Recently I attended a class where I was introduced to the work of Christopher Bowers and his methodology for categorizing emerging threat groups in a hybrid warfare environment. In his paper Bowers suggests that a groups threat level can be ranked by the combination of it’s capabilities, Maturity level, and the degree of complexity in the terrain it operates.(Bowers 2012)
I want to make an attempt to further quantify the maturity of a group by modifying the Organizational Maturity Model used in the business world and see if there is any cross over that might assist analysts in quickly categorizing possible adversarial groups. This of course, must be done without oversimplifying the issue.
The Organizational Maturity Model (OMM) ranks organizations in five levels: Initial, managed, defined, quantitatively managed, and optimizing. If we compare this to a hybrid warfare environment the scale might look something like: organized crime, guerrilla, insurgent, irregular, hybrid, and conventional.
These can be defined as
Organized crime group: street gangs, criminal groups, and other organizations that have some hierarchy but are not significantly organized or funded.
Guerrilla groups: slightly more organized than a crime group with some funding and an established pattern of violence towards a given government
Insurgent groups: groups that have a hierarchy and some level of sustainment in place. These groups have enough personnel and materiel to conduct successful small attacks and ambushes on conventional forces.
Irregular groups: can also be called paramilitary organizations. Organizations that have a defined structure and increasing logistical capabilities.
Hybrid groups: Irregular groups that have grown capable enough to gain support from a nation state.
Conventional Force: Regular military force that has the full support of a nation state.
These definitions need more refinement, but I feel that they are a good start in quantifying the maturity scale of an adversarial group.
What are your thoughts?