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Forecasting The Future Of The Islamic State: An Agent Based Rational Choice Model And Social Network Analysis Approach

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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.Failure to analyze critically the impact and consequences of political decisions increases the prospect for developing military strategies that fail to deliver on U.S. policy objectives, and, at worst, risks defeat. This work provides an applied analytical framework from which political and military analysts can systematically analyze the potential impact of political decisions on military operations. This thesis introduces an expected utility model EUM and social network analysis SNA in a manner that guides analysts from the theoretical assumptions underpinning both tool sets, through their technical specifications, to an applied case study the Islamic State to demonstrate that political analysis and prediction are not only possible but also informative and relevant to the U.S. services. The thesis concludes that while the Islamic State IS caliphate in Iraq is expected to be defeated, it will likely endure as an insurgency. Forecasting the future of the IS caliphate demonstrates that the EUM and SNA remain applied facilitative means to examine, analyze, and extrapolate inferences about policy decisions and their impact on current and future military affairs

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  • Government and Political Science

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