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Thread: OODA vs. SARA

  1. #1
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default OODA vs. SARA

    The folks at DNI just published a 4GW/COIN manual for Military/Police Operations. The OODA Loop is replaced with the POP (Problem Oriented Police) Loop of SARA (Scanning,Analysis,Response,Assessment). Not a bad idea.

    http://www.d-n-i.net/fcs/pdf/fmfm_1-3a_police.pdf

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    Council Member Mark O'Neill's Avatar
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    Default A fundamental problem might be

    that COIN is a reality but 4GW is 'bunk'. I query the utility of publications that counter an unvalidated theoretical construct rather than a reality.

    I have noticed a trend amongst many contemporary authors in our area of interest that they detract from their efforts when they lean too far forward in their eagerness to appear 'cutting edge'. In this case, the introduction of the term '4GW' adds little except a downside.

    Cheers

    Mark

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default What Mark said, plus

    I thought POP stood for the most common crime resulting in bumping one's head when being put in the back seat of the cruiser, Pi$$!ng Off Police? More arrests for that than any other crime in the US...

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    Council Member Juan Rico's Avatar
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    Default send in the ambulance chasers!

    a good reverse-engineering of law enforcement principles to military matters, they touched on lapd's rampart alvarado corridor project but missed to mention that the most integral part of this project was the gang injunction portion which has to do more with the city attorney's office, the district attorney, the courts, ACLU and defense lawyers doing what they do best. standing up a solid criminal justice system (or as good as it can be) is the end game. any coin/policing analogy will not be complete without the lawyers.

    a short piece from the naval post grad, monterey:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0729/p09s02-coop.html
    How are we doing in Iraq? To help answer this question, the United States government came up with 18 benchmarks for progress. For me, 18 are just too many. I favor the "KISS" principle: keep it simple, stupid. So I propose one simple benchmark to replace them all: the number of Iraqi lawyers and the lawsuits they file.
    لا أريد لأحد أن يسكت عن الخطأ أو أن يتستر عن العيوب والنواقص‏‏‏‏
    حافظ الأسد

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    I strongly suspect that this a Bill Lind lead publication. FMFM-1a was, so this seems to be the same beast. Like FMFM-1a, I'll most probably just not get it. I'll give it a read anyhow...
    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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    I read it. For the most part I liked it. I didn't agree with everything, of course, but it made some good points: like the reminders not to alienate the community. We all know that, of course, but it's always worth repeating.

    It also stated the belief that in COIN (and in policing?) the center of gravity is not the enemy but the people. Maybe I've always sort of thought along those lines in policing but never really seen it articulated as a "center of gravity" before.

    I understand the initial skepticism because of Lind's involvement, but look at it this way: if it makes some good points, then it makes some good points whether Lind wrote it or not; if it's worthless, then it's worthless even if Clausewitz wrote it. Just evaluate it on it's own merits, even if the author has written other things that you disagree with.

    It doesn't matter what those acronyms are, though. I can never remember them when I need to.
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rifleman View Post

    I understand the initial skepticism because of Lind's involvement, but look at it this way: if it makes some good points, then it makes some good points whether Lind wrote it or not; if it's worthless, then it's worthless even if Clausewitz wrote it. Just evaluate it on it's own merits, even if the author has written other things that you disagree with.
    I am in no way a sceptic because of Lind. Bill and I have thrashed out our differences face to face and I have to congratulate the man of his ability to influence people. I'm just not one of them!

    ...and Carl V C, did say some things that are not useful, and I am actually a Centre of Gravity sceptic! What is a CoG? The German translation, says "heavy point". Is that CoG?

    Simpkin's writing got me to reject physics as a useful analogy for military operations, so I'd have to read that through to CvC as well.
    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

  8. #8
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Odd I say

    This is an odd paper and cites policing traditions that are para-military (RUC, LAPD and Central America) rather than civilian policing.

    Whatever the successes of the RUC in Northern Ireland, alongside a substantial British Army and a locally recruited unit (Ulster Defence Regiment), the political violence / terrorism from both sides of the community was contained and kept an "acceptable" level. Not defeated. Community involvement in CT policing was minute; yes, there was information from the community (alas little in the public domain, except about confidential hotlines like Crime Stoppers).

    Relations with the community will provide context and sometimes details of criminal activity that can be exploited by the police. Informants will provide details and rarely context. There are those from CT policing in the UK who advocate that the emphasis on informants is mis-placed and far more needs to be done with the community.

    Ironically the use of informants in the UK appears to have actually declined, becoming a far more centralised, specialised role (with pro's and con's). A few years ago one experienced informant handler advocated that their sources stop talking with the police and use the far more confidential, anonymous Crime Stoppers (which can pay well).

    Perhaps more comments another time.

    davidbfpo

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    the political violence / terrorism from both sides of the community was contained and kept an "acceptable" level. Not defeated.
    but didn't this containment, lead to the PIRA wishing to cease the armed struggle? Is that not defeat, in all but name. I don't remember the British Army offering to give up an armed presence.
    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

  10. #10
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    but didn't this containment, lead to the PIRA wishing to cease the armed struggle? Is that not defeat, in all but name. I don't remember the British Army offering to give up an armed presence.
    Wilf,

    Yes, PIRA came to negoitate and a settlement followed. History alas shows that a United Ireland remains the goal of many Irish Republicans and PIRA already has a "hard core" militant rival, the Real IRA etc. Secondly I am not sure that PIRA were defeated, just delayed.

    davidbfpo

  11. #11
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    In my networking security course for my graduate students I've added a "knowledge centric decision making" module. Lots of Information Technology decisions get made based on a heuristic decision cycle rather than a more informed data model. I've put some Boyd OODA, some traffic safety (S)IPDE, and was thinking about grand systems like EBO or other. I hadn't thought about Slapout based warfare but it is perfectly valid.

    Slap I know you're no fan of COPS but how does it differ from POP? Are they using any of the GIS stuff for POP? I'm wondering what the data inputs are for making decisions are they holistic in nature or primarily observational or something else.
    Sam Liles
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  12. #12
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    In my networking security course for my graduate students I've added a "knowledge centric decision making" module. Lots of Information Technology decisions get made based on a heuristic decision cycle rather than a more informed data model. I've put some Boyd OODA, some traffic safety (S)IPDE, and was thinking about grand systems like EBO or other. I hadn't thought about Slapout based warfare but it is perfectly valid.

    Slap I know you're no fan of COPS but how does it differ from POP? Are they using any of the GIS stuff for POP? I'm wondering what the data inputs are for making decisions are they holistic in nature or primarily observational or something else.

    1-POP is more focused. It applies specif resources to specific problems.

    2-In my experience police work it is more legal procedure oriented than anything for obvious reasons. That is why alot of good ideas do not go anywhere because we wait for the courts to rule on is it legal or not

    3-Many answers to crime cannot be solved by the police, it takes other agencies to get at root causes.

  13. #13
    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Not sure if I agree with the underlying premise of the comparability of insurgencies and criminal factions. The article cites the similarities as "the fragmentation of these states, the urbanized nature of the current conflict, networking, mobilization, and patterns of violence". Summed up, the "center of gravity is not with the enemy, but with the people." But these are simply general causes or tactics, which may be applicable in different or similar situations according to intention -- which is what I think the article misses entirely.

    Insurgencies (which for clarity's sake I'll define as irregular armed factions) aim to accomplish some political object. Illicit economic activity is purposeful only to the extent that it finances the campaign. In contrast, criminal factions, at whatever level, aim to profit. If a criminal faction seeks political power, such as the case with Pablo Escobar, it's in order to protect its economic interest. I would venture to suggest that insurgencies are active and criminal factions passive or reactionary in the context of politics and subsequently conflict. Because the intentions are different, the incentives are different, and consequently effective counter-strategies must be different (assuming, of course, that the intent is to defeat the opposing organization). So even if both kinds of organizations use similar tactics, or may be empowered by similar conditions, it by no means suggests that a counter-strategy to one is applicable to the other. So -- yes -- a police officer in LA is effective by having a positive impact on the community (but I would dispute that effectiveness is applicable only to street gangs, not particularly organized crime). But that's because the relationship between the object and the risk (read: death) is different for a criminal than an insurgent. No successful criminal ever reached his goal by dying.

    On that basis I dispute the idea that "the people" (a term that is made irrelevant by its vagueness) constitute the center of gravity. If they did, the obvious strategy would be to break the will of the people by reducing them to submission. But that already contradicts the original premise because it demands the use of force against the people, not to preserve them as the author(s?) suggest. So -- no -- "the people" are not some magic bullet insurgency-killer. The British supposedly had the support of a full third of the American population in the Revolution, and another third were not particularly concered with the conflict at all. Two-thirds of "the people" is not enough? And if the counter-argument is to be "The British didn't talk to the right people", then I would suggest the British would never have won because the "right people" are the ones taking up arms against them in the first place.

    So my greatest criticism of the article is that the fundamental object in war is to destroy the will and capabilities of the enemy. That's because the enemy seeks a positive political object which it will continue to pursue. "The people", and therefore the article's suggestions, may or may not be relevant depending on how the political object defines the circumstances. Not sure how much popular support the British had in the last phase of the Second Boer War, or Sherman had in his burning of Georgia, but they certainly succeeded using tactics which negatively impacted "the people".

    Perhaps the lesson then is that a counter-strategy aimed at capabilities rather than the will is generally more effective.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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    Council Member bismark17's Avatar
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    There are a lot of problems with trying to apply "lessons learned" from our Domestic Policing realm to operations in Foreign Countries. A lot of our internal policing successes can be truly attributed more to turning loose our committed operators so that they can develop good cases and then having the Prosecutor's Office being forced to actually file and try them and not just allow the suspects to plea bargain to lesser crimes.

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    Default A Lawyer's View

    I've read a lot of Lind, some Boyd and even John Robb - a scary thought, that I've read them.

    This manual seems not one of Lind's finer efforts in places - "one riot, one ranger" (pp.11-12) - is he serious or just doing some chain yanking ?

    One can agree with this (whether applicable to a cop, a prosecutor; or, for that matter, anyone):

    (p.12)
    A police officer’s success and survival depend upon his emotional intelligence: “1) emotional self-awareness, 2) independence, 3) interpersonal relationships, 4) empathy, 5) stress tolerance, 6) impulse control, 7) flexibility, [and] 8) problem solving....”
    But, why does that need to be an area of special traning for COIN. The eight traits sound like a basic profile for a Marine or soldier in any environment.

    Perhaps, because Lind also says (just before that):

    The traits of ruthlessness and violence which are desired in a Marine ...
    That gave me a little pause - what does ruthless mean and whence from (Old English) - so, "without pity or compassion; cruel, pitiless." Is that a good thing ?

    There are some situations that demand violence. More so for the Marine or soldier; less so for the police officer, but self-defense and defense of others do happen.

    We lawyers (whether prosecutors or public defenders) generally can duck that issue - although, tell that to an acquaintance who, from his bench, had to take someone out, so as to stop a bad situation in his courtroom.

    No doubt some criminal justice concepts (note that I am approaching that as a fusiion of law enforcement and the judicial system, since both need each other) can be useful in COIN. I suspect they are more of the Slap species than of the Lind species.

    As a brief note, OODA has no use to me because I am too dumb to remember whether I should orient and observe, or observe and orient. I do believe in something of a DADA loop (data, analyze, decide, act) for law - which looks something like SARA.

    PS - Slap. The solution to the following would require some legislative and judicial co-operation:

    That is why alot of good ideas do not go anywhere because we wait for the courts to rule on is it legal or not.
    A solution would be to develop a fast-track declaratory judgment procedure on law enforcement programs. The program is kicked around by law enforcement - I suppose, in MI, Michigan State Police could be the clearing house (we don't need another agency). When completed, the program would then be submitted to the courts for review of compliance with legislative and constitutional requirements. That decision would then govern all future cases involving the program.

  16. #16
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    PS - Slap. The solution to the following would require some legislative and judicial co-operation:
    A solution would be to develop a fast-track declaratory judgment procedure on law enforcement programs. The program is kicked around by law enforcement - I suppose, in MI, Michigan State Police could be the clearing house (we don't need another agency). When completed, the program would then be submitted to the courts for review of compliance with legislative and constitutional requirements. That decision would then govern all future cases involving the program.
    Agree 100%, a process like you describe should have been in place years ago.

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    Also remember that Marines at Quantico helped write the manual. Not fully a Lind publication.
    "Speak English! said the Eaglet. "I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and what's more, I don't believe you do either!"

    The Eaglet from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland

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