PEACE. Population and Environment Analysis for Counter-insurgency Evaluation. Final Presentation. prepared by Jason Southerland Kevin Neary Brian Kolstad Steven Darcy. for Colonel Manago Center for Army Analysis. Herakles and Athena.
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Population and Environment Analysis for Counter-insurgency Evaluation
Center for Army Analysis
Herakles was making his way through a narrow pass. He saw something that looked like an apple lying on the ground and he tried to smash it with his club. After having been struck by the club, the thing swelled up to twice its size. Herakles struck it again with his club, even harder than before, and the thing then expanded to such a size that it blocked Herakles's way. Herakles let go of his club and stood there, amazed. Athena saw him and said, “O Herakles, don't be so surprised! This thing that has brought about your confusion is Aporia (Contentiousness) and Eris (Strife). If you just leave it alone, it stays small; but if you decide to fight it, then it swells from its small size and grows large.” - Aesop, Fables 534 (from Chambry 129)
“A victorious warrior wins first and then goes to war, while a defeated warrior goes to war first and then seeks to win.” -Sun Tzu, The Art of War
At any time since 1945, there has been at least one insurgency somewhere in the world.
In some manner, the Unites States has been involved in many recent insurgencies.
“A struggle between a non–ruling group and the ruling authorities in which the non–ruling group consciously uses political resources (e.g. organizational expertise, propaganda, and demonstrations) and violence to destroy, reformulate, or sustain the basis of legitimacy of one or more aspects of politics.”
Insurgency and Terrorism
Bard E. O’Neill
It is the use of violence that distinguishes insurgencies from other protest movements.
Efforts to define the force size and time required to restore and maintain order in a failed or failing state have been sporadic and far from complete.
The United States Army’s “Field Manual 3-24, Counterinsurgency” specifies a 20:1000 force ratio.
James T. Quinlivan, in his RAND essay, “Burden of Victory: The Painful Arithmetic of Stability Operations,” establishes a 20:1000 force ratio.
John J. McGrath, “Boots on the Ground: Troop Density in Contingency Operations,” recommends a 13.26:1000 force ratio.
Defining the correct force size should result in less risk to troops and greater chance of success.
The goals of this project are to:
Find a relationship between Troop Density and Violence in a counterinsurgency
Find a method of predicting violence in an insurgency
Provide an expansion upon the limited scope of counterinsurgency troop density studies
Provide a means of framing a strategist’s troop density decision by identifying the key variables that define the operating environment
O’Neill classification of an insurgency
“Can the O’Neill classifications be described statistically?”
Using Bayesian networks to tie troop levels to the overall outcome of the insurgency
“How many troops does it take to win?”
Using Bayesian networks to tie troop levels to violence
“How many troops does it take to reduce violence?”
Analysis of troop and violence data
Which metrics are the best predictors of future violence?
Transform Violence and Zoom–in
Multivariate non-linear regression
Approximates non-linearity using piecewise linear functions
Will a non-linear model fit our data well and still be useful for predictive analysis?
Find “reasonable” model
Test model using set-aside data
Target Variable: Natural Logarithm of Violent Incidents per 1,000 population
Continuous Predictor Variables: Intervening Troop Density, Indigenous Troop Density, Percent Urban Population, Natural Logarithm of Previous Relative Violence Rate
Categorical Predictor Variables: O’Neill Classification, Degree of Outside Support for Insurgency, Insurgent Strategic Approach, Counter-Insurgent Rules of Engagement
LogViolence = -7.312 + .704*B1 - .0206*B5 - .747*B6 + .854*B8
Mean Absolute Error
Mean Square Error
Troop density was positively correlated to the natural log of violent incidents.
Does the apple really get bigger?
More troops means more targets?
Who is counting the incidents?
Mean Troop Density is 39.5, much higher than the 20 from Quinlivan or 13.26 by McGrath, but Median Troop Density is 11.87
Does aggregating violence over years and countries provide sufficient fidelity?
Best predictor of Violence is previous year’s Violence
High Urban populations are less susceptible to increasing violence
Material foreign support of an insurgency increases violence
Whether troops inspire violence or violence brings more troops is unresolved, but bears further study
Expand the scope of the analysis to include political, economic, diplomatic and other factors
Get more data
Explore the individual nature of each insurgency
How do you achieve victory BEFORE undertaking a counter-insurgency role?