An Approach to Long-Range Forecasting

by J. E. Murray


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An introduction to a method for making long-range (10-20 years) forecasts of Soviet strategic weapon developments. As the end product of a heuristic reasoning process, the methodology has a "requirements" orientation, based on clues from Soviet military writing, Soviet technology, and Soviet acquisition practices. Progressing through a sequence of four central inquiries, the methodology examines Soviet mission priorities, weapon deficiencies, and weapon options to forecast Soviet weapon choices. These four inquiries are supported by five background inquiries into Soviet military concepts, Soviet perceptions of threat, current Soviet weapon capabilities, Soviet advanced weapon technology, and available Soviet resources. After describing the overall methodology, this Note discusses each of the nine inquiries and presents the author's viewpoint on their boundaries and emphasis.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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