CF Research into Better Understanding of Enemies

This from MERX’s bid posting:

“The Department of National Defence, Defence Research and Development, Toronto, Ontario has a requirement for the provision of Scientific & Technical support for behavioral, cognitive, and social sciences research in various security environments and operational contexts. “

Pretty dry, right?  Well, the Statement of Work is a bit more revealing…

…about what’s being done:

“DRDC Toronto is now actively building its capacity for human sciences in a new research domain:  Understanding, prediction and influence of adversaries’ intent …. DRDC requires contractual support for research in this new area.  In particular, the Adversarial Intent Section (AIS) of DRDC Toronto anticipates a requirement for significant research effort that addresses the following general topic:

(a) eludication of contemporary security concepts such as Effects-based Approaches to Operations (EBAO), Defence Development and Diplomacy (3D), and the Comprehensive approach (CA) and their use in military capability development and doctrine;

(b) understanding the social, organizational, and cognitive determinants of human capabilities for the effective production of military and civilian intelligence pertinent to domestic and international issues;

(c) influence processes that play a role in conflict-ridden environments characterized by complex interactions among adversaries, allied forces, and bystander groups; (and)

(d) methods and tools for structuring, portraying and analyzing complex contemporary security environments.”

Who’s this for?  Plain text answer:  those teaching or doing the job in the CF, either by themselves or with other agencies:

“The military scope for the research is operational and training environments at all levels (tactical, operational, strategic and grand strategic), and for all services, including Regular and Reserve Forces as well as CF operations in the broader security context (i.e., with OGDs <Other Government Departments>,  NGOs, police, emergency measures).”

Now, for some plain-text translation of some of the work.

1)  Figuring out why bad guys or bad groups become bad:

“Studies of cognitive, socio-cultural, political and other influence processes that may be used in recruitment, indoctrination and radicalization of individuals or groups and that may be of use to CF and security intelligence and to information operations;”

2)  Figuring out what tools, rules or training to give intelligence folks to better analyze information and threats:

“Understanding how to augment human capabilities for the production of intelligence through improvements to training, standards, and tools to support effective analytic thinking”

(More on other research into improving intelligence analysis here)

(3)  Making models showing how different factors are working in specific threat or change-of-government situations:

“Modeling of dynamic threats and state-level transitions using psychological, socio-cultural, political and economic indicators of hostile intent and behaviour”

(4)  Studying how bad guys or bad guy groups work

“Analyses of characteristics, tactics, strategies and behavioural intentions of leaders of aversarial organizations or instigators of adversarial movements”

(5)  Mapping how the bad guys work with each other and other players:

“Methods of mapping and representing the formal and informal influence relationships amongst adversarial and other actors in a conflict environment”

6)  Figuring out ways to see if CF operations are working in light of all this new information:

“Development of methods for the assessment of CF operational effectiveness within a comprehensive approach to operations”

The entire Statement of Work makes for interesting reading – check it out here.


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