Saturday, May 15, 2010

Predictive Analysis and Death From Above

The way predictive analysis works is quite simple. With more data (from the vidcams, electronic eavesdropping and informants on the ground) it's possible to create a model (or simulation) of what terrorist activity on the ground looks like. Thus, if the CIA analysts see certain patterns of actions on the ground, they can accurately predict where the Islamic terrorists are, what they doing and, often, exactly who (like a key Taliban or al Qaeda operative) is down there. At that point, the Hellfire missiles are applied. The track record of the accuracy of these predictions has been striking. Few civilians have been attacked, nearly all the targets have been, as the predictive analysis indicated, terrorists.

A key factor in making all this work was the U.S. government changing its policy, in the last two years, of only attacking terrorists on a list (of up to 500) of named individuals. Predictive analysis cannot always guarantee that a target will be a specific individual, but it can, with near certainty, indicate that the target is an Islamic terrorist. It all began back in the 1970s, when some CIA analysts discovered a new way to analyze the mountains of information they were receiving. The new tool was predictive analysis. What does this do for intelligence analysts? Predictive analysis was the result of a fortuitous combination of OR (Operations Research), large amounts of data and more powerful computers. OR is one the major (and generally unheralded) scientific developments of the early 20th century.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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