Operational Combat Analysis of the Al Qaeda Network

Document Type



Politics and Economics (CGU)

Publication Date



Military and Veterans Studies | Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Contemporary network organizational structures have gradually developed over the last decades of the twentieth century. These new structures are challenging the traditional hierarchical structure form in a number of venues. In conflict and war, they made their potentials unequivocally known on 11 September 2001 via Al Qaeda's strategic suicide bombings against the United States. To better understand the military potentials of networks, an operational combat analysis of the Al Qaeda network was conducted. This analysis, a modification of weapons systems analysis, focused on network speed, along with offensive, defensive and combat multiplier attributes. Such analysis allows for a better understanding of the military capabilities and vulnerabilities of non-state OPFORs (opposing forces) and our own emergent counter-insurgency networks.

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© 2002 Taylor and Francis

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