13 April

Exploring planning tools to address inconsistencies

On behalf of the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV), FOI has developed a preliminary planning tool to manage inherent inconsistencies among different actors in international operations.

Soldiers entering a helicopter

The report evaluates the planning tool in a representative scenario where an intervention is carried out to disrupt drug trafficking between irregular actors – non-military armed groups – and criminal actors. Photo: Hampus Hagstedt/ Swedish Armed Forces.

FOI researchers present and evaluate the planning tool in their report A Preliminary Planning Tool for Interaction with Influential Actors based on Paraconsistent Logic.

Senior Scientist Peter Svenmarck is one of the authors of the report.

“In international conflicts there are usually several actors who have conflicting views. In interacting with these actors, commanders and intelligence officers need a planning tool that can handle such conflicts,” he said.
The planning tool is based on paraconsistent logic. It is a system that tolerates contradictions and conflicts, contrary to classical logic where something is either true or false.

The report evaluates the planning tool in a representative scenario where an intervention is carried out to disrupt drug trafficking between irregular actors – non-military armed groups – and criminal actors.

Peter Svenmarck describes the logic of paraconsistence as being helpful in structuring problems. In the report, the actors whom commanders and intelligence officers may eventually interact with include religious leaders, as well as political, clan, and military leaders and representatives of nongovernmental organisations (NGOs). They may stand for different values, different ways of influencing groups, different histories, and different personalities. In the event of disagreements between actors, an analysis according to paraconsistent logic takes into account such differences.

In summary, the authors see that by using the planning tool in their scenario, analysts can identify both the persons who are likely involved in the drug trafficking and the actors whose interests coincide with those of the task force. The analysts are also assisted in assessing what is important to consider when planning the interaction with these actors.

What does the future hold for this type of planning tool?
“It is very possible that this is something that will be relevant in connection with the development of artificial intelligence and an additional need for decision support,” says Peter Svenmarck.

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