An occasional series published in 2007 reviewing reports and articles pertaining to international security, terrorism, U.S. military and defense policy.
By Bipasha Ray
Resetting the Army's equipment used in Iraq and Afghanistan will require much less than requested funds because the budget includes non-reset activities like upgrading and new purchases. Congressional Budget Office also calculates the cost of keeping 55,000 military personnel in Iraq long-term. Congressional Research Service compares the 2006 National Strategy for Combating Terrorism with the 2003 version and finds that strategic priorities have changed. CRS also analyzes U.S. reactions to Musharraf's emergency declaration in Pakistan, concluding that the U.S. is reluctant to be too harsh for fear of hampering joint anti-terrorism initiatives.
Congressional "withdrawal" plans only call for partial withdrawal from Iraq. At least 40,000 to 60,000 troops would have remain to train Iraqi forces, battle terrorists and protect American "interests." This brings up the unresolved issue of permanent bases. Does an increase in ground forces mean that the United States plans to be in Iraq indefinitely, and is Iraq prelude to building a larger military?
U.S. aid to Somali warlords could be "misguided." Are American counterterrorism and military policies in the Horn of Africa destabilizing the region? An examination of the results and motivations of terrorism.
Issue 2 - Experts Give Poor Grades to Expected Defense Budget Proposal, 01 February 2007
Security Policy Working Group briefing argues that 2008 defense budget is packed with pork and fiscally unsustainable.
Has US aid to Afghan security forces improved its human rights record? Also discusses whether high-ranking Taliban should be brought into the fold of governance; civilian casualties in US/NATO air strikes in Afghanistan; and potential spillover from the Iraqi civil war which could affect U.S. basing operations especially in small Persian Gulf countries, like Bahrain.
With offices in Washington DC and Cambridge MA, the Project on Defense Alternatives develops and promotes defense policy innovation that reconciles the goals of effective defense against aggression, improved international cooperation and stability, and lower levels of military spending and armed force worldwide. Subscribe to the monthly PDA Updates Bulletin.