Representing Operational Strategies and Command-Control in the RAND Strategy Assessment System (RSAS)

by Paul K. Davis, Robert Howe


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Models and games used for defense analysis tend to focus on the capability of the forces involved — emphasizing the interaction of weapons systems over operational issues like strategy and command-control. This Note describes RAND's approach in developing and applying a new generation of analytic tools to remedy this problem — the RAND Strategy Assessment System (RSAS). The RSAS includes military-command-level decision models, called analytic war plans (AWPs), to represent decisionmaking by theater commanders. Some of the dimensions of operational strategy include: For the attacker, number and choice of main sectors (initially and after seeing defensive reactions), reserve fraction, force ratio to be maintained on non-main sectors, and tradeoffs between achieving surprise and preparing one's own forces. For the defender, strategy dimensions include the basic defensive and command-control posture, operational strategy, reserve fraction, and the proactiveness of reserve employment.

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