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Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown

Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown
A US Department of Defense (DoD) research programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies. The multi-million dollar programme is designed to develop immediate and long-term "warfighter-relevant insights" for senior officials and decision makers in "the defense policy community," and to inform policy implemented by "combatant commands." Launched in 2008 – the year of the global banking crisis – the DoD 'Minerva Research Initiative' partners with universities "to improve DoD's basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the US." Twitter posts and conversations will be examined "to identify individuals mobilised in a social contagion and when they become mobilised." Among my questions, I asked:

Related:  Militarization of academia / Higher EducationFacts are facts

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Ministry of Defence funding research into online habits A branch of the Ministry of Defence is funding postgraduate research into the culture of computer hackers, crowd behaviour at music festivals and football matches, and the impact of Twitter, Facebook and online conspiracy theories in times of crisis. The MoD's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) pays six-figure sums to support individual PhD students to help understand the rapidly evolving world of cyberspace and the way in which social media have become an integral part of daily life. While some of the PhD projects in the £10m programme have conventional military applications – such as researching technology to support underwater drones, and the development of clothing with fully embedded electronics – £97,487 of funding for research at King's College London into "the rise of the digital insurgency" is typical of the new direction. The project aims to "deliver new and innovative ways to understand and influence online behaviour".

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