Doctoral Candidate Michael Logan Presented his Dissertation Research in Age of Disruption Webinar
Michael Logan, a doctoral candidate in UNO’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, presented his research during a recent webinar, which was part of the Age of Disruption-Great Power Competition Implications for the Strategic Multilayer Assessment, Department of Homeland Security lecture series. This series is co-hosted the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Office of University Programs (OUP) and the Center for Accelerating Operational Efficiency (CAOE).
Logan’s presentation focused on his dissertation, wherein he measured the organizational sophistication of 280 violent non-state actors (VNSAs) using the Leadership for the Extreme and Dangerous for Innovative Results (LEADIR) dataset in order to determine which VNSAs present the largest threat. Logan defined a VNSA as a distinct organization—not integrated into a formal state structure—that is capable and willing to use violence to pursue its objectives. Although there are six distinct types of VNSAs, Logan’s presentation focused his research on terrorist organizations. For this effort, he examined 72 terrorist organizations operating in the US Central Command Area of Responsibility and plotted each on an organizational sophistication continuum. Logan found that the lethality of VNSAs operating in this region was directly tied to their level of organizational sophistication. More specifically, as a VNSA’s lethality increases, so too does their lethality. Furthermore, he found that VNSAs must have a moderate level of organizational sophistication in order to carry out attacks on hard targets such as military and police. In concluding his presentation, Logan discussed the benefits of his research from a planner’s perspective, namely that it can help inform the potential capabilities of emerging threats, anticipate target selection based on VNSA’s organizational sophistication, and provide an additional tool for prioritization and resource allocation.
Published January, 2020