Iraq, Afghanistan, the Taliban, and al-Qa’ida
04/08/08 DoD Budget, 1947 – 2007 (11 KB PDF)
10/09/07 Coalition fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan, through September 2007. With six-month moving average.[14 KB PDF]
8/06/07 Coalition force levels in Iraq, or “What surge?” by Dr. Hermann Mindshaftgap (a DC-based defense analyst). The surge of American troops did not even compensate for the drawdown of other coalition forces. [Second edition – 16 KB PDF]
6/29/2010 Costs of US Wars. According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the “global war on terror” (GWOT, including Afghanistan) plus operations in Iraq has now exceeded one trillion dollars, making it the most costly war in US history with the sole exception of WWII. (152KB PDF)
Central Asian Pipelines – why western Afghanistan is the most practical route from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
Flight paths of the four airliners hijacked on September 11, 2001.
Simple facts about Afghanistan: Land area – 647,500 sq. km (250,000 sq. mi.) or about 95% the size of Texas. Highest point – Nowshak 7,485 m (24,577 ft.) or about 4,250 ft. higher than Mt. McKinley.
Afghanistan, showing ethnic mix by major language group. The Taliban are primarily Pashtun
Afghanistan, areas under Taliban control as of September 11, 2001
Major Ethnic Groups in Pakistan, showing the spill-over of these groups into Iran, India, and Afghanistan
“Pashtunistan,” majority Pashtu-speaking areas in and near Afghanistan
Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) Afghanistan Page. Although Afghanistan is a country the size of Texas with mountains higher than the Alps, it also has several sizable cities – Kabul, Qandahar, and Herat. Peshawar, just over the border in Pakistan is home to well over 2 million, many of them pro-Taliban and al-Qa’ida.
The Greater Threat: Missile or Terrorist Bomb?
It wasn’t so long ago that the missile defense crowd was proclaiming that no truck bomb ever killed US soldiers in a war. Even before the invasion of Iraq, though, it wasn’t true, and here is the data. Between 1983 and 2000, for every US service member killed by an enemy ballistic missile, more than 16 had been killed by terrorist bombs.
Defense Death Spiral
Chuck Spinney’s 70 chart briefing on why equipment is aging and readiness suffers, even though we’re outspending the rest of the world. Provides data to illustrate the three interlocking arms of the spiral: A modernization program that even if executed perfectly (i.e., no overruns or stretch outs) cannot modernize our forces, a declining readiness posture that is costing increasingly more money, and an unauditable set of Pentagon books that cannot provide the data needed to fix the first two problems.
Weapon System Costs
“Program Costs to Date for Selected Weapons Systems” compiled by Christopher Hellman at the Center for Defense Information.
The Fifteen Power, now the Twenty Power, Standard
The Twenty Power Standard. The FY2003 DoD Budget Request exceeds the combined defense budgets of the next twenty-five largest spenders. The comparable figure for the FY2002 budget [including the July Amendment] was 15. [Editor’s note: corrected from “The Twenty-Five Power Standard” 3/5/02]
Spending by the US and likely allies exceeds all possible “threats” by roughly a factor of 6.
The “Four Percent Solution”
Recently, several commentators have called for increasing US defense spending to an arbitrary percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). The charts in this section show the implications relative both to historical US defense budgets and to what the rest of the world spends. For further information, please refer to Comment 381.
- The “four percent solution” compared to historical trends (1950-2001) in constant 2001 dollars.
- The “four percent solution” compared to historical trends in current (then-year) dollars.
- The “three-and-a-half percent solution,” in constant dollars, as proposed by former SECDEFs Harold Brown and James Schlesinger. For an analysis, please see Comment 399.
- The “four percent solution” compared to potential threat spending.
- Ratio of Total DoD Procurement to RDT&E (407KB PPT) In the late 1980s, DoD began cutting procurement and force structure significantly, while holding RDT&E relatively constant. The effect has been to aggravate an already severe force aging problem. We may be entering what one Pentagon official recently called a “modernization death spiral,” where the force will consist of a few ultra-modern fighters, and a vast bulge of aircraft twenty or more years old.
- DoD Budget Authority, 1945 – 2005 (16 KB PDF) Making 2005 the second highest year for defense spending since the start of the Cold War.
- Evolution of the FY 2004 – 2009 budget. With the passage of the FY 2004 supplemental, DoD spending now tops the height of the Vietnam War (in constant dollars.) In 1968, we had over 500,000 troops in Vietnam, 100,000 elsewhere in the Pacific, and 300,000 in Germany.
- The Plans-Reality Mismatch, FY2003 Edition, showing how Pentagon planning, represented by the Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP) so rarely corresponded to what Congress actually appropriated. The results have been no effective planning at all. This is the summary chart from Chuck Spinney’s briefing and book of the same name (1985), updated to the latest data. Is history about to repeat itself?
- Evolution of the FY 2003 – 2007 Budget in a Historical Perspective. Places the new defense spending plan into the perspective of DoD budgets since the establishment of the department. Spending in FY 2003 will be significantly higher than the Cold War average. (Chart in constant FY 2003 dollars.)
- The FY2003 DoD Budget Request. An analysis by the Republican staff of the Senate Budget Committee.
- Defense spending trends in constant 2002 dollars, showing impact of the President’s FY 2003 Budget Request. [DNI Editor’s note: The implied strategy underlying these numbers is to leave all current programs in place – that is, those originally intended to counter the next generation threat from the Soviet Union – and request additional money for the War on Terrorism. Apparently “transformation” is no longer a priority.]
- FY01 Supplemental and FY02 Budget Amendment in Historical Context
- Historical trends and recent proposals [FY 2001 data] in .pdf format (see Comment 364)
- Defense Spending as a Percentage of GDP, 1940 – 2001
- Casper Weinberger’s US-USSR Spending Comparison (1982)
- OMB FY 2002 Mid Year Report (confirms the “vanishing surplus”)
Rising Cost of Low Readiness
- Rising Cost of Operations (also in .pdf format)
- Rising O&M Cost Per Flying Hour
- USAF Average Age and Inventory
- Updated September 30, 2003. A Case Study in Fourth Generation Warfare: Data from the Al Aqsa Intifada
- Jewish Settlements in Palestine, 1914. Readers may be surprised at how extensive the Jewish settlements were in Palestine, even 35 years before statehood, and how most of them were in the present State of Israel and not in the West Bank.
- Jewish Settlements in the West Bank, May 2002. A highly detailed map from the Israeli human rights group B’tselem. The blue and black areas are settlements and the dark red are Palestinian built-up areas. Note how settlements and Palestinian areas are so intermixed as to make segregation practically impossible. Note also how the Palestinians are isolated from the Jordan River. (1.6 MB PDF file)
- 10/1/03 Map of the Israeli security fence. From the Israeli human rights organization B’tselem, with their report (456 KB PDF file.)