Written on
August 20, 2019

Understanding opponent motivations and capabilities

Defense
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Opponent motivations and capabilities

When analyzing your opponents make sure you study their motivations and capabilities. Motivations usually depict the agenda of the adversary, its objectives and ideological platform. However, these do not always reflect their capability to implement their motivations. The components of motivation include the principles of the thought process that integrate the opponent's wish to be given the right importance, develop a popularity arena of supporters and create an impression of power and physical presence. However, these motivations are not always accompanied by the same level of capabilities to act upon these motivations and transform this into a serious of planned attacks.

even if these motivations cannot be transformed into an organized hostile attack, security specialists should understand that these motivations serve a a guiding principles for detecting lone wolf active shooters and terrorists. Therefore, we should not underestimate the motivating factor but also not be over reactive and understand that motivations without capabilities are limited in what impact they can have.

Conversely, when a high level of capabilities are present, things are more delicate because they serve as a motivating factor. When your capabilities are operational, you are automatically motivated to use them! and you surely will because of their impact. So the capability factor does not need to be accompanied by loud motivations because it is not needed and is a standalone threat.

Therefore security professionals and intelligence services should closely look at both these channels, understand what they mean and see their interdependent role in the planning of terror attacks. Simultaneously, states and law enforcement agencies should develop the operational tools for intercepting these two types of adversary modus operandi so that effective counter terrorist and anti-terrorist doctrines can be applied.