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Using Profiles in GOSSIP to Examine Concepts Associated with the Afghan National Police in Open Source Media

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Technical memorandum

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The Graphical Overview of the Social and Semantic Interactions of People GOSSIP is a software tool developed by Defence Research and Development Canada Toronto DRDC Toronto. The program is designed to help the operatoranalyst develop a fast and accurate impression of the relationships among entities people, places, organizations discussed in document collections that are too large to read through in a reasonable amount of time. Over the past few years, North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO countries have developed and delivered a training program for Afghan National Police ANP members. The ANP are considered by some to be unprofessional, inept, corrupt, and as having little positive effect on the local populations sense of security in their communities. These qualities of the ANP were explored using GOSSIP by examining an open source media collection prepared for analysts and commanders in Kandahar Airfield KAF. We found that when the ANP was discussed in the media updates provided to Task Force Kandahar TFK commanders, it was very often in a positive way. In particular, discussion about NATO s role in professionalizing the ANP dominated articles about the ANP. We propose that the extent to which the ANP is discussed in positively toned articles might lead the target audience for these articles to have an unduly positive impression of the ANP. GOSSIP is a prototype. It needs to be developed further to allow it to be used as a web-based device on a network. Future work should also enhance the tool by providing it with the ability to scrape information from various sources without the user having to load documents manually.

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  • Computer Programming and Software

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