Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). May 10, 2013.
From the crucible of more than a decade of continuous combat operations, Special Operations Forces (SOF) have emerged as one of the most cost-effective “weapons systems” in the U.S. military arsenal and a major source of strategic advantage for the nation. How can the United States capitalize on such development and extend the SOF’s strategic advantage well into the future? [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.csbaonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/SOF-Report-CSBA-Final.pdf [PDF format, 144 pages].
Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR). March 2013.
Learning From Iraq importantly captures the effects of the rebuilding program as derived from 44 interviews with the recipients (the Iraqi leadership), the executors (U.S. senior leaders), and the providers (congressional members). These interviews piece together an instructive picture of what was the largest stabilization and reconstruction operation ever undertaken by the United States (until recently overtaken by Afghanistan).
http://www.sigir.mil/learningfromiraq/index.html [HTML format].
Congressional Research Service. November 9, 2012.
Iraq’s stability is threatened by a breakdown in relations among major political factions, a continuing insurgency by Sunni Muslims who resent Shiite political domination, and spillover from increasingly sectarian conflict in Syria. The continuing violence and governmental dysfunctions have called into question the legacy of U.S. involvement in Iraq.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/201042.pdf [PDF format, 56 pages].
Congressional Research Service. August 10, 2012.
The Navy for several years has carried out a variety of irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) activities. Among the most readily visible of the Navy’s recent IW operations have been those carried out by Navy sailors serving ashore in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of the Navy’s contributions to IW operations around the world are made by Navy individual augmentees (IAs)—individual Navy sailors assigned to various DOD operations. The Navy’s IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including the definition of Navy IW activities and how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/196931.pdf -PDF format, 37 pages].
Council on Foreign Relations. August 2012.
Iraq remains a fragile state deeply traumatized and riven by thirty years of war, sanctions, occupation, and civil strife. Although there are numerous positive signs of progress in Iraq—violence has fallen to its lowest level since 2003, its economy is growing modestly, oil production recently surpassed that of Iran, and foreign investment is beginning to restore infrastructure decayed by years of war and sanctions—the risk of acute instability and renewed conflict remains. Already, in the wake of the U.S. military withdrawal in December 2011, Iraq has seen a fierce political struggle between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and many of his rivals in the Sunni-dominated Iraqiya parliamentary coalition, plus increasing tension with at least some segments of the Kurdish minority. For the positive trends to continue, Iraq will need to contain various threats to internal stability and weather regional turmoil that could worsen significantly in the coming months. The United States has a significant stake in helping Iraq overcome these challenges; Iraq is a critical state within a critical region. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.cfr.org/iraq/renewed-violence-iraq/p28808 [HTML format].