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  • Author: T.X. Hammes
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In Iraq and Afghanistan, the use of contractors reached a level unprecedented in U.S. military operations. As of March 31, 2010, the United States deployed 175,000 troops and 207,000 contractors in the war zones. Contractors represented 50 percent of the Department of Defense (DOD) workforce in Iraq and 59 percent in Afghanistan. These numbers include both armed and unarmed contractors. Thus, for the purposes of this paper, the term contractor includes both armed and unarmed personnel unless otherwise specified. The presence of contractors on the battlefield is obviously not a new phenomenon but has dramatically increased from the ratio of 1 contractor to 55 military personnel in Vietnam to 1:1 in the Iraq and 1.43:1 in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Privatization, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Steven J. Tomisek, Christopher S. Robinson, Kenneth Kligge
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The Obama administration has arguably inherited the toughest national security environment since the end of World War II. Instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan has propelled South Asia to the top of a U.S. national security agenda already crowded with a long list of major problems that includes North Korea, Iran, and Iraq. The political, security, and economic trends in Afghanistan and Pakistan have taken a turn for the worse, as the two countries confront an increasingly violent Taliban-led insurgency and al Qaeda–linked militant jihadist groups. To make matters even worse, Pakistan's relations with India have been damaged by the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.
  • Topic: Political Violence, National Security, War, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Iran, South Asia, North Korea, Mumbai
  • Author: Najim Abed Al-Jabouri
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: As U.S. Armed Forces draw down in Iraq, there is increasing concern about the possibility of resurgent ethnic and sectarian tensions. Many Iraqis believe that the United States may be making a grave mistake by not fully using its remaining leverage to insulate the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) from the political influence of the incumbent Iraqi sectarian political parties. U.S. efforts to rebuild the ISF have focused on much needed training and equipment, but have neglected the greatest challenge facing the forces' ability to maintain security upon U.S. withdrawal: an ISF politicized by ethno-sectarian parties. These ties pose the largest obstacle to the ISF in its quest to become genuinely professional and truly national in character.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Arabia
  • Author: Thomas X. Hammes
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: On May 1, 2003, President George W. Bush declared the end of major combat in Iraq. While most Americans rejoiced at this announcement, students of history understood that it simply meant the easy part was over. In the following months, peace did not break out, and the troops did not come home. In fact, Iraqi insurgents have struck back hard. Instead of peace, each day Americans read about the death of another soldier, the detonation of deadly car bombs, the assassination of civilians, and Iraqi unrest.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Middle East