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Form Approved OMB No. 0704-0188
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. TITLE AND SUBTITLE
: Anatomy of a Rescue: What Makes Hostage Rescueperations Successful?
Carlos M. Pérez
5. FUNDING NUMBERS7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES)
Naval Postgraduate SchoolMonterey, CA 93943-5000
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11. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES
The views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not reflect the officialpolicy, position, or endorsement of the Naval Postgraduate School, the United States Special Operations Command, theDepartment of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. The original document contains color images.
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Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
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(maximum 200 words)
This thesis develops a theory to determine the best execution time to conduct a hostage rescue attempt. It does so byexplaining the phenomenon of a hostage crisis
and proposing four principles essential for success. The principles of hostage rescue operations presented in this thesis and used in the biorhythm model—
—are derived from looking at numerous planning models from special operations, from personal experience, and thethorough analysis of six historical cases. The historical cases show that in every instance any one of these four principles wasoverlooked, the operation was doomed. These principles have been determined to be the most critical factors that change as thecrisis develops throughout the hostage ordeal. A thorough understanding of this biorhythm will provide planning guidelines toassess the best windows of opportunity for a proposed rescue attempt. One main focus of this work will be an in-depth casestudy of the hostage rescue operation “CHAVIN DE HUANTAR”. This case study will present compelling evidence toreinforce my hypothesis, and serves as a template model for successful rescue operations. The analysis of this single case willprovide a wealth of information on the success of this remarkable operation. Another main focus of this thesis will be strategicthinking of a hostage crisis using game theory analysis. The findings of this thesis will enable decision-makers to plan andorganize hostage rescue forces to act at the appropriate time (window of opportunity), maximizing their chances of success.Additionally, it will provide a useful planning model that can be implemented effectively and accurately, presenting a clearpicture of possible outcomes throughout a hostage crisis. Furthermore, this thesis will help the reader become a better strategistduring the planning, preparation, and execution of a hostage rescue operation. It will provide a thorough understanding of howthese operations work, how to solve them successfully, and how to predict possible outcomes at different stages of theoperation applying the principles of game theory.
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14. SUBJECT TERMS:
Operation CHAVIN DE HUANTAR, Hostage Rescue, Game Theory,Special Operations, SOF, CQB, EAGLE CLAW, DESERT ONE, Tehran, Iran, Lima, Peru, FIREMAGIC, MUNICH OLYMPICS, DE PUNT TRAIN HIJACKING, FORCE 777, Egypt, Malta,Somalia, Mogadishu, McRaven, GSG-9, Strategic Thinking, John Nash, Biorhythm, BBE, Dozier
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20. LIMITATIONOF ABSTRACT
tandard Form 298 (Rev. 2-89)Prescribed by ANSI Std. 239-18