Rapid Fire Dec. 20, 2013: Drawdown Cost/Benefit; UK Troop Levels

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* The GAO on the forthcoming logistics costs of withdrawing from Afghanistan and what to leave vs. what to bring back: “Because the services have not consistently performed and documented analyses to support decision making concerning the return of excess major end items from Afghanistan, there is a risk that the costs of returning excess items may outweigh the benefits of returning them. * Canada still has 400 containers in Kandahar of low priority, but still worth shipping back, according to 45eNord.ca [in French]. But keeping them there incurs exposure to rental costs and theft risk. * Prime Minister Cameron told Parliament that the UK will lower its forces in Afghanistan to about 5,200 by the end of 2013, down from 9,000 now. * Max G. Manwaring at the US Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute describes Hugo Chávez’ Venezuela as an “exporter of 4th generation warfare instability.” A fair description, but it is uncertain whether Chávez will have recovered from post-surgery complications in time to be sworn in for a third term next month, let alone serve its full six years. Failing that, it is unclear how long would Vice President Nicolás Maduro stay in power, and if/when new […]

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