Implementing Irregular Warfare Policy Using Modeling and Simulation

  • Lofdahl C
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Senior decision makers have few tools available when implementing policy in multidisciplinary domains like Counterinsurgency (COIN) and Irregular Warfare (IW). Modeling and simulation (M&S) is offered as an appropriate analysis methodology for its ability to 1) combine contributions from multiple subject matter experts, 2) generate and analyze complex policy consequences based on various initial conditions, and 3) provide useful results in the presence of pervasive missing data. This paper works through an example irregular warfare simulation problem based on The Quest for Viable Peace (Covey, Dziedzic, and Hawley, 2005) or "QVP" that combines political, economic, security, and rule of law strategies. Though the QVP model was originally formulated based on America's experience in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s, here it is redirected and extended based on current IW concerns in Afghanistan. Used in this way, M&S combines the best aspects of well established and recently published work bolstered by current experience and expertise. It does this first by reviewing some small System Dynamics (SD) simulations, second by reviewing the QVP economic model, and third by developing the phenomenology of IW using the SD reference mode. This inquiry shows that neither security nor development alone is sufficient to address IW, instead both must be provided in a coordinated manner. For senior policy and decision makers, M&S provides a way to structure hard problems, combine the contributions of multiple relevant experts, and learn more effectively about the consequences of potential policies and applications of national power in complex IW domains.

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  • Corey Lofdahl

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