Defense Decisions

Design Vs. Analysis

Published in: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Operational Research / Edited by J. Banbury and J. Maitland (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1961)

by Albert Wohlstetter

In aiding complex decisions on national defense, operations research has had a spotty record. In its greatest successes large scale models have played a subordinate role and stress has been on systems design rather than on systems analysis. While the best possible system is hard even to define, still, precisely because the problems are hard, the technology swiftly changing, and bureaucracies somewhat inert, it has sometimes been possible to design systems which dominate those programmed.

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