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Thread: Insurgoterrmilitia Ideogangs

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    I don't know if this makes any sense even with the speaker notes but, for discussion or comment, this is a short presentation I'm giving Tuesday at a conference comparing criminal gangs and insurgency.

    Fudge. Lost the attachment.
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 01-27-2008 at 09:01 PM.

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers

    If you guys make this term mainstream, there are a bunch of us that are going to hunt you down and make you say it three times backwards

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Is this kind of antiestablishdestructoterrierism? You know that is defined as stopping the establshment of highly destructive terriers from eating your furniture?
    Sam Liles
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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    The subtitle of the presentation is "Toward a Unified Field Theory of Violent, Sub-National Groups." Still can't figure out how to post the presentation, though

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Depending on the format I can convert most things. If you have it send it to me or conact me via IM.
    Sam Liles
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    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    The subtitle of the presentation is "Toward a Unified Field Theory of Violent, Sub-National Groups."
    ...and how does this help the practitioner? I am very curious how this such a characterisation will aid in their defeat, - which is why the study of such folks is important.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

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    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Talking

    Well - on a humorous note, if we can convince them to all call themselves -Insurgoterrmilitia Ideogangs they'll have a harder time with their IO - unless they are recruiting Mary Poppins

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    Supercalifragotaticexplodocious!!

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    ...and how does this help the practitioner? I am very curious how this such a characterisation will aid in their defeat, - which is why the study of such folks is important.
    The basic theme of the presentation is that we hinder ourselves by building a unitary model based on our most recent experience, and then trying to cram everything into state. For decades we treated every insurgency like it was a reflection of the Viet Cong, and now I'm afraid we're going to approach everyone like it is a variant of the AQ network. I identify ten dimensions of violent, non-state movements:

    formal/complex------------informal/simple
    ideological---------------------nonideological
    self-serving-------------------constituency serving
    homogenous-----------------heterogeneous
    limited goals-----------------revolutionary goals
    tightly bound------------------loosely bound
    non-threatening-------------most threatening
    less violent--------------------more violent
    autonomous-----------------dependent
    linked----------------------------unlinked


    You can use these to build two or three dimensional models which allow greater granularity than the one-size-fits-all approach we currently use.

    The appropriate strategy against such a group depends, in part, on whether we seek to weaken it, moderate it, or crush it. Again, our current strategy (as codified in doctrine) is a one size fits all and that does not serve us well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    The basic theme of the presentation is that we hinder ourselves by building a unitary model based on our most recent experience, and then trying to cram everything into state. For decades we treated every insurgency like it was a reflection of the Viet Cong, and now I'm afraid we're going to approach everyone like it is a variant of the AQ network. I identify ten dimensions of violent, non-state movements:

    formal/complex------------informal/simple
    ideological---------------------nonideological
    self-serving-------------------constituency serving
    homogenous-----------------heterogeneous
    limited goals-----------------revolutionary goals
    tightly bound------------------loosely bound
    non-threatening-------------most threatening
    less violent--------------------more violent
    autonomous-----------------dependent
    linked----------------------------unlinked


    You can use these to build two or three dimensional models which allow greater granularity than the one-size-fits-all approach we currently use.

    The appropriate strategy against such a group depends, in part, on whether we seek to weaken it, moderate it, or crush it. Again, our current strategy (as codified in doctrine) is a one size fits all and that does not serve us well.
    How about flexible...rigid? (Or some other verbiage to express that concept.) Sunni tribes were willing to negotiate. AQI wasn't. That was one of the key factors that allowed us to drive a wedge between them. UBL will never negotiate with the "infidels," but some members of the Taliban are apparently willing to discuss political compromise. The practitioner can probably make use of that difference.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    The basic theme of the presentation is that we hinder ourselves by building a unitary model based on our most recent experience, and then trying to cram everything into state. For decades we treated every insurgency like it was a reflection of the Viet Cong, and now I'm afraid we're going to approach everyone like it is a variant of the AQ network.
    I would agree that a multi-facetted model will be better than a unitary one, but I'm not sure the parameters you use are those that describe an insurgency in a way that someone with a very limited academic background (eg: myself) could use. I may be wrong.

    I look at insurgencies like cars. They are all different shapes and sizes, but you can use certain things to accurately describe them, like colour, engine size, Coupe, saloon etc.

    All insurgencies have weapons, a criminal element, funding, a stated aim which is different from their actual aim etc. Having said that, maybe that is what you are attempting to describe, in which case I am all ears... or eyes.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    I would agree that a multi-facetted model will be better than a unitary one, but I'm not sure the parameters you use are those that describe an insurgency in a way that someone with a very limited academic background (eg: myself) could use. I may be wrong.

    I look at insurgencies like cars. They are all different shapes and sizes, but you can use certain things to accurately describe them, like colour, engine size, Coupe, saloon etc.

    All insurgencies have weapons, a criminal element, funding, a stated aim which is different from their actual aim etc. Having said that, maybe that is what you are attempting to describe, in which case I am all ears... or eyes.

    What I'm suggesting is that part of the problem is our conceptization of insurgency itself. We fall into this logic trap where we first ask "Is this an insurgency?" If the answer is "yes," then we must address it the way that Galula et. al. dealt with Cold War era insurgencies.

    I define "insurgency" as a strategy which may be used by a wide range of organizations. That a group uses a strategy of insurgency tells me something, but not everything I need to know.

    That's why I'm searching for a unified field theory of violent, non-state groups, not just a method of counterinsurgency.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    I define "insurgency" as a strategy which may be used by a wide range of organizations. That a group uses a strategy of insurgency tells me something, but not everything I need to know.

    That's why I'm searching for a unified field theory of violent, non-state groups
    Just a suggestion, but the word "unified" implies that you're trying to show how insurgencies are all the same. (Which may be what WFO picked up on.) Sounds to me like you're really trying "to define the parameters which identify a non state actors strengths and weaknesses" or something like that: much like in a traditional engagement you would identify the enemies troop strength, command and control etc. so you could attack the weakness link, or the center of gravity or whatever.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    The basic theme of the presentation is that we hinder ourselves by building a unitary model based on our most recent experience, and then trying to cram everything into state. For decades we treated every insurgency like it was a reflection of the Viet Cong, and now I'm afraid we're going to approach everyone like it is a variant of the AQ network. I identify ten dimensions of violent, non-state movements:

    formal/complex------------informal/simple
    ideological---------------------nonideological
    self-serving-------------------constituency serving
    homogenous-----------------heterogeneous
    limited goals-----------------revolutionary goals
    tightly bound------------------loosely bound
    non-threatening-------------most threatening
    less violent--------------------more violent
    autonomous-----------------dependent
    linked----------------------------unlinked


    You can use these to build two or three dimensional models which allow greater granularity than the one-size-fits-all approach we currently use.

    The appropriate strategy against such a group depends, in part, on whether we seek to weaken it, moderate it, or crush it. Again, our current strategy (as codified in doctrine) is a one size fits all and that does not serve us well.
    Are these either/or only or continuum's of selection?

    This is my last semester of course work on my doctorate and one of the courses I'm taking is social conflict and law enforcement a sociology course. You all make me feel out my depth, putting a technologist in a sociology course is torture for all involved. I'm sure their will be a war crime investigation soon.

    In any regards.

    The readings from Tilly, Sunstien and others are leading to some interesting conclusions and lack of clarity. On the subject of insurgency and violence in society there are some interesting corollaries between labor unions, civil strife, and war like insurgency. At some point the ideology has a switch thrown and the strife jumps to insurgency (beyond AQ type threats).

    All that to make one point.

    I think you need some more elements like;
    evolutionary......de-evolutionary (coming from within something or destroying it)
    flexible......inflexible (able to adapt to new forces or not)
    Violence prone.......peace prone (Is the group militant and violent by nature or are they leave me alone and let it be?)
    Ruling class..... peon class (Is this a rich elite chaffing under rule or a serf and servant supported which would effect resources and COG)

    Make the whole thing into a Likert 1-10 scale make a spider web graph by collapsing sections onto each other and you'd have a nice graphical representation. I don't know what it would represent but they look really cool in journal articles.
    Sam Liles
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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    Just a suggestion, but the word "unified" implies that you're trying to show how insurgencies are all the same. (Which may be what WFO picked up on.) Sounds to me like you're really trying "to define the parameters which identify a non state actors strengths and weaknesses" or something like that: much like in a traditional engagement you would identify the enemies troop strength, command and control etc. so you could attack the weakness link, or the center of gravity or whatever.
    A unified field theory doesn't posit that all forces are the same. It just allows them to be written in terms of a single field.

    Being able to identify strengths and weaknesses may be one result of a unified field theory should one emerge. It is not necessarily the sole or primary objective in developing one.

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    Are these either/or only or continuum's of selection?

    This is my last semester of course work on my doctorate and one of the courses I'm taking is social conflict and law enforcement a sociology course. You all make me feel out my depth, putting a technologist in a sociology course is torture for all involved. I'm sure their will be a war crime investigation soon.

    In any regards.

    The readings from Tilly, Sunstien and others are leading to some interesting conclusions and lack of clarity. On the subject of insurgency and violence in society there are some interesting corollaries between labor unions, civil strife, and war like insurgency. At some point the ideology has a switch thrown and the strife jumps to insurgency (beyond AQ type threats).

    All that to make one point.

    I think you need some more elements like;
    evolutionary......de-evolutionary (coming from within something or destroying it)
    flexible......inflexible (able to adapt to new forces or not)
    Violence prone.......peace prone (Is the group militant and violent by nature or are they leave me alone and let it be?)
    Ruling class..... peon class (Is this a rich elite chaffing under rule or a serf and servant supported which would effect resources and COG)

    Make the whole thing into a Likert 1-10 scale make a spider web graph by collapsing sections onto each other and you'd have a nice graphical representation. I don't know what it would represent but they look really cool in journal articles.
    Continuua. I'm not sure on the flexibility. I thought the ideological continuum captured that. I had a violence continuum.

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    I understand your point about unified, but using the term in it's academic is confusing to some of laymen. Of course, if you're writing for people who are much smarter than me, you have nothing to worry about.


    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Continuua. I'm not sure on the flexibility. I thought the ideological continuum captured that.
    Take a hypothetical group who believe that God doesn't want "infidels" to live in Area X. Some might be willing to negotiate with the "infidels" others might insist that ethnic cleasning is the only option, but they share the same religious ideology.

    Or take Reagan Democrats. Ideologically they're Democrats, but they are very different from people who'd never vote for a Republican no matter what.
    Last edited by Rank amateur; 01-28-2008 at 03:24 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Steve,

    I think you may be making a couple of logical errors here when you limit your field to "unified field theory of violent, non-state groups,". First, why are you excluding states? At it's core, I *think* (could be wrong ) that you are really looking at developing a theory of group violence, so you should be including both "states" and data/examples from the founding of states. I think that you have internalized the "treason never prospers and here's the reason; for if it does, then none dare call it treason" meme. You can't develop a unified theory for non-state groups without looking at state formation and internal state change.

    The second point comes from not having the presentation . Can you shoot me a copy? Anyway, a unified theory requires fairly strict boundary conditions in a dynamic form - something like Lewin's Field Theory (otherwise you're back at a static taxonomy). I think you are getting towards that with you characteristics, but I have to wonder what sort of equations you are setting up, especially in the group internal processes.

    Marc
    Last edited by marct; 01-28-2008 at 04:54 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    unified theory requires fairly strict boundary conditions in a dynamic form - something like Lewin's Field Theory (otherwise you're back at a static taxonomy).
    Guess I was wrong. Smart people have issues with it too.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    Guess I was wrong. Smart people have issues with it too.
    LOLOL - academics ALWAYS have "issues".
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
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    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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