Isolating Terrorist Cells as a Security Countermeasure
It's better to try to isolate parts of a terrorist network than to attempt to destroy it as a whole, at least according to this model:
Vos Fellman explains how terrorist networks are "typical of the structures encountered in the study of conflict, in that they possess multiple, irreducible levels of complexity and ambiguity."
"This complexity is compounded by the covert activities of terrorist networks where key elements may remain hidden for extended periods of time and the network itself is dynamic," adds Vos Fellman, an expert in mathematical modeling and strategy. The nature of a dynamic network is akin to the robust Internet but contrasts starkly with the structure of the armed forces or homeland security systems, which tend to be centralized and hierarchical.
Vos Fellman has used network analysis, agent-based simulation, and dynamic NK Boolean fitness landscapes to try and understand the complexities of terrorist networks. In particular, he has focused on how long-term operational and strategic planning might be undertaken so that tactics which appear to offer immediate impact are avoided if they cause little long-term damage to the terrorist network.
Vos Fellman's computer simulations of terrorist networks suggest that isolation rather than removal could be the key to successfully defeating them.
Posted on September 27, 2010 at 12:00 PM • 35 Comments