Forecasting Asian Strategic Environments for National Security Decisionmaking

A Report and a Method.

by W. Wilcox

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Description of a new forecasting model, based on political and technological forecasting techniques, to help decisionmakers identify salient futures for present policy consideration. The Alternative Salient Futures (ASF) forecast is reported for India in 1980, offering several dimensions for analytical presentation. ASF is then applied to a five-power Asia in 1980 with changing governments in the United States, the Soviet Union, China, Japan, and India under two alternative conditions: an American troop and aid withdrawal from all Asian commitments and an American withdrawal of troops only. In the forecast example, northeastern Asia is stabilized independently of U.S. initiatives and commitments, while southern Asia's stability is a function of great-power involvements, testifying to the importance for a withdrawn America to act expediently in support of opportunities rather than to create opportunities by the use of national military and economic power.

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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