Send In the Special Ops Forces
It began decades ago with a “Mission Impossible” for the tiny nation of Israel - rescuing more than one hundred airline passengers whose plane had been hijacked by terrorists and landed thousands of miles away in East Africa. Through interviews with former hostages and an Israeli general tasked with rescuing them, we show why this dramatic commando operation succeeded through an unusual combination of intelligence, deception and surprise.
Four years later, “Operation Entebbe” became a model for the U.S. when its citizens were taken hostage as the Islamic Revolution swept through Iran. That mission, known as “Operation Eagle Claw,” turned into a disaster, but one that ultimately led to the growth of a powerful and highly synchronized special operations command in the United States.
Today, with U.S. special operations forces deployed in more than 80 countries at any given time, a new concern has arisen: has success left these forces stretched too thin?
View full episodes at PBS.org/RetroReport.
More Stories From Retro Report on PBS
A simple intervention to reduce suicides – “caring letters,” messages of compassion and empathy – showed promise in the 1960s, but has been overlooked until now.
About half a million children have dangerously high lead levels in their blood, mostly from exposure to peeling paint and contaminated dust. The fight over who should clean it up has lasted for decades.
After a sexual assault scandal at the Tailhook convention rocked the Navy in 1991, one female officer, Paula Coughlin, launched a campaign to change military culture.
In the 1960s, fears of overpopulation sparked talk of population control. So what happened?