Previous research focusing on violent nonstate actors (VNSAs) has examined the determinants of terrorist lethality (Asal and Rethemeyer 2008) and terrorist network formation (Asal, Park, Rethemeyer and Ackerman 2015). However, these studies (1) relied on cross-sectional data (2) that covered a compressed period (1998-2005). While there have been numerous studies of terrorist organizations in the Middle East (including one study by two of the co-authors on pursuit and use of CBRN capabilities by organizations in the Middle East (Asal and Rethemeyer 2009)), few of these studies have (1) been both quantitative and longitudinal or (2) examined both insurgent and terrorist organizations.
This study provides an analysis of VNSA lethality as well as the “co-evolution” of VNSA lethality and alliance formation using the Big Allied and Dangerous Version 2 (BAAD2) dataset – a newly created dataset that covers both terrorist and insurgent organizations. The authors begin the study by presenting an overview of BAAD2 and then present two analyses: one focused just on lethality and another focused on lethality and alliance formation co-evolution.
Asal, Victor, R. Karl Rethemeyer, and Joseph Young: An Analysis of Violent Nonstate Actor Organizational Lethality and Network Co-Evoluation in the Middle East and North Africa, College Park, MD: START, 2016. https://www.start.umd.edu/pubs/START_I%26A_BAAD_AssessingMiddleEasternVNSALethality_May2016.pdf