Sunday, April 5, 2015

14 key characteristics that define a successful insurgent ecosystem

  1. Many body: There are many more autonomous insurgent groups operating within conflicts than we had previously thought. For example there are 100+ autonomous groups operating in Iraq (as of 2006).
  2. Fluidity: The insurgents are loosely grouped together to form fluid networks with short half-lives. This is very different from the rigid hierarchical networks that have been proposed for insurgent groups.
  3. Redundancy: If we remove the strongest group from the system another group will rise to replace the previous strongest group
  4. Splinter: When a group is broken it does not generally split in half but instead shatters into multiple pieces
  5. Redistribute: When a group is broken the components are redistributed amongst the other groups in the system. The redistribution is biased towards the most successful remaining groups.
  6. Snowball: The strongest groups grow fastest
  7. Tall poppy: The strongest groups are the predominant targets for opposition forces
  8. Internal competition: There is direct competition amongst insurgent groups for both resources and media exposure. They are competing with each other in addition to fighting the stronger counterinsurgent forces.
  9. Independent co-ordination: Autonomous groups act in a coordinated fashion as a result of the competition that exists between them.
  10. Emergent structure: Attacks in both Iraq and Colombia become ‘less random’ and more coordinated over time
  11. Evolution: The strategies employed by the groups evolve over time where successful groups/strategies survive and unsuccessful strategies/groups are replaced.
  12. High dimensional: Connection occurs over high dimensions (i.e. Internet, cell phone etc) and is not dominated by geographic connections.
  13. Non-linear: It is approximately 316* times harder to kill 100 people in an attack than it is to kill 10 people. (*Results for a conflict with alpha=2.5).
  14. Independent clones: the fundamental structure and dynamics of insurgent groups is largely independent of religious, political, ideological or geographic differences.

1 comment:

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