Improving Turkish-Iraqi Border Security

An Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation Approach

by Mustafa Oguz

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This dissertation analyzes several policy options that could help increase border security by reducing militant actions from safe havens in foreign territory. In particular, this dissertation focuses on a section of the Turkish-Iraqi border that is particularly difficult to protect. The main threat along the border is militant infiltrations and militant attacks on border security outposts. Policy options considered are relocating outposts, additional soldiers, unattended ground sensors and foreign border guards that provide early warning of militant movements. A simulation model is developed to evaluate the effects of these options. Infiltrators and border guards are assigned simple behavior rules. Outcomes are collected from their interaction on a virtual segment of the border. The results are analyzed to find the least costly way of increasing the percentage of militant infiltration attempts interdicted and decreasing soldier casualties in outposts.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Case Studies: Border Security Challenges and Solutions

  • Chapter Three

    Border Security Models and Simulations

  • Chapter Four

    Comparison of Current and Preferred Locations

  • Chapter Five

    The Impact of Additional Resources

  • Chapter Six

    Observations and Recommendations

  • Appendix A

    The Simulation Model

  • Appendix B

    The Optimization Algorithm

  • Appendix C

    Validation and Verification

  • Appendix D

    Outcomes Collected From Simulation Replications

Research conducted by

This document was submitted as a dissertation in September 2014 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Bart Bennett (Chair), Mahyar Amouzegar, and Veysi Isler.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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