Mercyhurst Caucasus Insurgency Analysis Team

About The Project:

The Mercyhurst Caucasus Insurgency Analysis Team (MCIAT) conducted a research project to assess the severity and effectiveness of the insurgency in the North Caucasus region, including the quantitative and geographic growth and spread of violence. MCIAT approached this project with the following estimative questions in mind:caucasus.JPG

What is the current severity and effectiveness of the insurgency in the North and South Caucasus regions (in regards to the quantitative and geographic growth and spread of violence) and how is it likely to change between now and the 2008 Russian Presidential election?

What are the capabilities and effectiveness of Russian military and security forces to combat the insurgency?

Navigating The Wiki

Readers should utilize the navigation panel to the left, as it lists the most important pages contained within the wiki.

Key Findings: The reader can find the answers to the Key Estimative Questions on the Key Findings page.

Violence Database: The Violence Database shows the geographic and quantitative analysis of insurgent initiated attacks in three month time spans from September 2006. The type of attack, number of casualties, and the specific location of the attacks are on this page.

Link Analysis Chart: The Link Analysis Chart shows the organizational and command structure of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and North Caucasus resistance movement.

Methods and Process: This report provides background information that discusses the MCIAT approach to the analytical question at hand. It also includes visual displays of the team's conceptual models that aided members in focusing their estimates on North Caucasus republics and severity and effectiveness of the insurgency.

Resources: The MCIAT team has collected various reports and sources throughout the project. Readers can locate these reports and sources on the resource page. Team members have collected reports from various sources and are present on these pages as adobe acrobat, word, and excel files. The sources are further broken down between general search engines that analysts utilized for each country, as well as country specific websites that aided them in their research. Conceptual models played a large role in an analyst's organization of the project's final product.

Contact Information: This page contains contact information for all analysts that contributed to the Mercyhurst Caucasus Insurgency Analysis project. Please visit this page to see contact information of the individual analysts if there is any comments and/or questions about their specific regions or the project in general.

Understanding the Reports

Words of Estimative Probability: The MCIAT team used words of estimative probability (WEP) in the various reports to convey the likelihood of an analysis coming to fruition. Team members used Mercyhurst College's WEPs in descending level of confidence from: all but certain, highly likely, likely, chances are even, unlikely, highly unlikely.

Source Reliability and Analytic Confidence: Source reliability is a measure that an analyst utilizes to help him/her assess the dependability of certain facts, websites, human contacts, etc. It is measured on a scale of one through 10, with one indicating extremely low source reliability and ten illustrating that information from a particular source is highly reliable. Using analytic confidence is a method of quantifying an analyst's judgment in his/her own estimates. This factor is also measured on a scale of one through 10, one indicating that the analyst believes an estimate is unlikely to come to fruition, and 10 signifying that an estimate is all but certain. Team members placed overall scores at the end of each estimate, as well as individual source reliability scores in the written products.

Report Format: All of the estimates are similar in format. The headline at the top of the page answers the key estimative question as it pertains to that level of the report (individual republic, republic outlooks, and key findings). The executive summary follows and provides a brief, but more detailed explanation of the analysis as well as the key facts that drive it. The discussion section is a detailed explanation of the facts that drive the particular analysis and support the analyst's estimative conclusion. The additional comments section provides information of potential interest to the reader but which is tangential to the main report. The additional comments section in this project primarily explains embedded media at the bottom of an analysis. Several pieces of embedded media are present in this project to provide the reader with a more detailed explanation of the insurgency discussed in particular estimates.