Accession Number : ADA560991


Title :   Embracing the Fog of War: Assessment and Metrics in Counterinsurgency


Descriptive Note : Monograph


Corporate Author : RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA


Personal Author(s) : Connable, Ben


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a560991.pdf


Report Date : Jan 2012


Pagination or Media Count : 343


Abstract : This monograph examines the U.S. military assessment process for counterinsurgency (COIN) campaigns. It focuses on the methods employed to develop and present to policymakers theater-level assessments of ongoing campaigns. The monograph captures the complexity of the COIN operational environment, examines case studies of COIN assessment in context (i.e., Vietnam War and Enduring Freedom Operation) explores critical weaknesses in the current assessment process, and offers recommendations for improvement. The U.S. military has taken two broad approaches to assessing the progress of COIN campaigns. The first approach -- effects-based assessment (EBA) -- attempts to pinpoint and quantify events on the ground to produce centralized and highly accurate reports. The second approach -- pattern and trend analysis -- uses centralized quantitative analysis to produce a more-or-less impressionistic or, in some cases, deterministic understanding of campaign momentum. Both these approaches are centralized and rely to a great degree on quantitative measurement. In practice, the military has relied on an ad hoc approach to COIN assessment that lies somewhere between EBA and pattern and trend analysis. Neither of these two centralized assessment methods is practical for COIN because, according to U.S. military doctrine, COIN is best practiced as a decentralized type of warfare predicated on mission command. Decentralization and mission command necessitate a loosely structured, localized approach to prosecuting war. It would be difficult (if not impossible) to develop a practical, centralized model for COIN assessment because complex COIN environments cannot be clearly interpreted through a centralized process that removes data from their salient local context. This monograph examines and critiques EBA and pattern and trend analysis in an effort to explain why policymakers and the public tend to be dissatisfied with U.S. military assessments of COIN campaigns.


Descriptors :   *CENTRALIZED , *COUNTERINSURGENCY , *DECENTRALIZATION , *MEASURES OF EFFECTIVENESS , *METHODOLOGY , *METRICS , AFGHANISTAN CONFLICT , CASE STUDIES , CASUALTIES , DECISION MAKING , MILITARY COMMANDERS , MILITARY DOCTRINE , PATTERNS , POLICIES , QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS , QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS , STANDARDS , THEATER LEVEL OPERATIONS , THEORY , TIME SERIES ANALYSIS , VIETNAM WAR


Subject Categories : Humanities and History
      Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
      Unconventional Warfare


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE