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Operationalizing Counter Threat Finance Strategies

Authored by Dr. Shima D. Keene.

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This Letort Paper describes effective Counter Threat Finance strategies as a specific area where the capability of U.S. and allied militaries can be augmented for the purpose of targeted action against adversaries. With appropriate analysis and exploitation, financial data can be used to reveal patterns of enemy behavior, motivations, and possible intentions as well as lifestyles and networks, all of which will impact directly upon military operations within a counterinsurgency environment. The targeting of the financial, and perhaps more importantly, the economic base of an organization, will not only impact the operational capability of that organization, but can ultimately lead to its destruction. To date, these strategies have been used predominantly for the purpose of disruption. However, the potential application of such strategies goes far beyond—they have the potential to be a multifaceted weapon, capable not only of disruption of the enemy, but of detecting impending instability. Specific recommendations are proposed for making best use of the potential for financial intelligence as part of an integrated strategy for both forecasting and countering contemporary security threats.

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