"Shell Game" Aspects of Mobile Terminal ABM Systems

by Ralph E. Strauch

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A two-person zero-sum game is used to model the mobile defense problem in order to examine, in the context of terminal ballistic missile defense, the advantages that accrue to the defender from being able to deny the attacker knowledge of the defense deployment. The marginal exchange ratio is shown to be quite favorable to the defender using mobile interceptors if the fraction of the target system that he wishes to protect is small. A combination of mobile defense and deceptive basing appears to be an extremely attractive defense option, since the mobile defense raises the price the attacker must pay to destroy a single target, while the deceptive basing increases the number of targets at which he must pay that price.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

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