Analysing Terrorism from a Systems Thinking Perspective

 

Lukas Schoenenberger, Andrea Schenker-Wicki, Mathias Beck

Abstract

Given the complexity of terrorism, solutions based on single factors are destined to fail. Systems thinking offers various tools for helping researchers and policy makers comprehend terrorism in its entirety. We have developed a semi-quantitative systems thinking approach for characterising relationships between variables critical to terrorism and their impact on the system as a whole. For a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying terrorism, we present a 16-variable model characterising the critical components of terrorism and perform a series of highly focused analyses. We show how to determine which variables are best suited for government intervention, describing in detail their effects on the key variable—the political influence of a terrorist network. We also offer insights into how to elicit variables that destabilise and ultimately break down these networks. Because we clarify our novel approach with fictional data, the primary importance of this paper lies in the new framework for reasoning that it provides.

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Matrix

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The active sum (AS in the last column on the right), is the sum of all of the direct influences (outgoing flows) that can be attributed to a certain variable, i.e., the sum of the values in the row of a single variable. The active sum thus indicates how strongly this variable affects or dominates the system, with a high active sum indicating great influence. The passive sum (PS second to last column) is the sum of all of the incoming flows and indicates how strongly the system affects or dominates a variable. To calculate the incoming and outgoing flows, one can take only the absolute values into account.

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Ukrainian Authorities plan to Attract `US Private Military Company Greystone ‘ according to the Ukrainian Secret Service ‘

#AceWorldNews – DNEPROPETROVSK – March 25 – Ukrainian authorities plan to attract US private military company Greystone Limited to suppress protest moods of the mostly Russian-speaking population in the east of the country.

According to Ukrainian Security Service, mercenaries will be engaged in political search and protection of state security over inability of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies to curb on leaders and activists of pro-Russian movement independently.

This initiative was put forward by oligarchs Ihor Kolomoyskyi, a co-owner of Ukraine’s PrivatBank, and Serhiy Taruta, head of the industrial union of Donbass, a coal basin in eastern Ukraine, as these business tycoons were appointed as governors in central Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk region and eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, respectively.

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The weekly briefing, 3 February 2014

 

Source: Intelligence unit– http://www.openbriefing.org/

Published: 3 February 2014

Filed: 3 February 2014

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Africa: Renamo adopts a more flexible approach to dialogue in Mozambique.

Americas: ICJ ruling on maritime border dispute gives symbolic victory to Peru over Chile.

Asia and Pacific: Philippine peace deal is marred by offensive against Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Europe: Ukrainian government grants concessions to the opposition as international outcry grows.

Middle East: Violent clashes continue in the north and south of Yemen.

Polar regions: Shell calls off Arctic oil exploration.

Africa

Renamo adopts a more flexible approach to dialogue in Mozambique

On 31 January, the spokesman for the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), Fernando Mazanga, indicated that the demand for parity with the incumbent Fremilo party – which came from the December 2012 electoral reforms – may no longer prove a prominent sticking point for further dialogue on the National Election Commission. The announcement marks a move towards a more flexible engagement in the negotiation process, following the recent Renamo party boycotting of negotiations with delegates of the government.

Continue reading

The weekly briefing, 3 February 2014

Source: Intelligence unit– http://www.openbriefing.org/

Published: 3 February 2014

Filed: 3 February 2014

img29498

Africa: Renamo adopts a more flexible approach to dialogue in Mozambique.

Americas: ICJ ruling on maritime border dispute gives symbolic victory to Peru over Chile.

Asia and Pacific: Philippine peace deal is marred by offensive against Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Europe: Ukrainian government grants concessions to the opposition as international outcry grows.

Middle East: Violent clashes continue in the north and south of Yemen.

Polar regions: Shell calls off Arctic oil exploration.

Africa

Renamo adopts a more flexible approach to dialogue in Mozambique

On 31 January, the spokesman for the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), Fernando Mazanga, indicated that the demand for parity with the incumbent Fremilo party – which came from the December 2012 electoral reforms – may no longer prove a prominent sticking point for further dialogue on the National Election Commission. The announcement marks a move towards a more flexible engagement in the negotiation process, following the recent Renamo party boycotting of negotiations with delegates of the government.

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Shin Bet report: terror increase originating from West Bank

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Israeli soldiers on patrol in the West Bank city of Hebron, Sept. 23, 2013. (photo by Getty Images/Mamoun Wazwaz)

Israel’s Shin Bet is summing up 2013. The General Security Service, which is charged with preventing terrorist attacks in the country, released on Jan. 27 a detailed report covering 2013. The main data of this annual report points to a significant rise in terrorist attacks as compared to 2012. The number of attacks doubled in that time, from 578 in 2012 to 1,271 in 2013.

Summary⎙ Print The 2013 Shin Bet report indicates a rise in terror activities originating in the West Bank, attributed partly to the resignation of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and the weakening of Fatah security mechanisms.

Author Shlomi Eldar Posted February 2, 2014

Translator(s)Danny Wool

According to the Shin Bet’s data, there was a drop in the number of casualties from terrorist attacks, with six in 2013, as compared to 10 in 2012. However, two reservations should be considered when making that comparison. The first is that in 2013, five Israelis were killed in attacks launched from the West Bank, as compared to zero in 2012. Furthermore, among the Israeli casualties listed by the Shin Bet for 2012 are the six soldiers who were killed in Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip.

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The Fragile Process for Engaging Iran

 

An enlargeable relief map of Syria

An enlargeable relief map of Syria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

The diplomatic fracas over inviting and disinviting Iran to the Syrian peace talks only makes sense if you factor in President Obama’s fragile consensus for engaging Iran over its nuclear program – while influential neocons keep pressing for confrontation. That mix has made for a messy process on Syria, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

By Paul R. Pillar

The handling of the issue of Iranian participation in the next round of multilateral discussions on the civil war in Syria has been something of an embarrassment — certainly for the United States, the United Nations, and the conglomeration known as the Syrian opposition.

The United States has seemed to be more interested in words rather than in substance in the demands it has been placing on Iran.

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NSA says illegal data collection was caused by too complex tech

Posted on 12 September 2013.

image NSA‘s repeated claims about having its surveillance apparatus under control have taken another hit after the agency has been legally forced to publish a huge batch of previously classified documents.
Among other things, one of the documents showed that the NSA "had improperly queried the bulk telephony metadata by using an automated ‘alert list’ process that resulted in the use of selectors that had not been individually reviewed and determined to meet he required reasonable articulable suspicion standard."
As it turns out, in those three years the agency ended up monitoring some 17,835 phone accounts, when only 1,935 of these had met that standard.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper dubbed this as "compliance incidents", which "stemmed in large part from the complexity of the technology employed in connection with the bulk telephony metadata collection program, interaction of that technology with other NSA systems, and a lack of a shared understanding among various NSA components about how certain aspects of the complex architecture supporting the program functioned. "

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