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Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Threat Modeling and Assessment for Low Intensity Conflict

A war, statistically speaking, is a rare event. It is also an exceedingly costly and disruptive form of interaction between people and states. A war indicates that level of bilateral relationship between two states, which exists from the time first mobilization of troops, is called for against the other side till peace is reached. This view of war implying only active armed conflict however is a restrictive definition. Here it is assumed that war/conflict is in operation, from the moment a state decides upon a policy of armed resistance or inclination to counter an external/ internal threat with military ramifications, to the time the solution of the active threat is achieved or it is made dormant.  Modern day wars have been defined at three levels of increasing intensity though not necessarily increasing complexity and duration (See Fig. 1). At the first level is the most prevalent form of warfare, i.e., Low Intensity Conflict (LIC). The LIC is defined as a conflict between irregular forces, mercenaries, revolutionaries, terrorists, etc., and the regular, conventional armed forces of a nation. The biggest challenge facing the conventionally armed forces of a nation, which are trained and equipped for fighting against the conventionally armed forces of the enemy, is to deal with LIC. The Mid Intensity Conflict (MIC) is the conventional warfare that is indoctrinated in the regular armed forces of the world. With the advent of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), the chances of High Intensity Conflict (HIC), which is defined as a conflict involving WMDs, are increasing. As is evident from Fig 1 the probability of occurrence of a LIC is high and also the duration of such conflicts is more. This is due to the fact that LIC is a continuous process, which the armed forces all over the world have found hard to contain. The probability of WMD based HIC is low compared to LIC/MIC. However, a threat which this spectrum misses out is the possibility that, WMDs may fall in the hands of irregulars engaged in an LIC. This will bring the conflict to HIC levels, where the nation fighting the insurgents or irregulars will suffer. Therefore, the armed forces of a modern nation need equipment, force structure and doctrine to deal with threats at all three levels of intensity. Threat assessment is a major pre-requisite in all three conflict levels.

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