Methodological Considerations in Using Simulation to Assess the Combat Value of Intelligence and Electronic Warfare

by Steven C. Bankes

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The relative value of systems for intelligence and electronic warfare/target acquisition (IEW/TA) may be determined in a variety of ways, including the comparison of technical characteristics, ability to provide estimations of commanders' information needs, or subjective judgment by experts. The OPVIEW (operational value of intelligence and electronic warfare) project aims to develop means for evaluating IEW/TA systems in terms of their contribution to combat outcomes. Such an evaluation would permit comparisons between diverse systems and force components and evaluation of the combined value of groups of systems. Simulation could be a powerful analytic tool for determining the contribution to combat outcomes of IEW/TA systems, since it allows us to represent our understanding of the complex effects and relationships that characterize warfare and to observe the implications of our beliefs for different cases under varied assumptions. Unfortunately, existing combat simulations do not adequately represent intelligence and electronic warfare. There are fundamental technical reasons for this, and there are technical challenges that must be addressed to support the analysis of the combat value of IEW/TA with simulation models. This Note describes these challenges and considers ways to meet them.

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