Special Report

The World’s 20 Most Elite Special Forces

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

EKO Cobra
> Country: Austria
> Also known as: Einsatzkommando Cobra, Task Force Cobra
> Type: Police tactical unit
> Role: counterterrorism, law enforcement

New Zealand Special Air Service
> Country: New Zealand
> Also known as: 1st New Zealand Special Air Service Regiment, 1 NZSAS Regt.
> Type: Special forces
> Role: Surveillance and reconnaissance; combating terrorism; direct action, support, and influence

Source: Juergen Schwarz / Getty Images News via Getty Images

> Country: Germany
> Also known as: Border Protection Group 9
> Type: Police tactical unit
> Role: Counterterrorism, law enforcement, hostage rescue

Source: Ian Hitchcock / Getty Images News via Getty Images

Special Air Service Regiment
> Country: Australia
> Also known as: SASR
> Type: Special forces
> Role: Special operations, counterterrorism, special recovery operations, training assistance, long-range reconnaissance, precision strike, direct offensive action

Source: Public Domain / Israeli Defence Forces Spokesperson's Unit / Wikimedia Commons

Shayetet 13
> Country: Israel
> Also known as: HaShayetet (The Flotilla)
> Type: Maritime Sayeret (reconnaissance), special operation force
> Role: Counterterrorism; maritime sabotage; special reconnaissance; visit, board, search, and seizure; hostage rescue; sea-to-land incursions

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