Report

Pattern in Escalations in Insurgent and Terrorist Activity

Science  01 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6038, pp. 81-84
DOI: 10.1126/science.1205068

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Abstract

In military planning, it is important to be able to estimate not only the number of fatalities but how often attacks that result in fatalities will take place. We uncovered a simple dynamical pattern that may be used to estimate the escalation rate and timing of fatal attacks. The time difference between fatal attacks by insurgent groups within individual provinces in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and by terrorist groups operating worldwide, gives a potent indicator of the later pace of lethal activity.

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