Sunday, April 24, 2011

small town insurgency: the struggle for information dominance

Monterrey Herald | A Naval Postgraduate School study applying counterinsurgency theories to Salinas gang violence has come up with some startling conclusions: Street gangs control and exploit information better than law enforcement, giving them an "information advantage" that city officials must work to overcome.


After lengthy surveys of Salinas police, residents and city employees, three insurgency experts studying at NPS argue that superior control of the flow of intelligence — whether by the gangs or the authorities — will determine who comes out ahead.

For the city to win, the report concludes, a lot will have to change in the relationship between police and residents.

The masters' thesis, "Small Town Insurgency: The Struggle For Information Dominance to Reduce Gang Violence," was written by NPS researchers Laurence H. Arnold and Christopher W. O'Gwin — both U.S. Army majors — and Jeremy S. Vickers, a major in the U. S. Air Force.

The 272-page document was published in December but not distributed to the public until this month. The public version had to be slightly redacted to remove sensitive police information, said Rebecca Lorentz of NPS, who last month presented highlights of the authors' findings to the Community Alliance for Safety and Peace in Salinas.

Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue said he's thrilled to have the help of staff and students at the naval school in tackling the city's youth violence.

"Think about it," he said. Fist tap ProfGeo.