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Reproduction of a paper presented at a conference on Modern Strategic Analysis held by the Security Studies Project of UCLA, 13 January 1967. The evolution of the scenario as a device for conducting war games is traced. The political-military scenario provides a context for considering defense decisions, contingency plans, and a background against which war games may be conducted. To be effective and widely accepted, scenarios should be modeled as closely as possible on the existing world, or if departures are made, the changes should be explained as completely as possible. In some cases, relevancy rather than credibility should predominate; otherwise, research into future problems can scarcely be undertaken.

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