SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2008, Issue No. 73
July 25, 2008

Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

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THE COSTS OF MAJOR U.S. WARS

U.S. military spending on the war in Iraq has nearly matched the cost of the war in Vietnam, according to a new Congressional Research Service analysis of the financial costs of wars throughout U.S. history. And total post-9/11 U.S. military spending has exceeded the cost of Vietnam by a considerable margin.

The ongoing war in Iraq has incurred an estimated $648 billion to date, and total post-9/11 military spending including the Iraq War, Afghanistan and other terrorism-related military expenditures has reached $859 billion, the CRS reported.

The Vietnam War (1965-1975) cost an estimated $686 billion in 2008 dollars, the CRS said.

The total cost of the American Revolution (1775-1783) was $101 million, or about $1.8 billion in 2008 dollars.

The cost of World War II (1941-1945) was about $4.1 trillion in 2008 dollars, and consumed a massive 35.8% of gross domestic product. The Iraq war represents 1% of GDP today.

These estimates include various caveats and limitations spelled out by CRS.

"All estimates are of the costs of military operations only and do not include costs of veterans benefits, interest paid for borrowing money to finance wars, or assistance to allies," the CRS report indicated.

"Comparisons of costs of wars over a 230 year period... are inherently problematic," the new report cautioned.

See "Costs of Major U.S. Wars," Congressional Research Service, July 24, 2008:


CHINA NAVAL MODERNIZATION, AND MORE FROM CRS

Some other noteworthy new reports from the Congressional Research Service obtained by Secrecy News include the following.

"China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities -- Background and Issues for Congress," updated July 10, 2008:

"Satellite Surveillance: Domestic Issues," updated June 27, 2008:

"Defense Contracting in Iraq: Issues and Options for Congress," updated June 18, 2008:

"U.S. Civilian Space Policy Priorities: Reflections 50 Years After Sputnik," updated June 20, 2008:


AUTHORIZED CLASSIFICATION MARKINGS IN U.S. INTELLIGENCE

Classification and dissemination control markings that may be used in the U.S. intelligence community are listed in an official register that has recently been approved for release by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The document includes authorized abbreviations and some non-U.S. dissemination control markings, along with citations to statutory or other authority and brief guidance as to proper use. The lightly redacted document does not include certain unpublished access controls or code word designations.

See "Authorized Classification and Control Markings Register," Director of National Intelligence Special Security Center, 12 May 2008:

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Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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