It is very difficult to determine when Special Operations Forces (SOF) were truly established. Almost in every war and battle description we can find information that can be defined as Special Operations Forces activities. Some authors recognized Odysseus with his team, and his most famous contribution to the Greek war effort was devising the stratagem of the Trojan Horse, as a predecessor of the present SOF Task Force. There are many very good quotations that can describe the nature and uniqueness of SOF. Firstly to explain this it is useful to quote Colonel Yasotay Genghis Khan’s army officer who said „when the hour of crisis comes, remember that 40 selected men can shake the world.” The second quotation comes from Spartan General Lysander: „for where the lion’s skin will not reach, you must patch it with the fox’s. Both of them underline different abilities and capabilities which Special Operations Forces can offer to military commanders and politicians leading their countries. Today Special Operations Forces according US Doctrine for Joint Special Operations Special Operations Forces: … are not a substitute for conventional forces, but a necessary adjunct to existing conventional capabilities.
SOF are organized, trained, and equipped specifically to accomplish nine core tasks: direct action, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, unconventional warfare, counterterrorism, psychological operations (PSYOP), civil affairs operations, counterproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and information operations.