Friday, August 09, 2002

Military Balance One of my best sources for military information. Unfortunately military statistics have many problems.
- Countries like to keep what they have more or less secret.
- Sources often disagree.
- Sources are available from different dates and it can be unclear as to the date..
- Being mainly numbers there can be many typos.
- Military equipment isn't used much. This means a lot of it is stored until it might be used. When it comes time to use it a lot of it isn't usable. Sometimes equipment might be kept on the books but just used for spare parts. A lot of this might be classified as "reserves" but it can be more or less informal when something moves from frontline well-maintained, to OK, often not working, to spare parts source, to reserve, to scrap.
- Sometimes armed forces may have more equipment than they can afford to operate or can efficiently operate. On the other hand, countries might have millions of men under arms without enough equipment.
- A lot of what Cordesman has available here is tables and charts. Which is what you want, at least, if you are like me and are just wanting some numbers. However, you might run across something like the Indonesian artillery being given 3 different numbers in the same report. "Typos" and the the difference between "immediately usable" and "on the books" and "disagreements between sources" explain this.
Still very good work, a lot based on Institute of Strategic Studies Military Balance reports and other sources he mentions.

You can probably tell I am still wrapped up in creating a Civ 3 mod.


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