This report describes and illustrates a methodology for modeling National Command Level (NCL) decisionmaking in large-scale crisis and conflict involving both superpowers — a methodology that progresses from abstract concepts about superpower objectives and strategy through the step-by-step procedures for building an operational computer program. Its two key components are defining an "image" of Soviet or U.S. decisionmaking, and moving from that imprecise image to a precise and coherent computer program. The report's sections outline the modeling approach; review the most important concepts underlying the approach; describe the systematic definition of alternative coherent images of the Soviet or U.S. NCL; describe building an operational computer program that is both transparent and able to explain its own decisions; and discuss initial experiences using prototype versions of the computer models.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.