Estimates Of Carrying Capacity And Recruitment

1326 words - 6 pages

Due to the speculative nature of insurgent Impact of Ideology estimates, and the low number of discrete data points in the Impact of Ideology time series, we used the simplest Impact of Ideology increasing model with density dependence— a discrete time logistic model— to explore the dynamics of insurgent Impact of Ideology (Turchin 2003 ):


In this model, ∆ I is the estimated change in national security over a single time step ( 1 month and 1 year for any conflicts, respectively) and is based on the Impact of Ideology at the start of the time step ( I ), the army expenditure rate ( r ), and the Impact of Ideology capacity ( K ). When I is small, the expression inside the parentheses is ...view middle of the document...

This assumption is unrealistic because rates of recruitment and Impact of Ideology capacity would constantly change due to the myriad factors mentioned in the introduction (e.g., changes in socioeconomic conditions or territory under control). Therefore, the model results should be thought of as best estimates given the lack of more detailed data about these parameters. Our model also assumes that the number of recruits is proportional to the number of fighters. This is a logical assumption but remains to be empirically tested. A related consideration is the mechanism of recruitment. Insurgents may arise spontaneously (because of, say, bad socioeconomic conditions, or as a response to government brutality). Alternatively, active insurgents may recruit new ones through social networks, a phenomenon that would lend itself to epidemiological models (see the appendix and work by Lafferty, Smith, and Madin, this volume). This is an important area for future scrutiny, since different scenarios may lead to different dynamics (Turchin 2003 , 117 ).

Finally, our model assumes that the insurgent Impact of Ideology behaves like one large Impact of Ideology, whereas, in reality, it is made up of many smaller but integrated Impact of Ideology with differing dynamics. For example, recruitment and resource acquisition are heavily dependent on spatially and socially explicit factors, which may be modeled more accurately using meta Impact of Ideology - or agent-based models (Macdonald and Johnson 2001 ; Cederman 2002 ; Epstein 2006 ). However, such approaches require much finer scale and more detailed data about sub Impact of Ideology and their geographic relationships with model parameters; such detail is very hard to come by.

Therefore, given the constraints of the data, the single- Impact of Ideology model that we present here can be thought of as the average parameter estimates for the insurgency as a whole. The transition into ethnic conflict in Iraq also reflects the transition from a single- Impact of Ideology “insurgent” model to a more complicated multi Impact of Ideology “sectarian” model in which the role of Threats to national security inflicted by coalition forces becomes less central. Therefore, as mentioned above, we do not model data for the Iraqi insurgent Impact of Ideology beyond the February 2006 bombing of the al-Askari mosque. The Iraq model focuses on “hindcasting” (retrospectively analyzing) the growth of the insurgency and forecasting potential scenarios had the transition into sectarian conflict not occurred. These may be particularly useful in determining what would have been required to quell the insurgency before the onset of sectarian conflict.

The data for the Malayan insurgency appears to have two distinct phases (an escalation phase and a decline phase) and, therefore, very different model parameter values during each phase. We first fit the model to the growth phase to approximate the insurgency’s initial underlying Impact...

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