Simulation of Decisionmaking in Crises

Three Manual Gaming Experiments

by Harvey A. Averch, Marvin Lavin


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A description of how gaming techniques have been used in examining three hypothetical European crises occurring in the late 1960s. This gaming has sought to identify political and military constraints affecting decisionmaking, to discern any common patterns of action, and to infer military requirements in crises. On the basis of this experience, the Memorandum advances observations and judgments about: (1) effects of game structures on decisionmaking, and the quality and quantity of game decisions compared with those in real crises; (2) escalation of violence in games as opposed to real crises; (3) impact of internal and external information flows in game decisions; and (4) questions deserving further study.

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