This volume has been distributed for comment to a number of experts, intelligence officers, and officials in the United States and other countries to officials in several international agencies and institutions and to various private experts. The author has drawn heavily on the input of such reviewers throughout the text. It was agreed with each reviewer, however, that no individual or agency should be attributed at any point in the text except by specific request, and that all data used be attributed to sources that are openly available to the public. The reader should be aware of this in reviewing the notes section. The data contained in the analysis has often been extensively modified to reflect expert comment.
Data from open sources are deliberately drawn from a wide range of sources. Virtually all of these sources are at least in partial conflict. There is no consensus over demographic data, budget data, military expenditures and arms transfers, force numbers, unit designations, or weapons types.
While the use of computer databases allowed some cross-correlation and checking of such sources, the reporting on factors like force strengths, unit types and identities, and tactics often could not be reconciled. Citing multiple sources for each case is not possible and involves many detailed judgments by the authors in reconciling different reports and data.
The Internet and several on-line services were used extensively. Since such databases are dynamic, and change or are deleted over time, there is no clear way to footnote much of this material. Recent press sources are generally cited, but often are only part of the material consulted.
A broad effort has been made to standardize the analysis of each country, but it became clear early in the project that adopting a standard format did not suit the differences that emerged between countries. The emphasis throughout this phase of the Center for Strategic and International Studies net assessment has