Targeting Social Network Analysis in Counter IED Operations
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The purpose of this research is to provide insights to Commanders in the field for attack-the-network (AtN) operations in the fight against Improved Explosive Devices (IED). Established in 2006, the Improved Explosive Devices Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) has spent billions of dollars to execute its operational mandate: defeat the device, attack the network, and train the force. JIEDDO has excelled in training the force and defeating the device, but lagged behind in providing necessary information to facilitate attack-the-network operations. To facilitate AtN operations, JIEDDO created a Counter-IED Operation Integration Center (COIC), which provides analysis, but utilizes metrics that are not necessarily intuitive. Rather than metrics, what commanders need is a clear understanding of what attack the network means in order to create lines of operations that undermine networks that use IEDs. The goal of this thesis, therefore, is to define attack-the-network, introduce social network analysis, provide a focused discussion on how to apply social relational information to operations, determine a targeted person's relevance, provide operational commanders with a basic matrix to gain perspective on social interactions of network members, and offer case studies illuminating the difficulties inherent in network targeting.
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