Saturday, April 14, 2007

RAND Unveils "Cognitive COIN"

Sailors on the Nimitz before she sailed a week or so ago to relieve the Eisenhower in the Persian Gulf and join the Stennis carrier group.

The team at RAND have come up with a document of hope, for those, like myself, waiting for something like this for a long time from those close to the government channels.

They have given the "war of ideas" a spiffy new name, "Cognitive COIN".

But, they have gone further. They've actually outlined organizational steps. The bad news is that this comes late in the game, without an appreciation about whether prior mis-steps are reversible or not. Also, it doesn't convey urgency in strong tones and topics like "training" rather than "crash training" make it frustrating, although such phrases are invariably bureaucratic-attractive.

I highly recommend reading at least the summary. Money quote:

The four cognitive abilities that are most important to COIN operations are anticipation, opportunism, decision speed, and learning in action, applied through rapid-adaptive decision making. In 21st-century COIN, tight control and bureaucracy must yield to the power of networked intelligence, with each operative authorized to act, react, and adapt. With these notions as a backdrop, this paper offers concrete ideas for gaining the cognitive advantage in anticipating and countering the new global insurgency.

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