Simulated Central Region Conflicts at Nominal Parity and Low Force Levels

by William G. Wild, Robert Howe, Paul K. Davis


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An important objective of the Conventional Forces Europe negotiations is achieving a stable military balance at equal, relatively low, force levels. This Note describes simulation and gaming experiments that were part of a larger policy analysis identifying important variables affecting stability in NATO's Central Region in such a regime. Experiments focused primarily on theater parity at levels ranging from 45 to 18 equivalent divisions (EDs), despite negotiated parity in some Atlantic-to-the-Urals aggregate. Overall, it was difficult for the Pact to do well at theater parity in the range of 45-27 EDs. As force levels dropped, however, outcomes became increasingly sensitive to assumptions, particularly those regarding tactical prowess (intelligence, timeliness, mobility, etc.). This suggests that such factors may merit greater emphasis when planning for a low-force-level environment.

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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