Keywords: infrastructure portfolio selection, agent–based modelling, post–conflict military operations, counter insurgency, COIN, counter–insurgent operations, agent–based systems, multi–agent systems, infrastructure resource allocation, regional stability, insurgencies, infrastructure development, infrastructure investment, systems approach, decision making
Evaluating infrastructure resource allocation in support of regional stability
Post–conflict stability is a tenuous goal for security forces and host nation governments alike. Recent experiences of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members and coalition partners in Afghanistan have illuminated how insurgencies damage stability operations despite great sacrifice and enormous commitments of resources. Stability operations focus on security, governance, development, and gaining the support of the civilian population. Reconstruction and infrastructure development is a complicated but essential component of stability. It allows the population to resume their daily lives and the government to demonstrate its capacity and capabilities while delivering essential services. It can be a means to undermine support for insurgency and stimulate long term peace. However, the scale and complexity of infrastructure investment present great risk for leaders due to the high cost, long time horizons, and the possibility of unintended consequences. Leaders require a process by which to evaluate the situation, determine capability gaps, develop appropriate measures, offer feasible courses of action, and assess the quality of each. A systems approach using agent–based modelling offers them an opportunity to gain the insight they need to make informed decisions.