Collecting the Dots: Problem Formulation and Solution by Martin C. Libicki

By Martin C. Libicki

Throughout a wide selection of endeavors, failure to count on catastrophe has been ascribed to the lack to "connect the dots." yet to "connect the dots," one needs to first "collect the dots." The authors examine the limitations to circulating vital details and describes methods for bringing info jointly in a significant manner and describe a proper method for accumulating the dots.

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But any community that has a name is likely to have some existing social networking. The solution may in fact generate rules for refining the community definition. For example, one way to identify the communities or community members for inclusion is to identify objects of discourse that cross boundaries between groups. But it is not enough to assume that we need networks once we find dots. We may also need to acknowledge the networks that lead up to information transfer. That is, social networking tends to precede the transfer of information.

Openly broadcasting the intent to strike every target risks compromising missions. Even doing so within NATO is no guarantee; operational headquarters were not leak-proof. In situations like this one, it might be possible to determine a balance point, where those who would ordinarily not need to know a piece of information, once told of it, can be removed from a site before their knowledge does direct or indirect damage. By contrast, broadcasting a map of Belgrade’s no-strike zones (absent those nominated on the basis of sensitive intelligence) would have told no one anything that could not have been easily guessed by someone who knew the city.

Rather, any solution must come from a careful analysis of the problem from (at least) the several perspectives mentioned above, plus empirical study to enrich our understanding of communication and decisionmaking. Thus, we see the need for at least three steps: 1. Identifying the barriers to dot collection. In the next section, we analyze each of the seven vignettes to determine what prevented information from being recognized and communicated to the appropriate parties. 20 Collecting the Dots: Problem Formulation and Solution Elements 2.

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