[net-gold] Secrecy News -- 07/19/10




.



Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2010 14:21:24 -0400
From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood@xxxxxxx>
To: Steven Aftergood <saftergood@xxxxxxx>
Subject: Secrecy News -- 07/19/10 (alt list)



SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy

Volume 2010, Issue No. 58
July 19, 2010



Secrecy News Blog:

http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/



**      COSTS OF MAJOR U.S. WARS COMPARED

**      MILITARY CONTRACTORS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN

**      UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS AND HOMELAND SECURITY




COSTS OF MAJOR U.S. WARS COMPARED



More than a trillion dollars has been appropriated since September 11, 2001
for U.S. military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.  This makes
the "war on terrorism" the most costly of any military engagement in U.S.
history in absolute terms or, if correcting for inflation, the second most
expensive U.S. military action after World War II.

A newly updated report from the Congressional Research Service estimated the
financial costs of major U.S. wars from the American Revolution ($2.4
billion in FY 2011 dollars) to World War I ($334 billion) to World War II
($4.1 trillion) to the second Iraq war ($784 billion) and the war in
Afghanistan ($321 billion).  CRS provided its estimates in current year
dollars (i.e. the year they were spent) and in constant year dollars
(adjusted for inflation), and as a percentage of gross domestic product.
Many caveats apply to these figures, which are spelled out in the CRS
report.

In constant dollars, World War II is still the most expensive of all U.S.
wars, having consumed a massive 35.8% of GDP at its height and having cost
$4.1 trillion in FY2011 dollars.

See "Costs of Major U.S. Wars," June 29, 2010:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RS22926.pdf


MILITARY CONTRACTORS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN

The Department of Defense has more contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan than
it has uniformed military personnel, another newly updated report from the
Congressional Research Service reminds us.

"The Department of Defense increasingly relies upon contractors to support
operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has resulted in a DOD workforce
that has 19% more contractor personnel (207,600) than uniformed personnel
(175,000)," said the CRS report -- which forms a timely counterpoint to this
week's Washington Post "Top Secret America" series on the tremendous
expansion of the intelligence bureaucracy, including the increased and often
unchecked reliance on contractors.

The explosive growth in reliance on contractors naturally entails new
difficulties in management and oversight.  "Some analysts believe that poor
contract management has also played a role in abuses and crimes committed by
certain contractors against local nationals, which may have undermined U.S.
counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan," the CRS said.

See "Department of Defense Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Background
and Analysis," July 2, 2010:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R40764.pdf

And see, relatedly, "U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and
Issues for Congress," July 16, 2010:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RS21048.pdf


UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS AND HOMELAND SECURITY

The potential benefits and limitations of using unmanned aerial vehicles for
homeland security applications were considered by the Congressional Research
Service in yet another updated report.  See "Homeland Security: Unmanned
Aerial Vehicles and Border Surveillance," July 8, 2010:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RS21698.pdf

The same set of issues was examined in a newly published master's thesis on
"Integrating Department of Defense Unmanned Aerial Systems into the National
Airspace Structure" by Major Scott W. Walker:

        http://www.fas.org/irp/program/collect/uas-airspace.pdf

Another new master's thesis looked at the comparatively high accident rate
of unmanned systems and their susceptibility to attack or disruption.  See
"The Vulnerabilities of Unmanned Aircraft System Common Data Links to
Electronic Attack" by Major Jaysen A. Yochim:

        http://www.fas.org/irp/program/collect/uas-vuln.pdf

The "secret history" of unmanned aircraft was recounted in an informative
new study published by the Air Force Association.  See "Air Force UAVs: The
Secret History" by Thomas P. Ehrhard, July 2010:

        http://www.afa.org/Mitchell/Reports/MS_UAV_0710.pdf






_______________________________________________





Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation
of American Scientists.

The Secrecy News Blog is at:
     http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, go to:
     http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/subscribe.html

To UNSUBSCRIBE, go to
     http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/unsubscribe.html

OR email your request to saftergood@xxxxxxx

Secrecy News is archived at:
     http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/index.html

Support the FAS Project on Government Secrecy with a donation:
     http://www.fas.org/member/donate_today.html





_______________________





Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
web:    www.fas.org/sgp/index.html
email:  saftergood@xxxxxxx
voice:  (202) 454-4691





.




Other related posts:

  • » [net-gold] Secrecy News -- 07/19/10 - David P. Dillard