The Most Lethal Special Forces Units From Around the World


Special forces- the elite of a nation’s military,
tasked with missions too delicate or difficult for large, conventional forces to undertake. These elite warriors operate in small unit
sizes, and are specialized in a variety of tasks to include recon deep behind enemy lines,
hostage rescue, counter-terrorism, and direct-action missions such as sabotage or assassinations. But of all the world’s elite forces, which
are the best? Today we’re going to look at the ten best
special forces units in the world, ranked by not just their individual expertise, but
past performance, overall capabilities, and training plus equipment. Some units listed here such as Germany’s GS9
are world renowned as top counter-terrorism operatives, but we’re looking for the total
package, the best warfighters any nation on earth can field who can tackle a variety of
missions, and come out on top each time. 10 – Sayeret Matkal – Israel Israel is a nation born from conflict and
surrounded by enemies, thus it’s no surprise that some of the most elite warfighters in
the world would come from this tiny, but formidable nation. Winning stunning victory after stunning victory
against superior forces across the second half of the 20th century, Israeli soldiers
quickly developed a reputation for being amongst the world’s best, and few IDF service members
can match the skills of General Staff Reconnaissance Unit 269, otherwise known as Sayeret Matkal
or to their enemies: The Unit. Founded in 1957, The Unit was originally tasked
with reconnaissance and gathering intelligence behind enemy lines, a vital need for a nation
surrounded on all but one side by hostile neighbors. Given their expertise operating behind enemy
lines, The Unit soon was tasked with the proactive elimination of hostile enemy leaders before
they could stir up trouble against Israel. In a practice still considered controversial
to this day, operatives of Sayeret Matkal penetrated into Lebanon and other nations
and assassinated or kidnapped top Palestinian terror leaders. The Unit has also undertaken several successful
hostage rescues, but one black mark on their elite record comes from a hostage rescue mission
undertaken in an Israeli school in 1974, resulting in the deaths of twenty civilians. Capable of blending into any population and
masters of reconnaissance, assassinations, and snatch-and-grabs, The Unit firmly clenches
the top 10 spot amongst the world’s most elite special forces. 9 – MARCOS – India Formerly known as the Marine Commando Force,
India’s MARCOS are amongst the world’s most elite amphibious units. Born out of a need for a maritime special
operations force, India’s MARCOS have their roots in India’s war against Pakistan in 1971,
when a critical need for combat divers that could support amphibious landings was discovered
by India’s military forces. After the war, several infantry units were
converted to amphibious units similar to America’s Marines, and in 1987 India’s fist MARCOS soldiers
were sent to train with American SEALs and British SAS. Capable of operating in any terrain, MARCOS
nevertheless are specialized in maritime operations, a critical need for a nation whose primary
regional adversary- Pakistan- holds a large coast line with vital military targets to
eliminate in the case of war. Starting in the 2000s though MARCOS began
to undertake many counterterrorism operations, and their enemies began to call them the ‘bearded
army’ for their bearded, distinctly non-military disguises as they hid amongst the civilian
population. With close ties to American, British, and
Russian special forces, MARCOS operatives are amongst the best in the world, and enjoy
the benefit of training under three distinctly different SOF units from three different nations,
adopting the best that each has to offer. Unfortunately their relative lack of global
experience and narrow operational focus versus some of the other units on this list though
sees them rest at the number nine spot in our top ten of the world’s best. 8 – Joint Task Force 2 – Canada Canada, America’s fashionable top hat and
a land full of people always ready to respond with a polite word- but for all that politeness
and civility, Canada operates one of the world’s best counter-terrorism forces in the world. Known as Joint Task Force 2, or JTF2, these
elite soldiers have their roots in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Special Emergency
Response Team. Given the greater recruiting pool within the
Canadian armed forces though, a request by Deputy Minster of Defense Robert Fowler to
have a new counter-terrorism unit established within the military was approved, and thus
the JTF2 was born. Since its inception, the JTF2 has operated
alongside its American allies, and on its own, all across the world. During the Bosnia-Herzegovina war in the 90s,
JTF2 operatives hunted for snipers targeting UN troops in the infamous sniper alley, where
dozens of civilians and UN troops met their end at the hands of snipers. In Haiti, JTF2 supported the security forces
of President Rene Preval by providing training for the Haitan military and police in their
conflict against revolutionary forces. They also assisted local SWAT teams and even
lead operations against weapon smugglers in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. In Afghanistan JTF2 worked alongside American
special forces in neutralizing targets across the country, in missions so secret that even
the Canadian prime minister was unaware of the details. Hands down one of the world’s best counter-terrorism
forces, JTF2’s narrow focus nonetheless ultimately limits their position to number 8 on this
list, though it doesn’t make them any less fearsome a fighting force. 7 – New Zealand Special Air Service – New
Zealand With their roots in the legendary Long Range
Desert Group in World War II, New Zealand’s Special Air Service may be small in size,
but their reputation is legendary. Back in World War II their soldiers roamed
the deserts of North Africa, carrying out recon and daring raids against German and
Italian bases and airfields, often attacking in the middle of the night and disappearing
back into the sands by sun-up. After the war, New Zealand formed their own
version of the British Special Air Service, and assisted British efforts in counter-insurgency
across their former colonies and commonwealths in asia. During the Vietnam war, NZSAS operatives were
working behind enemy lines, pinning down North Vietnamese and Vietcong lines of communication
and supply routes. With a wide range of disciplines, NZSAS troopers
are capable of carrying out any mission from reconnaissance behind enemy lines, to counter-terrorism,
and even asymmetrical warfare operations. They are however famously capable jungle warriors,
with skills honed in the inhospitable and dangerous jungles of south east asia. 6 – Special Air Service Regiment – Australia Training closely with their New Zealand neighbors,
Australia’s very own Special Air Service Regiment has earned a fearsome reputation for their
incredible flexibility and lethality both. The SASR was formed in 1957 and was, alongside
with New Zealand’s SAS, modeled after the British SAS, even sharing their motto, “Who
Dares Wins”. These elite troopers have seen combat everywhere
from Borneo to Somalia where they fought alongside American troops, as well as Iraq and Afghanistan. The SASR specializes in long-range, on-the-ground
recon, working in small groups and operating deep behind enemy lines, but also maintains
specialized commando units capable of carrying out large-scale raids against fortified targets. While operating as recon elements, SASR commandos
are experts in infiltrating enemy territory, and are trained to remain unseen, operating
invisibly behind enemy lines where they can call in devastating air strikes against targets
of opportunity and time-sensitive targets. Infiltration and camouflage specialists, the
SASR firmly clenches the number 6 spot as one of the world’s deadliest fighting forces. 5 – Delta Force- USA There are few units in the world more feared,
and more notorious, than America’s Delta Force. Secretive warriors, Delta Force operatives
are unique amongst global special forces, as they very often operate in plain clothes
within the heart of hostile foreign cities. These highly skilled soldiers are amongst
the best in the US Army, and have a wide repertoire of skills to back their reputation. When General Norman Schwarzkopf needed bodyguards
in the middle of a war zone during the first Gulf War, it was Delta Force that met that
need. When one of Al-Qaeda’s top recruiting and
propaganda leaders was marked for elimination, it was Delta Force operatives who snatched
him in a now-legendary operation that plucked the man from a busy street in mere seconds. Best known for operating amongst hostile populations,
Delta Force training includes everything from land navigation at night to spycraft techniques,
taught by CIA operatives. While a broad-spectrum capable force, Delta
Force’s specialized operational scope nonetheless limits their spot on this list to number 5. 4 – Alpha Group- Russia There is no more notorious, and feared, counter-terrorism
unit in the world than Russia’s Alpha Group. A famously aggressive unit of special forces
operatives, Alpha Group has its origins in the old Soviet KGB as a response to the 1972
Munich massacre. With terrorism on the rise globally, the Soviet
Union saw a pressing need for an elite counter-terrorism unit along the lines of West Germany’s GSG
9. Primarily a counter-terrorism task force,
Alpha Group has nonetheless been tasked with a variety of very high-profile missions outside
of the scope of their counter-terrorism training. Just prior to the Soviet Union’s invasion
of Afghanistan, Alpha Group operatives infiltrated President Hafizullah Amin’s palace and killed
him along with his mistress and young son- as well as many other Afghani nationals. Famous for disregarding civilian casualties,
Alpha Group operatives have a brutal efficiency, but their inability to operate with subtlety
has often caused unnecessary casualties and massive political fallout for Russia and the
former Soviet Union, ultimately limiting Alpha Group to the number 4 spot. 3 – Shayetet 13 – Israel Managing a feat only shared by one other nation
on this list, Israel manages to land not one, but two elite units in our top 10 of the world’s
most deadly special forces outfits. Shayetet 13 commandos are often compared to
American SEALs, and are without a doubt the deadliest fighting force in the Middle East. With a wide range of disciplines, there’s
no mission that Shayetet 13 can’t handle, and they have undertaken everything from hostage
rescues to target elimination and even boarding actions against hostile vessels. Their most famous feat however is likely the
hunting down and elimination of Black September terrorist leaders who had orchestrated and
carried out the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics massacre of Israeli athletes. Some of the world’s deadliest hunter-killers,
Shayetet 13 commandos are also fully capable of carrying out traditional direct-action
missions during wartime, and in the Yom Kippur war, its commandos infiltrated Egyptian ports
and sunk five Egyptian navy vessels while causing heavy damage to another. Known as the “people of Silence”, Shayetet
13 is Israel’s answer for any mission too dangerous, or too difficult for anyone else
to undertake. 2 – SAS – United Kingdom The grandfathers of modern special operations
forces, Britain’s SAS laid the groundwork for what special forces should be, and became
a model that every other nation on earth followed. Originally created in 1941, Britain’s SAS
conducted reconnaissance and raids in Nazi-held territory, and was given one simple task:
raise hell for Jerry any way you can. And hell they indeed raised. The exploits of Britain’s SAS is by now the
stuff of legend, and today they remain one of the most formidable special operations
forces in the world, with operational expertise across the globe. Their incredible heritage and long list of
accomplishments should rightly place them at the number one spot on our list, and in
truth they are ultimately nearly neck and neck with our top special forces unit in the
world. Capable of operations across the spectrum
of modern war, SAS troopers are as equally skilled at counter-terrorism operations as
they are in direct-action missions. While the British military steadily shrinks
in size and capabilities, the SAS nonetheless remains stalwart protectors of Britain’s interests,
and deadly allies to her friends. 1 – Navy SEALs – USA Britain’s SAS has a historical legacy well
known and feared by their enemies, but in the modern age no military force is more feared
than America’s Navy SEALs. Their training is legendarily brutal, and
they suffer the most casualties during training of any American unit, and sport a washout
rate of 98%. For those that make it through initial training,
they must still survive a year or more of training before being declared combat-ready
to join an existing SEAL team. Operating from the sea, air, and land, there
is no terrain on earth SEALs can’t operate, and thrive in, and their clandestine missions
are so secretive, that little is actually known about their service record. What is known is that they pack cutting edge
technology unmatched by any adversary, and unlike many other special operations units
on this list, have no single specialty but rather are masters of the wide spectrum of
special operations missions. Capable of inserting into enemy territory
from submarines, or jumping behind enemy lines from the edge of space, SEALs have been both
guardian angels to those in need, and harbingers of wrath against those who threaten the United
States or its allies. With constant ongoing operations supporting
the interests of the USA, or those of her allies, SEALs are indisputably the most experienced
special operations force in the world today, and the constant high operational tempo is
enough to keep Navy SEAL skills sharp and earn them the number one spot on our list. Do you agree or disagree with our list? Who do you really think deserves the top spot? Let us know in the comments! And as always if you enjoyed this video don’t
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