U.S. Weapons:

The Low-Intensity Threat Is Not Necessarily a Low-Technology Threat

PEMD-90-13: Published: Mar 2, 1990. Publicly Released: Mar 16, 1990.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the effectiveness of U.S. defense hardware used in recent low-intensity warfare (LIW) missions.

GAO found that: (1) U.S. defense hardware demonstrated significant limitations; (2) fully adequate, interoperable joint communications equipment was not available for use; (3) precision-guided munitions demonstrated poor success ratios; (4) unguided munitions were more effective, but demonstrated unacceptable vulnerabilities against weak opposition; (5) problems occurred with unsophisticated weapons even when U.S. forces used the newest equipment available; and (6) the variety and significance of hardware problems encountered during LIW could seriously impede future U.S. military operations.

Mar 14, 2018

Mar 13, 2018

Mar 8, 2018

Mar 7, 2018

Feb 28, 2018

Feb 27, 2018

Feb 23, 2018

Feb 16, 2018

Jan 30, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here