This study investigates the historical utility of Special Operations Forces (SOF) as instruments of national military strategy. The research concept employs the study of a representative historical example of each of the five current doctrinal SOF missions. The intent is to both assess the effectiveness of the SOF efforts at the time that they occurred, and to derive continuing themes, if appropriate, for SOF strategic employment in the future. The study concludes that SOF strategic employment, as represented by the operations examined, has been largely effective, though t without setbacks. Further, there are operational and organizational components that repeatedly are central to success. Among these are the close integration of military operations into the larger political context, the early provision of appropriate external support resources, and the presence of sufficient and appropriately trained special operators to complete the assigned mission. While these components do t represent a checklist for the success of a strategic SOF operation, they do represent realities that historical experience suggests will be of continuing importance.