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  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Reasons for proliferating outweigh disincentives,and motivation is growing. Arms control regimes harass proliferators without stopping stem and fail to offer non-proliferators security. War fighting concepts are likely to lack clear structure and be highly volatile in terms of enemy, targets, and crisis behavior. Only a few leadership and military elites -- such as Egypt and Israel -- have shown a concern with highly structured strategic planning in the past. Iran-Iraq and Gulf Wars have demonstrated missiles and weapons of mass destruction will be used. Israeli actions in 1967 and attack on Osirak, Egyptian and Syrian attack on Israel in 1973, demonstrate regional focus on surprise and preemption. Iraq has already demonstrated regional concern with launch on warning, launch under attack options. Syria probably has some option of this kind. Concentration of population and leadership in single or a few urban areas makes existential attacks possible.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Reasons for proliferating outweigh disincentives, and motivation is growing. Arms control regimes harass proliferators without stopping stem and fail to offer nonproliferators security. War fighting concepts are likely to lack clear structure and be highly volatile in terms of enemy, targets, and crisis behavior. Only a few leadership and military elites -- such as Egypt and Israel -- have shown a concern with highly structured strategic planning in the past. Iran - Iraq and Gulf Wars have demonstrated missiles and weapons of mass destruction will be used. Israeli actions in 1967 and attack on Osirak, Egyptian and Syrian attack on Israel in 1973, demonstrate regional focus on surprise and preemption. Iraq has already demonstrated regional concern with launch on warning, launch under attack options. Syria probably has some option of this kind. Concentration of population and leadership in single or a few urban areas makes existential attacks possible.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The reporting of START accountable warheads has led to serious confusion between START accountable warheads and actual warhead.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As is the case with North Korea, experts differ over the seriousness of the Iranian threat. Most experts believe that Iran continues to pursue the development of long-range missiles, and of nuclear and biological warheads. Much will depend heavily on whether President Khatami and the more moderate elements in Iran's leadership can consolidate power and rein in Iran's hardline extremists, as well as on Iran's perception of the threat the US poses once it is ready to deploy and the cost of that deployment. This creates an extremely uncertain political climate.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, North Korea
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the Gulf War, and the loss of some 40% of its army and air force order of battle, Iraq remains the most effective military power in the Gulf. It still has an army of around 375,000 men, and an inventory of some 2,200 main battle tanks, 3,700 other armored vehicles, and 2,400 major artillery weapons. It also has over 300 combat aircraft with potential operational status. At the same time, Iraq has lacked the funds, spare parts, and production capabilities to sustain the quality of its consolidated forces. Iraq has not been able to restructure its overall force structure to compensate as effectively as possible for its prior dependence on an average of $3 billion a year in arms deliveries. It has not been able to recapitalize any aspect of its force structure, and about two-thirds of its remaining inventory of armor and aircraft is obsolescent by Western standards. Iraq has not been able to fund and/or import any major new conventional warfare technology to react to the lessons of the Gulf War, or to produce any major equipment -- with the possible exception of limited numbers of Magic “dogfight” air-to-air missiles. In contrast, Saudi Arabia has taken delivery on over $66 billion worth of new arms since 1991, Kuwait has received $7.6 billion, Iran $4.3 billion, Bahrain $700 million, Oman $1.4 billion, Qatar $1.7 billion, and the UAE $7.9 billion, Equally important, the US has made major upgrades in virtually every aspect of its fighter avionics, attack munitions, cruise missile capabilities, and intelligence, reconnaissance, and targeting capabilities. Iraq's inability to recapitalize and modernize its forces means that much of its large order of battle is no obsolescent or obsolete, has uncertain combat readiness, and will be difficult to sustain in combat. It also raises serious questions about the ability of its forces to conduct long-range movements or maneuvers and then sustain coherent operations. Iraq has demonstrated that it can still carry out significant ground force exercises and fly relatively high sortie rates. It has not, however, demonstrated training patterns that show its army has consistent levels of training, can make effective use of combined arms above the level of some individual brigades, or has much capability for joint land-air operations. It has not demonstrated that it can use surface-to-air missiles in a well-organized way as a maneuvering force to cover its deployed land forces. Iran remains a major threat to Iraq. Iran lost 40-60% of its major land force equipment during the climactic battles of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988. It has, however, largely recovered from its defeat by Iraq and now has comparatively large forces. Iran now has an army of around 450,000 men – including roughly 125,000 Revolutionary Guards, and an inventory of some 1,600 main battle tanks, 1,500 other armored vehicles, and 3,200 major artillery weapons. It also has over 280 combat aircraft with potential operational status. Iran has been able to make major improvements in its ability to threaten maritime traffic through the Gulf, and to conduct unconventional warfare. Iran has also begun to acquire modern Soviet combat aircraft and has significant numbers of the export version of the T-72 and BMP. Iran has not, however, been able to offset the obsolescence and wear of its overall inventory of armor, ships, and aircraft. Iran has not been able to modernize key aspects of its military capabilities such as airborne sensors and C4I/BM, electronic warfare, land-based air defense integration, beyond-visual-range air-to-air combat, night warfare capabilities, stand-off attack capability, armored sensors and fire control systems, artillery mobility and battle management, combat ship systems integration, etc. In contrast, no Southern Gulf state has built up significant ground forces since the Gulf War, and only Saudi Arabia has built up a significant air force. Only two Southern Gulf forces – those of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait – have a significant defense capability against Iraq. Saudi Arabia has made real progress in improving its 75,000 man National Guard. Its army, however, lacks effective leadership, training, and organization. It now has an army of around 75,000 men –, and an inventory of some 1,055 main battle tanks, 4,800 other armored vehicles, and 500 major artillery weapons. It also has around 350 combat aircraft with potential operational status. The army has made little overall progress in training since the Gulf War, can probably only fight about half of its equipment holdings in the Iraqi border area (and it would take 4-6 weeks to deploy and prepare this strength), and has declined in combined arms capability since the Gulf War. It has little capability for joint land-air operations. Its individual pilots and aircraft have experienced a growing readiness crisis since the mid-1990s. It has lacked cohesive leadership as a fighting force since that time and cannot fight as a coherent force without US support and battle management.. Kuwait now has an army of only around 11,000 men, and an active inventory of some 293 main battle tanks, 466 other armored vehicles, and 17 major artillery weapons. Only its 218 M-1A2s are really operational and only a portion of these are in combat effective forces. It has only 82 combat aircraft and 20 armed helicopters with potential operational status, and only 40 are modern F-18s. It is making progress in training, but has not shown it can make effective use of combined arms above the battalion level, and has little capability for joint land-air operations. Its individual pilots and aircraft have moderate readiness, but cannot fight as a coherent force without US support and battle management. There has been little progress in standardization and interoperability; advances in some areas like ammunition have been offset by the failure to integrate increasingly advanced weapons systems. Showpiece exercises and purchases disguise an essentially static approach to force improvement which is heavily weapons oriented, and usually shows little real-world appreciation of the lessons of the Gulf War, the “revolution in military affairs,” and the need for sustainability. Current arms deliveries are making only token progress in correcting the qualitative defects in Southern Gulf forces, and no meaningful progress in being made towards integrating the Southern Gulf countries under the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: From a public policy viewpoint, these uncertainties mean the US must prepare for a wide variety of low probability attacks on the US, rather than to emphasize any given form of attack or group of attackers. The US must plan its Homeland defense policies and programs for a future in which there is no way to predict the weapon that will be used or the method chosen to deliver a weapon which can range from a small suicide attack by an American citizen to the covert delivery of a nuclear weapon by a foreign state. There is no reason the US should assume that some convenient Gaussian curve or standard deviation, will make small or medium level attacks a higher priority over time than more lethal forms.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: If we go to war with Iraq, we will go to war with forces that are the military equivalent of a wounded poisonous snake. They are weakened, but still dangerous, and they may lash out in ways that are truly dangerous. In broad terms, Iraq's forces have been in steadily decline ever since the beginning of the fighting in the Gulf War. They have been weakened by military defeat, by the impact of UN inspections, by wars of underfunding and by a decade without significant arms imports. At the same time, they are still the most powerful conventional forces in the Gulf, and Iraq may have some very unconventional weapons.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The most important single message that anyone can communicate in regard to biological weapons is that we face a very uncertain mix of existing threats politics, commercial development, and technology will change constantly as far into the future as we can look. The issue is not what we know, but how little we know and how little we can predict.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This draft analysis is be circulated for comment as part of the CSIS “Saudi Arabia Enters the 21 st Century Project.” It will be extensively revised before final publication.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Chemical weapons have not been used effectively in attacks on the American homeland. Reports that the bombers of the World Trade Center considered trying to add a chemical weapon like sodium cyanide to their explosives seem to be untrue, and led to an unsubstantiated assertion by the trial judge. There have, however, been a number of attempts to use chemical weapons by domestic extremists and individuals. For example, in 1997, members of the KKK plotted to place an improvised explosive device on a hydrogen sulfide tank at a refinery near Dallas, Texas. There is a well-established, low-level risk that such weapons will be used in the future, although there is no way to predict the frequency of such attacks, their scale, potential success, or lethality.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, America