The Impact of Displaced Persons on US Army Conflict and Stability Operations

Spatio-Temporal Constraints on Social Networks Workshop, University of California, Santa Barbara, Center for Spatial Studies, 13-14 December 2010

Susan Enscore

“During periods of conflict and instability in nations, there is often an associated flow of displaced populations. This flow can be confined within national boundaries, or move across them. The spatial extent of displaced population migration may be determined by physical, ethnic, or cultural factors instead of (or in addition to) political ones. In all situations, there will be active social networks among the displaced persons created and maintained by physical proximity and the limits of any available communication technology. There will also be active social networks between the migrants and people remaining in their home area. If the entire home area population has been displaced, there will remain networks between the migrants and relatives or friends in other locations. In addition to serving as a communication medium, these networks can function to transfer remittances and other economic services. They can also provide a system for planning and communicating activities designed to impede “enemy” progress in conflict areas.”