The Situation

Counterinsurgency (COIN) combines security, governance, and development operations. While the US military is excellent at conducting short-term, security and tactical operations, they sought assistance in understanding and implemening long-term and strategic governance and development portions of COIN through Village Stability Operations (VSO) and Afghan Local Police (ALP) in Afghanistan. For this expertise, the Special Operation Command in Kabul, Afghanistan invited a Senior Scientist at Charles River Analytics, Dr. Corey Lofdahl, to deploy and work in the Commander’s Issues Group (CIG), to bring to bear his previous experience integrating security, governance, and development lines of effort with computer-based modeling and simulation (M&S) tools for DARPA.

The Charles River Analytics Solution

Dr. Lofdahl deployed to Kabul for six months to contribute his experience and analysis capabilities with M&S and computational statistics tools. He led two major studies: the first was a quantitative and regional analysis on the implementation of ALP; and the second was an analysis on the envisioned contributions of Special Operations forces to the 2014 elections. Dr. Lofdahl contributed to a range of smaller-scale studies as well, including attending a VSO/ALP validation shura or meeting between national and local Afghan leaders in the Paktika province next to Pakistan.

The Benefit

Charles River Analytics was granted a rare opportunity to apply its computer-based quantitative analysis skills and tools in an applied and operational environmental, and the senior leadership greatly valued the insights provided by Dr. Lofdahl’s unique analytic capabilities. Upon returning, Dr. Lofdahl has shared experiences and insights with his colleagues that give a sense of the conditions under which Charles River’s studies and solutions are used. These insights in turn inform our studies and solutions, increase their operational realism, and improve their utility for our ultimate customers, deployed military personnel in the field.