Error-avoidance theory: sniper employment for military and civilian law enforcement
Roberts, Joshua D.
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Sniper operations are high risk, high reward missions with unique traits and distinctive capabilities often resulting in great success or punishing failure. Within nearly all conceptions of sniper operations there is a perceived difference between civilian and military sniper engagements. This thesis presents an error-avoidance theory for guiding successful sniper operations across both domains. Inside sniper operations there are two critical errors that need to be avoided. These errors are defined as Type 1 and Type 2 errors. Type 1 errors are those that result in the death of an innocent individual. Type 2 errors occur when the targeted individual escapes the situation and the mission objective is not met, and thus the threat or potential threat remains active. Naturally, the goal is to avoid both errors. However, the rules of engagement established for any mission must, by necessity, privilege the avoidance of one error type over the other. The evaluation of three critical variablesoperational environment, political and social context, and the stakes or risk in the situationshould prioritize which error to avoid. This thesis thereby establishes a theoretical framework that can be universally employed to establish rules of engagement by all those who use the sniper tactic, for both civilian and military operations.
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