Improving nonlethal targeting: a social network analysis method for military planners
Brown, Jason C.
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Nonlethal strategies are an essential part in the military targeting process to defeat and disrupt terrorist and insurgent networks. The majority of nonlethal options of military power come through Information Operations, including the use of deception. This thesis explores how a deception plan against a terrorist network can be informed and prepared using social network analysis methods. Selecting targets that fragment the network becomes the object of the deception, whereas the actual targets of deception are individuals who are connected to these fragmentation nodes. A simulation of how information diffuses through the network helps identify how rapidly and how far a misinformation message might spread. Social network analysis also shows where intelligence collection might be incorporated to provide feedback about the success of message dissemination and the deception effort.
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