Counter-Organization Targeting: A Theoretical Framework for Analysis   [open pdf - 6MB]

"The purpose of this thesis is to present and substantiate a theory of counter-organization targeting. This thesis achieves this objective by creating and testing a framework for analysis which blends the principals of organization theory with classic counterinsurgency theory. The goal of this framework is to provide an analytical tool for operational-level targeting of adversary organizations during war, conflict, and stability and support operations. This study analyzes the historical precedents of counter-organization targeting to demonstrate its viability as a necessary condition for success in counterinsurgency campaigns. Additionally, by applying the framework against an unresolved case, this study validates its applicability against a broader spectrum of the operational continuum. As a result, this thesis offers an innovative framework allowing for a logical and common sense approach to observing, assessing, targeting, and interdicting adversary organizations. Finally, this thesis holds both predictive qualities with respect to understanding an organization's future behavior, as well as prescriptive qualities, in the sense of systematically attacking and neutralizing the same organization. This thesis also expands the concepts offered in U.S. Army Field Manual 100-20, 'Stability and Support Operations,' and bridges the gap between the strategic, and the tactical levels of campaign planning and execution."

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