The presidential and congressional elections eighteen months away are contributing to new pressures from Capitol Hill for a U.S. troop drawdown in Iraq.
Josh Rogin from Congressional Quarterly describes the budget crunch the defense sector is likely to face after the Iraq War.
Steven Cook discusses his new book, Ruling But Not Governing: The Military and Political Development in Egypt, Algeria, and Turkey and how it applies to current developments in the region.
As the fight between Congress and the administration about Iraq war funding rages, Robert D. Hormats, vice chairman at Goldman Sachs and author of The Price of Liberty: Paying for America's Wars, contends that borrowing to pay for the Iraq war and an unclear fiscal strategy for paying for a long-term war on terror threaten not only our financial security, but our national security.
Lt. Col. Paul Yingling writes in the Armed Forces Journal that the current difficulties in the Iraq war are largely caused by a crisis in American's general officer corps.
This commentary from the Center for Economic & Policy Research considers the Iraq War's impact on the U.S. economy. The paper says that although it is often believed that wars and military spending increases are good for the economy, this is not generally true in most standard economic models.
Writing in the National Journal, defense specialist George C Wilson considers two key defense budget documents – the “National Defense Estimates,” known to Department of Defense (DOD) budget analysts as “the Greenbook,” and the “Selected Acquisition Reports,” the DOD-released estimates of past and future weapons costs – to conclude that the US government is spending more money in real terms on the Iraq war than was spent on the Vietnam war, despite the deployed military force being only one quarter the size of that used in Vietnam.
This act, the Senate's version of the House's March 23 bill, calls for $122 billion in funding for Afghanistan and Iraq, a start to the withdrawal of troops from Iraq within 120 days after the bill's passage, and a nonbinding goal to end military operations by March 31, 2008.
East Asia military specialists Richard Halloran and John J. Tkacik, Jr. debate about whether China poses a military threat to the United States.
The defense budget of the United States, the world's leading military power throughout the twentieth century, is not enough for the country to confront the threats of the twenty-first. It should be increased -- and can be without negatively affecting the economy. The money is available; it must be joined by political will.
See more in Defense Budget
The US Army Times reports comments from the acting Pentagon inspector general, that army spending on contractors is out of control: speaking before the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on readiness the inspector said that procurement laws are routinely violated, "price reasonableness," competitive awards and contractor oversight are abandoned, and millions of dollars are wasted.
See more in Defense Budget
With wars in Afghanistan and Iraq consuming lives, equipment, and political capital, talk of financial costs may seem petty. But this is budget season, and the way the Bush administration has been paying for the war is about to become a political issue.
The debate over defense spending will be more contentious than usual as the annual budget process ramps up in Washington.
This analysis in the Congressional Quarterly points out that three independent assessments place the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus anti-terrorism activities, at amounts in excess of the Bush administration’s figures. The difference ranges from $16 billion in the estimate of the Government Accountability Office to $18 billion in the view of the Congressional Budget Office to $23 billion in the estimate of the Congressional Research Service.
This Washington Institute paper outlines how for more than a decade, Iran has lavished a considerable share of its defense budget on its naval forces (which consist of both regular and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps units), believing that the Persian Gulf will be its front line in the event of a confrontation with the United States. Following a naval war-fighting doctrine that suits its revolutionary ethos, Iran has developed innovative, asymmetric naval warfare tactics that exploit its favorable geographic situation, build on its strengths, and target the vulnerabilities of its enemies.
Williams argues that the status quo for peace operations in untenable and that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Ashley's War tells the poignant and gripping story of a groundbreaking team of female American warriors who served alongside Special Operations soldiers in Afghanistan. More
Smith's insightful book explores the policy issues testing the Japanese government as it tries to navigate its relationship with an advancing China. More
This revolutionary new look at volatility and crisis in oil markets explores the conditions in which oil supply fears arise, gain popularity, and eventually wane. More
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
Read and download »