Abstract for: A System Dynamics Perspective on Insurgency as a Business Enterprise

A system dynamics model is developed to describe how insurgency groups pursue funding for their operations and the choices they make in how they allocate these funds to maintain their operations and advance their causes. The model illustrates that the insurgent groups, under survival pressure, will seek necessary resources to continue their operations by any means necessary regardless of ideology or higher goals. This self-preservation hypothesis is predicated on evidence-based counter-insurgency research. The model focuses on four primary activities of the insurgency: force maintenance, public relations, commission of violent acts, and community outreach. The model shows how decisions to re-allocate resources among these four activities, affects the overall financial well-being of the insurgency. Indeed, the model can be used to determine the pressure points of an insurgency which may provide insight in how to financially damage such an organization.