How data’s key role in American security
Big data security has been implemented by the United States of America government to prevent potential violence and provide security in not only their own country but also to their allies. Recently the presidential elections in Kenya, which was hotly contested, was one of such potentially threatening situations where the U.S government had to implement their big data analytics in to order to avoid unrest in the country.
Data analytics has proven to be a very powerful tool for preventing and reacting to conflicts and violence. It’s approach is based on evidence gathered mainly from the insights of the diplomats who are at the scene of risk and best suited to provide intelligence regarding any threats of extreme violence. This approach has been adopted by the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations in order to counter and prevent violent extremism and provide stability in the USA and help its partners in the USAID as well as the Defence Department.
Social science and data work together by combining data with already proven analytical methods which are embedded in social science. With this approach the Bureau has combined the extensive economic and political reports gathered by U.S. diplomats all over the world and identify any unconfirmed patters which may result in danger. Assessing and comparing risks to concentrate on a certain problem and planning on solutions to them beforehand have proven to be of utmost value. Assessing the patterns have shown that abuses which are carried by security forces of a country are the main reason of violent extremism. States with such records of abuse are extremely vulnerable.
Combining data and social science has also resulted in mapping networks of insurgent groups, extremists organizations and militias. Computer modelling is used to test formal and informal negotiations and hence determine potential coalitions, outcomes of such negotiations, key influencers and whether such outcomes would support U.S. objectives or pose a threat in the future.
All such data is shared between the Bureau, USAID, Special Forces in order to avoid duplication of research and wastage of time. Data analytics has been a complete game changer as it is crucial for the security as well as being cost effective in preventing conflict rather than funding military interventions after the conflicts arise. Over reliance on a particular information is compensated systematically by the department. Reliance on local perspective and evidence gathered from data analytics are crucial for the Bureau for efficient and effective conflict prevention.
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