A Simple Game-Theoretic Approach to Suppression of Enemy by Richard Mesic Thomas Hamilton, RAND

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By Richard Mesic Thomas Hamilton, RAND

Basic online game idea is used to narrate U.S. Air strength operations to their likey results on enemy habit.

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Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1960. 49 What If the War Duration Is Uncertain? What if Red and Blue have different views as to the length of the war? What if Blue expects a short war while Red expects a longer war? Blue will invest more in SEAD than Red expects. Red will fire SAMs less frequently than Blue expects. This will not change the expected value of the engagement. (This is a highly counter-intuitive result of the minimax theorem. ) If one side is correct and understands the enemy’s error, they can reap undeserved benefits.

In this game, Red achieves the best result if it launches and Blue does not conduct counterforce operations. When Red launches, Blue achieves an improved (but still bad) outcome if it has chosen to conduct counterforce operations. However, if Red chooses not to launch, Blue achieves a better outcome if it has not chosen to conduct counterforce operations and uses its aircraft to conduct strike operations instead. In this game, therefore, Red is always better off if it launches. If Red launches, Blue is better off if it conducts counterforce operations.

In this model, the way to create a perception of effectiveness is to be genuinely effective. It also means that if Red foolishly fails to perceive Blue’s power, Red will be destroyed directly. Game theory provides a mechanism for starting with the physics-based capabilities of weapons systems and calculating effects on enemy behavior. 30 Briefing Outline • Simple game theory • Application to data from recent Suppressor runs • Application to attacks on moving fielded forces • Application to defense against TBMs • Consideration of multiple engagements 31 0403 R We now consider an application of simple game theory to the problem of defense against enemy theater ballistic missiles.

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