Archive for October, 2007

31
Oct
07

RAND Review Summer 2007

The U.S. Congress is wrestling with the decision of whether to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA)—legislation that was passed after 9/11 to provide a temporary federal terrorism risk insurance program. The reauthorization legislation pending a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives calls for a 15-year extension of TRIA to 2022, but the U.S. Treasury Department has recommended paring back TRIA, with an eye toward eliminating it altogether. The U.S. Senate has yet to weigh in.
The decision is fraught with difficult-to-estimate uncertainties, ranging from the frequency of terrorist attacks to the type of attacks that are likely to occur, such as nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological (NBCR) attacks versus those using conventional weapons. But Lloyd Dixon, coprincipal investigator of a RAND study that used computer simulation to assess the performance of three policy options, has concluded that “TRIA has important positive effects on the market for terrorism insurance, particularly for attacks using conventional weapons.”
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31
Oct
07

RAND Review Spring 2007

Three feature stories in this RAND Review highlight the advantages of policy options that have been demoted, disregarded, or doubted in recent years—in defense, education, and health, respectively. The good news is that the promise of these policy options has not diminished. If anything, their stock has risen.
While wars in Afghanistan and especially Iraq have strained the ability of U.S. forces to maintain their historically mandated levels of readiness for new contingencies, China has grown steadily stronger. In January, China destroyed an orbiting satellite with a ground-launched ballistic missile, the first successful use of antisatellite technologysince a U.S.test in 1985. In March, China announced an 18 percent hike in military spending. As Roger Cliff and his colleagues advise in our cover story, China does not pose a direct threat to U.S. security, but China does pose a real and growing threat to Taiwan and thus to the U.S. ability to fulfill its security commitments to that self-governing island. To prepare for a contingency in the Western Pacific, the United States can do much more.
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31
Oct
07

RAND Review Spring 2006

AMONG THE ISSUES SPARKED BY THE IRAQ WAR are three distinctly practical ones: sustaining U.S. Army forces in combat, promoting reenlistments across the services, and rebuilding Iraqi security forces and institutions. At times, these efforts have been hampered by shortfalls in U.S. performance. As outlined in the eight pages to follow, the lessons learned can help to reduce the risks and costs in future contingencies.
The problems with sustaining army combat forces began right away, as depicted below. Just days after the ground advance started rolling on March 21, 2003, the on-hand supplies held by army ground forces were lower than planned for all commodities except fuel. There simply were not enough cargo trucks to move all of the needed supplies—both because of unforeseen demands on the trucks and because of a shortage of trucks. As a point of reference, there was only an estimated one truck for every 194 soldiers in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, versus one truck for every 73 soldiers in Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
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31
Oct
07

RAND Review Fall 2006

Americafls all-volunteer military has been a overwhelming success since its inception in 1973, but the force faces an unprecedented challenge posed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The all-volunteer military has become the world’s strongest ghting force, attracting recruits who are better educated and more skilled than those who served under the U.S. military draft. However, after four years of war with mounting casualties in Iraq, continuing insurgent attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, and multiple additional deployments throughout the world, the all-volunteer force has experienced recruiting shortfalls for the rst time since the late 1970s.
To date, the all-volunteer force has done the job. Under the draft, people served because we in America made them serve. Under the all-volunteer force, people serve because they want to serve, and they are serving very well in the most trying of circumstances. Short of a total collapse of the system, there is no better way to, in the words of the U.S. Constitution, raise and support armies¨C and provide and maintain a navy.
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31
Oct
07

US Ballistic Missile Subs

The term “Silent Service” evokes images of Second World War submarines complete with foul air. battery’ acid and diesel fuel. The present day nuclear powered fleet ballistic missile submarine brings a new meaning to the term “Silent Service.” With its slippery Black painted stealthy hull and ultra quiet machinery — its silence can be very deadly to any aggressor.
The first submarine was demonstrated in the Thames River. England by its builder. Dutchman Cornelius Drebbel in 1624. The boat was a wooden framework covered with oilsoaked leather and it submerged by contracting the sides thereby reducing internal air volume.
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31
Oct
07

US Aircraft Carriers part.1

The U.S. Navy had shown considerable interest in aviation as it emerged as a reliable technology at the end of the first and the beginning of the second decade of this century. But, in the U.S. Navy, as in other navies interested in aviation, there was a great deal of controversy over the best way to employ this new capability. There was disagreement even as to whether naval aviation should be considered an independent weapon, or simply an adjunct to the scouting forces in support of the battle line. The general success of aircraft in the land battles of the First World War very quickly led some Navy officials to push for experiments with combat aircraft at sea. Float planes were available, but these were too restricted by weather and sea conditions and were too encumbered by their floats to make effective combat aircraft. Shore-based naval aircraft were indistinguishable from their land-based counterparts, but they were too restricted in range to be an effective weapon over large areas of open water. Both the U.S. and British Royal Navy saw that the potential of this new weapon would be exploited only if the aircraft could be launched from and recovered on ships at sea.
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31
Oct
07

U-Boats

The story of the U-boat campaign In World War II Is a drama of rise and fall, and almost rise again. The German U-boat arm rose from the ashes to become the Third Reich’s most effective weapon against the West. For a few brief months the U-boats seemed to be winning the Battle of the Atlantic, bringing England slowly but surely to her knees, until May 1943 brought a sudden reversal of fortune and the anguish of a losing struggle fought with diminishing resources against a materially superior enemy.
The Versailles Treaty, in an effort to render Germany incapable of waging another World War. prohibited her from possessing submarines, which had so nearly defeated England in WW I. Yet It took less than three years for the Reichsmarine to secretly circumvent this restriction. In July 1922, the “Ingenieurs-Kantoor voor Scheepsbouw”, a Dutch ship design and construction firm, was acquired to act as a cover for the clandestine Submarine Development Bureau. The acquisition was made using so called “Black Funds”, (monies deliberately over-appropriated by the German Armed Forces for secret use, ie: the same source that financed the Reich-swehr’s secret armor development in Russia). Among other, more innocent projects, the Dutch-based firm oversaw the design and construction of the boats that were to be prototypes for the U-boat classes that Germany took to war.
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