Incident and Casualty Databases as a Tool for Understanding Low-Intensity Conflicts
Today’s “low-intensity” conflicts do not involve victory or defeat in the conventional sense; instead, each side attempts to achieve a psycho-political victory by influencing people’s thoughts and feelings about the issues in dispute. Casualty statistics are an important element in forming these thoughts and feelings; in turn, a robust incident and casualty database can be an important tool in coming to an accurate understanding of complex conflicts with multiple actors and incident types. For a casualty database to produce meaningful, informative, and accurate results, it must have a rich array of well-defined categories to which to assign incidents and casualty data. It must also be conceived, designed, and administered with a strict adherence to accuracy rather than advocacy as a primary goal.
KeywordsSecurity Force Incident Type Intensity Conflict Target Killing Combatant Status
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