Over the last 15 years, the U.S. military has increasingly been called upon to face complex operational environments (OE) and diverse enemies. Such complex OEs require the actions of U.S. forces and host-nation or coalition partners to be based on a common holistic understanding of the OE (e.g., governments, population groups, security forces, and violent non-state actors) and, in particular, the causal dynamics that can manifest as unanticipated and often counter-intuitive outcomes. While a range of modeling and simulation tools exist within military commands, most are special-purpose and extensive time and effort are often required to configure and use these tools. Existing tools are also heavily dependent on databases with no automated mechanism for keeping them current. These tools are not generally suitable for use directly by operational planners as they require expert modelers to assemble, configure, run, and interpret the outputs.
Causal Exploration seeks to develop a modeling platform to aid military planners in understanding and addressing underlying causal factors that drive complex conflict situations. The technologies embodied in the Causal Exploration platform will enable users to rapidly create, maintain, and interact with a causal model that has been tailored for the operational environment they are facing. Interaction with the model will allow users to explore the causal dynamics driving the conflict, and gain in-depth understanding of the operational environment to support and inform their planning efforts. While this capability will have broad applicability, the program will focus on hybrid or irregular conflicts, which are dominated by complex human dynamics with intertwining political, territorial, economic, ethnic, and/or religious tensions.
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