Flexible Combat Modeling
Global changes in military affairs place new demands for flexibility on military models and analysis. Military models were historically designed to assess central European conflict, with limited options for examining alternative scenarios or other conflict variations. Military models today must deal with these issues, but must also reflect the more likely future regional conflicts, in which strategies, doctrines, forces, and environment will vary significantly from the European standard of the past. Models like the RAND Strategy Assessment System (RSAS) have already begun to meet these new requirements, addressing a multipolar world that poses a wide variety of prospective conflicts. It allows for relatively easy and powerful manipulation of conflict scenarios and parameters as well as providing graphical interfaces for both intermediate variables and final figures of merit. It also has begun to reflect some of the significant regional differences in conflict style. But several advances in the state of the art in military analysis are still required to provide the flexibility demanded by the new environment. These advances will be facilitated if two conditions exist. First, the likely differences among regional conflicts and coalition participants must be established. Second, a more systematic procedure to account for the secondary effects of new weapon technologies (on doctrine and opposition reactions) needs to be developed.