Cover: Modeling Soviet Behavior and Deterrence

Modeling Soviet Behavior and Deterrence

A Procedure for Evaluating Military Forces

Published 1974

by William M. Jones


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Deterrence of Soviet decisions to initiate a military aggression or escalate a prior commitment implies an ability to influence Soviet decision processes. A simple formulation of these processes has them reacting to a perceived situation and an option for military action in that situation in a way that inclines or disinclines them to accept the option. If the reaction is "inclined," they then calculate the likely outcome of the military action using optimistic planning factors and evaluating the results optimistically. If the initial reaction is "disinclined," they are conservative. The factors that control their initial reaction to such situations are of necessity assumptions based on their reactions to similar situations in the past. Four different sets of assumptions explaining their past actions are developed from a wide variety of scholarly sources. These reflect, alternatively, an assumed dominance of bureaucratic leadership, economic aspirations, ideology, and institutional norms. All four are used in this evaluation of deterrence.

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