In the last 10 years or so, researchers have revolutionised the way military analysts think about insurgency and the groups of people involved in it. Their key insight is that insurgency tends to run in families and in social networks that are held together by common beliefs.
So it makes sense to study the social networks that insurgents form. And indeed that’s exactly what various military analysts have begun to do, including those in the US Army. A few years ago, a group of West Point cadets and offices developed some software for gathering information about the links between the people who make and distribute improvised explosive devices.