Page Last Updated: Wednesday, 04 November 2015 13:35 EDT, 2005, 2008

Complex Operational and Organizational Problems

Analysis of GWOT Tools Database

The Excel workbook contains two worksheets. The first is a Tools versus Questions worksheet and the second is a Tools versus Methods worksheet.

Tools vs Questions:

The Tools are grouped by the categories in the database: data, methods, persons, and tools. The Questions represent the needs of the end-users, which should be served by the Tools. I have grouped the Questions by "Know?", "Plan?", "Do?", "Assess?", and "Support?". (I know the commas go inside quotes, but that's stupid here.)

Observing the grand totals for tools that support each question gives the impression that most of the questions are well covered by tools of one sort or another. The obvious exception is the question "What metrics do we need to develop?"

Less obvious, is the lack of coverage in the "Do?" group. Only three items in the database address this group: "Engaging in a War of ideas at home and Abroad," "How do we detect and counter deception?," and "How we identify individual terrorist to kill?" Clearly, there are other actions that are needed in the war on terrorism. Obvious actions, such as various legal operations, are not germane to the Department of Defense. However, there may be other actions that the DoD should be considering. Hence, I have added the question, "How do we define & select other actions?" Some of the tools in the database may support this question; however, other tools may be needed.

The number of tools that are needed to address all of the questions is very large, implying that consolidation, linking, or expansion of existing tools would be helpful.

Tools vs Methods:

The Tools are sorted to group together those tools that use the same methods or at least to get the ones using each method near to each other. I have also grouped the tools into Unknown, Simulation, Influence, Association, Data, Behavior, Language, and Support groups.

The Influence group displays an obvious weakness in its total representation; however, when only dedicated tools are counted, weaknesses show up in simulation and behavior. Perhaps some of the tools with unknown methods actually reinforce some of these groups.

The number of tools that are needed to use all of the methods is very large, implying that consolidation, linking, or expansion of existing tools would be helpful.


Six recommendations can be based on this analysis:


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