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The potential emergence of a peer competitor is probably the most important long-term planning challenge for the Department of Defense. This report addresses the issue by developing a conceptual framework of how a proto-peer (meaning a state that is not yet a peer but has the potential to become one) might interact with the hegemon (the dominant global power). The central aspect of the framework is an interaction between the main strategies for power aggregation available to the proto-peer and the main strategies for countering the rise of a peer available to the hegemon. Then, using exploratory modeling techniques, the pathways of the various proto-peer and hegemon interactions are modeled to identify the specific patterns and combinations of actions that might lead to rivalries. The dominant power has an array of options available to limit the growth of its rivals or to change their ultimate intentions. Too confrontational a strategy, however, risks making a potential neutral power into a foe, while too conciliatory a stance may speed the growth of a competitor. Exploratory modeling suggests which attributes of the countries are most important and the sensitivity of the dominant power to perception errors.

Table of Contents

  • Preface PDF

  • Figures PDF

  • Tables PDF

  • Summary PDF

  • Acknowledgements

    Acknowledgments PDF

  • Chapter One

    Introduction PDF

  • Chapter Two

    The Rise of a Peer PDF

  • Chapter Three

    The Role of the Hegemon PDF

  • Chapter Four

    Modeling the Peer-Hegemon Relationship PDF

  • Chapter Five

    Conclusion PDF

  • Appendix A

    Decision Rules PDF

  • Appendix B

    Code for the Prototype Hegemon-Peer Model PDF

  • Appendix C

    The Democratic Peace Idea PDF

  • Bibliography PDF

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The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's Arroyo Center.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.