Flying in the face of uncertainty: alternative plans and postures for interdiction in Southwest Asia

by Robert A. Levine

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This paper attempts to explain and demonstrate a new methodological approach to General Purpose Force employment analysis, and the analysis of alternative strategies and doctrine for theater-level war in particular. It uses two sets of analytic tools, military history and theater-level simulation modeling. The author examines a current policy issue, the evaluation of alternative U.S. interdiction strategies to counter a hypothetical Soviet invasion of Iran given the many uncertainties inherent in the problem, in order to assess (1) the benefits to U.S. strategy of Iranian military resistance to a Soviet invasion and of Iranian cooperation with the United States; (2) ways to make the best use of such Iranian cooperation; and (3) possible variation on U.S. airpower and interdiction strategy in the first few weeks of a war in order to exploit the new alliance with Iran.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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