Using Network Analysis Methods to Support the Global SOF Network

by Elizabeth Bodine-Baron, William Welser IV, Thomas S. Szayna

U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has developed and put forth its Global SOF Network vision, which calls for a distributed overseas posture for Special Operations Forces (SOF). In support of this effort, RAND researchers examined where SOF are engaged and present, partner capability and capacity development in regions of interest to the United States, and what kinds of authorities SOF need to function in a new security environment. Parts of this effort relied on network analysis methodology to identify important or influential nodes and the roles they play in a given network. In this video podcast, the importance and use of two network metrics — "in-degree", and "betweenness centrality" — are explained using an example network of South Asian countries. This video describes research methods used during a study for USSOCOM that is not available to the general public.

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