 Sayeret Matkal – Israel Israel is renowned around the world for its military prowess, so it’s high praise when a force is so highly regarded that it's simply known in the country as ‘The Unit’ That’s the case for Sayeret Matkal, the elite commando unit of the Israeli Defense Force formed in 1957

In its six decades of operations, the 200-strong Unit has allegedly undertaken missions including numerous hostage rescues, counter-terrorism assaults and even a planned assassination attempt on Saddam Hussein Unlike traditional special forces, the unit’s members are more furtive They frequently embed themselves in areas so they can strike from complete secrecy And the training is even more impressive Since the Israeli Defense Forces prides itself on secrecy, trainee operatives are made to undergo torture preparation exercises, including interrogation, verbal abuse and forced dancing

But those character tests clearly have an effect, since the Sayeret Matkal has produced multiple Israeli prime ministers, including Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu 2 Navy Seals – US It’s debatably the best, but undoubtedly the most famous special forces unit in the world The Navy Seals have carried out some of the best known operations in history, including Operation Desert Storm and the Seal Team Six assassination of Osama Bin Laden – arguably the most high profile mission ever The Navy Seals are renowned for their high selective entrance process

Just 6% of applicants meet the requirements to begin basic training, and only a quarter of them make it through the whole course The best example the Navy Seals’ unforgiving standards is Hell Week It’s 5 and a half day non-stop barrage of running, swimming and climbing through the harshest terrain with just 4 hours sleep total over the week But the process isn’t just unforgiving, it can be lethal Numerous trainees have died on the course and one was even ruled a homicide due to overzealous instruction

1SAS – UK No special forces discussion would be complete without the OGs The Special Air Service, or SAS, was formed in 1941 to take on covert parachute missions behind enemy lines And to say it was successful would be an incredible understatement By the end of World War II, the regiment suffered 330 casualties compared to more than 7,000 Axis deaths and 23,000 captures across their missions

However, the highly secretive unit didn’t become a household name until Iranian Embassy siege in London in 1980 32 counter-terrorism operatives stormed the London building and took out the Iranian separatists with just one hostage casualty, when even the SAS itself expected 40% of the 26 to be executed Since then, the SAS has become synonymous with effective special ops wherever the British armed forces are involved But that has its downsides According to former operative Ken Connor, who says that SAS force has become a means of diplomatic coercion

That was the 10 most effective special forces in the world Which one do you think is most effective? Let us know in the comments and make sure to like and subscribe While you’re at it, check out this great Alltime10s video on screen now

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