The Utility Knife Effect in Special Operations: The Missing Link

Yair Ansbacher, Ron Schleifer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 9/11 hijackers were armed with mere utility knives–relatively innocuous tools that led to terror attacks the aftershocks of which are still felt today. The ‘utility knife effect’ refers to seemingly unassuming tactical operations deployed in direct action missions, with far-reaching results. Yair Ansbacher and Ron Schleifer highlight the important role special operations forces can play in combating terrorist activity and the changes the West needs to make to enable them to be successful.◼.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-63
Number of pages10
JournalRUSI Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2023


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