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Thread: How to Measure Insurgencies

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    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default How to Measure Insurgencies

    How to Measure Insurgencies - SWJ Blog by J. Eli Margolis.

    Earlier this week, America’s top two officials in Iraq testified before Congress about the war in Iraq. Ambassador Crocker described slow but sure progress; General Petraeus spoke more strongly, citing goals met and “substantial” progress.

    I was surprised. After a steady public debate of stalemate and withdrawal, the pair put forward recommendations to remain. The disconnect between how America sees Iraq and how our two most knowledgeable professionals view it is great.

    Why?

    I believe that the answer lies in measures. Media reports and independent assessments like the Brookings Institution’s “Iraq Index” have opened the floodgates on statistics. Analyses abound. But, as a recent Salon piece demonstrates, not all have been disciplined. Indeed, the public discourse has abandoned methodology entirely...

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    Council Member Tom OC's Avatar
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    Default A justice-equity approach

    I have the feeling that sharper minds than mine are going to be contributing on MOE, but in any event, I could not resist getting in first digs for my favorite idea. Also, I hope I'm not doing something wrong being such a newbie who might not know these kinds of threads are just pointers to the blog or something, but anyway, here goes. The problem is that one must try to measure stuff which is basically not measurable. As an academic, we run into this all the time, trying to measure "intangibles," but it seems to me that in a fight for hearts and minds, one must try to apprise the more intangible side of justice -- equity. To explain, equality is always measurable, but equity (or the shape, smell, taste, feel, or what-have-you of justice) is not always measurable. There are many different approaches to equity, Aristotle's distributive justice being the most well-known, but I would put forward the social exchange version of equity as being most applicable in terms of meeting a commander's needs. In this version, one would need to measure the inputs (what a collection of people have put into a situation in terms of effort), and the outputs (what a collection of people regard as the beneficient outcomes). True justice always tries to restore the relative position of equity, or proportion, that existed prior to the imbalance which gave rise to perceptions of unfairness. In clearer terms, what must happen is the elimination of relative deprivation, or the feeling that others are getting more rewards (outputs) for putting in less effort (inputs). Hence, equality in cooperative effort becomes the best standard for measuring equity.

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi Tom,
    We absolutely want you to wade in - willing talent - not membership seniority is what we appreciate most.

    I think your on to something, but I'd ask that you take it the next step and illustrate how public perceptions are driven by MOPs & MOEs that appeal to them more - say quantitative over qualitative. Statistics are comfortable to our culture, and regardless of their relevance - we tend to associate them with veracity based on their ability show proportion - our media's obsession with polling for example. We generally like to measure and classify as quickly as we can, then move on. However, I'd propose that War and other social activities involving people often introduce variables that don't easily translate into MOPs and MOEs. We have to be careful because if we insist on using MOPs and MOEs to measure what people are thinking or what a human activity might mean we can misrepresent what is actually happening and make bad choices.

    MOPs and MOEs presented in the context of bias or simply without context can present an alternate reality in which people associate within their own bias - or regardless of the intended shape of the piece - people will either make it fit in their puzzle or discard it.

    There simply are somethings which defy measurement and classification no matter how hard we like it to be otherwise.

    Best Regards, Rob

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    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
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    Default 2.1.2 Attributes of a Good Metric

    Maybe this will help. Here are a couple of extended quotes from Metrics Guidebook for Integrated Systems and Product Development produced by the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE):

    It is important that a metric and its measures reflect the defined goals and objectives of the organization.
    How can we tell if a metric is good? A good metric promotes understanding of our performance or
    progress, as well as our processes, and always motivates action to improve upon the way we do business.
    This perspective applies from the smallest task through product development to total company operations.
    A strong metrics program creates an environment in which teams “can make decisions based on data rather
    than hunches, to look for root causes of problems rather than react to superficial symptoms, to seek
    permanent solutions rather than rely on quick fixes.”
    The following are the basic characteristics of a good metric:

    1. It is accepted as having value to the customer or as an attribute essential to customer satisfaction
    with the product.

    2. It tells how well organizational goals and objectives are being met through processes and tasks.

    3. It is simple, understandable, logical and repeatable.

    4. It shows a trend, more than a snapshot or a one-time status point.

    5. It is unambiguously defined.

    6. Its data is economical to collect.

    7. The collection, analysis, and reporting of the information is timely, permitting rapid response to
    problems.

    8. The metric provides product and/or process insight and drives the appropriate action(s).

    In summary, for a metric to be effective it must (1) present data that is useful, thus motivating action(s) to be taken, (2) be able to show status over a period of time, (3) support corporate and product goals and objectives (built from strategic and tactical business plans), and (4) be meaningful to the customer.
    John Wolfsberger, Jr.

    An unruffled person with some useful skills.

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    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
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    Default 2.1.3 What a Metric is Not

    1. Metrics are not charts or any other form of display tool, although charts and graphics may display
    the results of a metric.

    2. Metrics are not a team or personnel control tool. Metrics are a process and product control tool. If
    used against team members, fear, short-term reaction, and “gaming” the system become the output.

    3. Metrics are not one-time snapshots or statusing measures. For metrics to be effective, they need to
    be collected and assessed over time.

    4. Metrics are not forever. Different phases of the product lifecycle require different metrics. The team
    has a responsibility to update the metrics set consistent with the critical processes associated with the
    product lifecycle phase.

    5. Metrics are not schedules, though some schedules lead to good metrics.

    6. Metrics are not “counts of activity,” although counts of activity or statistics may be significant. Data
    becomes a useful metric when it is transformed to information or knowledge that can result in action.
    John Wolfsberger, Jr.

    An unruffled person with some useful skills.

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    ....I'll throw this in here from another thread:

    CSIS, 18 May 07: The Uncertain "Metrics" of Afghanistan (and Iraq)
    ...Afghanistan raises the same broad issues regarding what metrics to use in judging progress in Afghanistan that exists in Iraq. Like Iraq, the answers are complex and involve analysis and judgment down to the local level rather than bean counts at the national level:

    Measuring the nature and intensity of the fighting: Counts of the level and type of attack are still useful, particularly if they cover the full range of attacks by type, are broken out at least down to the province level, and are tied to the level of enemy progress or defeat in controlling the countryside. Overt violence, however, is always an uncertain measure of insurgent activity and success....

    “Mapping” control of the population and area: Last year, the Taliban won in terms of population and area even though it lost virtually every tactical encounter. This year, it is still too early to tell, at least from unclassified reporting...

    The governance and services test: A related metric that is critical in armed nation building is to analyze and map whom actually governs where and what services do they provide. In broad terms, in a conflict like this, every area where the government does not actually govern or provide key services at best is vulnerable and often should be counted as lost. This is particularly true in Afghanistan, where central government has always tended to be distant, ineffective and corrupt...

    Aid coverage, aid activity, and actual useful help: This raises a critical failing in both Afghanistan and Iraq: The almost total lack of honest and meaningful metrics and reporting by USAID, the Corps of Engineer, and similar actions by allied countries. Spending has never been a meaningful metric. Neither has reporting on projects completed without breakouts of the level of services provided by region relative to need...

    Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, and Afghan National Auxiliary Police development and presence: There are several different elements involved. As is the case in Iraq, the least important metric is how many people in each service have been trained and equipped. This effort is a vital means to an end, but success consists of having actual forces active in the field. In general, whenever the US government or Coalition authorities issue estimates of the number of people who should be there, this is really a confession of failure...

    The local authority and militia test: That said, the Afghan government is at least 3-5 years away from a mix of governance, military, and police capabilities that can bring authority and security force? Is it really effective? Is it really friendly?...

    Local perceptions: Polls are only one metric, but they are a critical one. If properly conducted, they show local loyalties and concerns. They correct the tendency to assume that enemies like the Taliban do not have strong popular followings in some areas, that NATO military action is not seen as hostile or a threat, and that people support a government that is not active simply because it was elected...

    NATO effort by NATO country by region affected: No set of metrics is more useless in counterinsurgency and nation building than national totals and national averages. This is particularly true in the case of Afghanistan and Iraq, where regional and local differences are critical, and Coalition partners take different approaches to fighting and aid...

    Losing by Winning Metrics: There are several additional areas where the US and NATO need to be far more sensitive to the negative impacts of their own operations and carefully measure such impacts through field reporting, public opinion polls, and other tests that are not linked to those actually planning and lementing such operations...

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default Ask Your MOM (Measures Of Merit)

    Very important thread here. Col. Warden calls them MOM (measures of merit) for some the reasons pointed out here, the Air Force used to call them that before they went off the deep end. Point being you need to choose an indicator that has the highest strategic value, like this one.

    On another thread where we are talking about refugee resettlement ideas. This is one of the most strategic Measure Of Merit that there is. People leaving a country or system are voting on the viability of that country or system with their feet. When you see that happening you don't need to measure much else, but you do need to stop it and if possible reverse it.

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    Default The Media and Metrics

    One of our most important tasks is to get the media focused on honest, intelligent measurements of the course of any insurgency.

    This isn't easy, but there are several things that can be done.

    The first is to understand that reporters and editors in general lack the interest or the training to understand which metrics are important and which aren't. They have a jackdaw mentality towards metrics and the shinier the metric the better. They also concentrate on the metrics that their sources seem to think are important.

    A classic example of this was the media's use of steel prices as an overall indicator of economic health and future inflation from the 40s through the 70s. In the 40s many economists believed that the price of steel was a predictor of growth and inflation in the coming months. It was a nice, easy number so the media latched onto it.

    By the 60s most economists had abandoned steel prices by themselves as a reliable indicator. The economy was more complex, steel was being replaced by aluminum in many products, more of the steel in products was being imported, etc.

    But the change utterly missed the media and steel price increases were a feature of the nightly news at least through the 70s.

    Some indicators are inherently misleading, but they're so important we can never replace them. US casualties is the classic example. As the original article pointed out, casualty figures are a terrible way to measure the progress of a war, but they are so viscerally tied they will always be important.

    Focus on casualties isn't a new phenomenon. In the Civil War, the first 'newspaper war' in American history, Americans were so appalled at the huge casualty numbers being run up that they came close to dumping Lincoln and replacing him with the Democratic 'peace now' candidate -- George McClellan. This was in spite of the fact that it was obvious to any rational observer that the Union was on the verge of completely defeating the South.

    The third problem, of course, is that there are some people who want to use inappropriate metrics because they foster their political goals. The House Democrats were an excellent example this week. You can also expect these people to be highly critical of metrics which don't support their position and to spin them hard -- again, witness the use of the casualty figures by the hard core anti-war types.

    So, given all this, how do we get the media to accept and report better metrics?

    In the first place, the metrics have to be really, provably, better. This won't work as a PR exercise.

    Second, we have to start using the. By 'we', I mean the military and the government sources as well as the non-government sources. We have to use them at every opportunity and be willing to provide a brief explanation of why they are better at the drop of a hat.

    Third, we have to demonstrate why the new metrics are better than the old ones. We have to show, in great detail and with great clarity, why the "price of steel" is either not relevant or too easy to manipulate.

    This is going to take a major educational effort aimed at the media and the public. The media in particular don't like to change their world view -- or the often-inappropriate metrics which underly it.

    Fourth, we have to accept that some metrics, like casualty figures will never go away. Casualty numbers are particularly difficult because denigrating them can be interpreted as denigrating the importance of dead and wounded Americans.

    We can point out that casualty numbers don't provide a measure of who's winning and we can illustrate this with the casualty figures from the Pacific theater in WWII and the Civil War, where casualties peaked just before victory. But we have to be careful in doing so.

    Likewise we can point out that the numbers of Iraqi dead may have been influenced by the fact that more of the victims are being reported as the security system improves.

    Fifth, we have to accept that in a democracy, metrics will always measure progress in a war. Since we can't use lines on a map, we need easy to grasp metrics which can support it.

    Sixth, we can't lie. If our shiny new metrics show that the war is going against us, we have to be honest about that as well.

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Great Advice

    Chiropetra,

    Excellent Post - I am going to print that out, laminate it and use it.

    In the first place, the metrics have to be really, provably, better. This won't work as a PR exercise.

    Second, we have to start using them. By 'we', I mean the military and the government sources as well as the non-government sources. We have to use them at every opportunity and be willing to provide a brief explanation of why they are better at the drop of a hat.

    Third, we have to demonstrate why the new metrics are better than the old ones. We have to show, in great detail and with great clarity, why the "price of steel" is either not relevant or too easy to manipulate.

    This is going to take a major educational effort aimed at the media and the public. The media in particular don't like to change their world view -- or the often-inappropriate metrics which underly it.

    Fourth, we have to accept that some metrics, like casualty figures will never go away. Casualty numbers are particularly difficult because denigrating them can be interpreted as denigrating the importance of dead and wounded Americans.

    We can point out that casualty numbers don't provide a measure of who's winning and we can illustrate this with the casualty figures from the Pacific theater in WWII and the Civil War, where casualties peaked just before victory. But we have to be careful in doing so.

    Likewise we can point out that the numbers of Iraqi dead may have been influenced by the fact that more of the victims are being reported as the security system improves.

    Fifth, we have to accept that in a democracy, metrics will always measure progress in a war. Since we can't use lines on a map, we need easy to grasp metrics which can support it.

    Sixth, we can't lie. If our shiny new metrics show that the war is going against us, we have to be honest about that as well.
    Best Regards, Rob

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    I found that the article failed to address what I would consider the main driver behind the "disconnect" between public assessments and those performed by Crocker and Petraus.

    Metrics are supposed to eliminate bias in reportage and assist in reducing complex context-heavy situations into more manageable chunks. I do not feel that wicked situations like Iraq can be reduced to metrics which can be meaningfully digested without the very same metrics being subject to considerable discussion and analysis - the very situation that the metrics were introduced to combat.

    More succinctly, "metrics" in such situations are generally useless in that they fail to simplify, or if they do simplify they invariably reintroduce bias.

    Another article from the SWJ round-up posited a pertinent answer, in a sense: it questioned where the leaders were that had predicted the current difficulties. When push comes to shove, the various leaders that have been called on for their assessments invariably report on a tough present with several successes, projecting a future that is a long, hard struggle eventually leading to victory. If the metrics are honestly, continually projecting such a case, then perhaps the metrics are not fully capturing the situation?

    Ultimately, you have leadership reporting on metrics of dubious applicability while outside observers have the luxury of measuring, analyzing and weighing progress according to their own biases. Those outside biases may not be the result of several manyears of work but when previous performance measured against those metrics produced inaccurate results its difficult to fault the outsiders for not adhering to the presented metrics.

    The disconnect is that each side is working off of limitations and biases. The fact that one set of biases took a lot more work to produce is meaningless when its predictive performance is demonstrably lacking.

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    Default Metrics can be manipulated

    Communist Russia was famous for its metrics that didn't work. I am afraid that if we give more attention to metrics in Iraq we will see the same effect. For example if tomorrow some bomb killed 50 Americans I wouldn't be surprised if the remainder of the month the number of operations was restricted in order to keep the monthly casualty figures down. Now already the number of casualties seems to be surprisingly stable month by month.

    Personally I prefer to hear a good consistent story of what the US wants in Iraq. The US supports a "democratic" government that seems at least partially to be a marionet of warlord Al Sadr. The tribal policy in the Sunni areas hasn't much support in Baghdad and isn't generalised into a general Sunni policy. So to me the story at the moment seems full of contradictions. The only improvement compared to a year ago is the tribal policy. But on the other side of the balance is a chaotic Iran policy that seems more driven by a desire to beat up yet another country than by a consistent vision.

    For me each contradiction in the story has the risk to become a new battleground.

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    Default Author's response

    I’m glad so many people found my short article engaging enough to discuss. More importantly, I am glad that you’ve put forward so many good thoughts.

    Some responses:

    Seeking to measure insurgencies is seeking to measure intangibles, you’re right. Putting an exact number on concepts as slippery as public allegiance is impossible, as TOM OC and Rob Thornton have noted. But I think we can find a range, and track that range over time to discover trends. After all, we don’t need to know the exact temperature to determine if the weather has grown warmer or cooler, and by what general amount.

    A focus on equity is interesting, TOM OC. I certainly hadn’t thought of it. And, now that I have, I’m convinced it has merit. If citizens view government as an investment, the question is a natural one – what kind of return (output) are they getting for their investment (input)? In other words, is loyalty or allegiance rewarded more than defection?

    I’m not sure what exact metrics could serve as markers for this measure – again TOM and Rob’s problem of intangibles – but it’s worth thinking about. Without a doubt, popular allegiance is one of the most important measures in assessing insurgencies.

    Slapout9 suggested another metric for gauging this measure – refugee tallies. Certainly, when people flee their country, they are signaling their complete lack of faith in the government. But I think this metric has limits, or a cutoff, because it is so binary. In other words, it measures extreme disaffection and not degrees of disaffection. As a result, it may be a good threshold marker, but I don’t think it’s well suited for spotting smaller trends.

    I thought Chiropetra’s points were particularly strong. As Nassim Taleb ruefully notes in his new book “The Black Swan,” reporters have a disconcerting tendency to “cluster” around one framework or approach. Especially in an environment of political pressure (another strong point), weaning the media away from that approach will be very difficult.

    The methodology that follows the five principles I highlighted would be complex. The strategy may have several goals. Each goal will have several measures. And each measure will lean on several metrics. It is an open question whether or not the media will accept something not easily summarized in headline-style declarations.

    Here’s an ethical question: Rather than try to engage the media in a discussion of the complexities and nuance of measures, is it better to decide upon five or ten metrics to promote instead? What if we knew they offered an incomplete view of events?

    Mean_liar brought a different perspective, suggesting that, because metrics have not clarified the situation, they should be discarded. Worse, s/he writes, they have led to factual distortion and bias. And, the last straw, s/he says, is that their “predictive performance is demonstrably lacking.”

    Though I disagree with mean_liar’s assertions, I believe we have more room for agreement than he or she realizes. Current metrics have not clarified the situation in an intellectually honest way. Both political parties have used them selectively, introducing bias. And, indeed, their predictive performance is low.

    But I feel as if I addressed these points in my article. Current metrics have not clarified the situation because no clear analytical framework or methodology has entered the public discourse. This is what allows columnists and politicians to use them as they please, leading to bias. And the metrics I describe were never meant to predict the future, only to measure trends in the present and recent past.

    Flying Carpet issues similar criticism, but touches on one useful point that hinders clear interpretation at a basic level – What should we do about outliers? Do we write off mass-casualty attacks as abnormalities or include them as important influences? Do they deserve special consideration somehow?

    And, last, the CSIS report is very helpful. Thanks much for pointing it out, Jedburgh. To be honest, I’m a little embarrassed that I hadn’t found it before ; )

    I look forward to another good round of discussion. If you’d like to get in touch with me, my email address is jem99 [at] georgetown [dot] edu.

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    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Carpet View Post
    For example if tomorrow some bomb killed 50 Americans I wouldn't be surprised if the remainder of the month the number of operations was restricted in order to keep the monthly casualty figures down. Now already the number of casualties seems to be surprisingly stable month by month.
    That might be the worst hypothesis of the war so far. I've only spent 24 months in theater conducting combat operations, but I've never been ordered to restrict combat operations in order to drive down casualty figures.
    Example is better than precept.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jem99 View Post
    ...
    Here’s an ethical question: Rather than try to engage the media in a discussion of the complexities and nuance of measures, is it better to decide upon five or ten metrics to promote instead? What if we knew they offered an incomplete view of events?
    I think in the sense is it "better" to engage the media and trumpet specific well-discussed metrics is a difficult question to answer. It would probably be better for the sake of promoting the viewpoint of those that generated those metrics - presumably they felt that they were the most pertinent - but then the difficulty is that those metrics must be transparent and robust, a standard that hasn't been reached yet.

    However, identifying a specific set of metrics as the "most important" for such a complex situation that are universally accepted for the purposes of public discourse would be functionally impossible. In practice, reliance on metrics as objective measures of progress or victory would only devolve into the ###-for-tat expositions on opposing facts that currently exist.

    I think your question is overwhelmed by the methods and culture of communication in America. I mean, what is "better"? If the metrics were inconclusive, would it be better to have an official stand of "we don't really know"?

    I would add that any metrics decided on are going to be incomplete, at least if they only number between five and ten.

    Mean_liar brought a different perspective, suggesting that, because metrics have not clarified the situation, they should be discarded. Worse, s/he writes, they have led to factual distortion and bias. And, the last straw, s/he says, is that their “predictive performance is demonstrably lacking.”

    Though I disagree with mean_liar’s assertions, I believe we have more room for agreement than he or she realizes. Current metrics have not clarified the situation in an intellectually honest way. Both political parties have used them selectively, introducing bias. And, indeed, their predictive performance is low.

    But I feel as if I addressed these points in my article. Current metrics have not clarified the situation because no clear analytical framework or methodology has entered the public discourse. This is what allows columnists and politicians to use them as they please, leading to bias. And the metrics I describe were never meant to predict the future, only to measure trends in the present and recent past.
    He.

    I do not believe that, for purposes of contributing to public discourse, the hypothetical columnist is going to analyze at all; they are going to synthesize. Engaging them in a discussion on metrics is a narrow band of communication that they aren't beholden to. Unless there is a chorus of wide-ranging, independent individuals that can collectively create a set of unassailable metrics that gets buy-in and promotion from the majority of competing governmental, military, and academic sectors, any created metrics are ultimately going to be beholden to the whim of the writer and kept or discarded as they decide. Such a golden standard would be digestible enough for mass communication but in such a case you're talking more about the acceptance of the metric more than the standards of the metric itself, and assuming such acceptance and promotion are based solely on the quality of the metric is not a realistic assumption.

    I feel that the disconnect between Crocker+Petraeus and the general media is not a result of the transparency or legitimacy of the metrics, but rather the media's general disinterest in those metrics. To have everyone on the same page is not solely the result of good metrics, but rather the active promotion of those metrics by a body or authority whose bias is negligible and who is trusted by the republic at large. To date, no such congruence has been established and no such effort put forth.

    The first step of such a gold standard body would be the creation of high-quality metrics, but even so the disconnect will remain until that standard is sold to the public in a convincing way without setting off their BS detectors.

    To be succinct: if ignorance of metrics is a problem, it is due more to a lack of commonly-shared vision and values than the quality of those standards.
    Last edited by mean_liar; 09-16-2007 at 03:45 AM.

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    Default Metrics and Assessments

    Gents,
    Speaking from a perspective of some involvement with metrics and assessments in the current fight, I can offer a few observations:

    -Measuring COIN is basically an art (as has been pointed out many times in SWJ). Its not the individual metrics, but the interrelationship of many metrics. We can count and look at many things and the same number will tell different things depending on context and other indicators. Its not as much that some things are good or bad to measure as it is that nothing is useful in isolation.

    -Assessment is like intel. You need to have a collection plan that, in turn requires RESOURCES. You can't just wake up and decide you want to measure something. Also, if its not explicitly tied to the mission (and those ties are understood), you will get resistance from the subordinates you task to collect the information from. "Why should I risk soldiers or take up staff time collecting A,B, or C when I don't see how it applies to winning my fight?"

    -Alot of things that it makes sense to measure can be very hard to measure (at least measure well). This goes especially for economic data in a COIN fight.

    LtCol. Phil Ridderhof USMC
    Assessments Section
    MNF-I Strategy, Plans and Assessment Directorate

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    Default Metrics for domestic COIN too

    I've just found this thread and skimmed it.

    In the UK with the new emphasis on 'Prevent' in our national CT / security strategy up has popped a need for metrics. In particular for counter-radicalisation and preventing violent extremism.

    I am sure law enforcement, maybe intelligence, can think of "bean counts", but as this work involves partners who have never been directly involved, examples local hospitals and schools - it is not easy.

    The only metric I've found in a literature search has been opinion polling of the extent of support for the ideas that support extremism. Hardly easy to "sell" to government, especially as polling can provide suprises.

    Just a few thought from a comfortable armchair.

    davidbfpo

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    Default Afghanistan & Metrics

    (Note copied from a current thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...?t=7128&page=4 )

    Discovered via a Pakistani-American blogsite: http://watandost.blogspot.com/

    A typically detailed paper by Anthony Cordesman on 'The New Metrics of Afghanistan: The Data Needed to Support Shape, Clear, Hold, and Build', which appeared 7th August 2009 (or last month, very confusing): http://csis.org/publication/new-metrics-afghanistan

    CSIS has been tracking the data that are made available by NATO/ISAF, the US, other allied countries, the UN, available for several years. A survey of the key maps, graphics, and other data that are now provided is available on the CSIS web site at :

    http://csis.org/publication/dynamics...-status-reportWhich alas does not take you to anything but prose.

    A review of these data reveals critical problems that call the integrity of most public Western reporting on the Afghan conflict into question. It also shows that clear needs exist for more objective reporting and measures of effectiveness
    I recollect Metrics had it's own thread sometime ago and will copy this there when found.

    davidbfpo
    Last edited by marct; 08-14-2009 at 03:26 AM. Reason: Copied here from a current thread and linked added. ... fixed quote

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    This paper is one of a group that were given in the Special Warfare and Incipient Insurgency Working Groups at the XVIII MORS, held at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center, Ft Bragg, N.C., on 19-21 October 1966.

    Guidelines for Measuring Success in Counterinsurgency
    This study represents an attempt to establish valid guidelines for measuring the progress of the war in South Vietnam as well as in similar situations of insurgency and revolutionary warfare that may arise elsewhere in the future. As far as it is known, this is the first, and it is believed a successful, attempt to spell out a series of steps by which reasoned concusions may be drawn regarding this special kind of situation. Although the war in Vietnam has been used as the primary source of inputs for this study (and many references will be case specific to Vietnam), the level. of generalization extends far beyond the borders of Vietnam. The individual evaluations necessary to apply the guidelines to a specific case will vary widely according to the cultural setting. But the guidelines themselves are generic to insurgency and revolutionary warfare and should be of considerable aid to those faced with the daily task of knowing whether we are winning or losing, and by how much.

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