Will to Fight
Sep 13, 2019
This report defines and describes will to fight and provides a model of unit will to fight that can be applied to ground combat units of any scale. The model provides a research-grounded template for case-by-case adviser assessment of partner or allied military forces and the intelligence analysis of adversary forces. This report also provides a theoretical basis for adding will to fight to military war gaming and simulation.
Analyzing, Modeling, and Simulating the Will to Fight of Military Units
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Will to fight may be the single most important factor in war. The U.S. military accepts this premise: War is a human contest of opposing, independent wills. The purpose of using force is to bend and break adversary will. But this fundamental concept is poorly integrated into practice. The United States and its allies incur steep costs when they fail to place will to fight at the fore, when they misinterpret will to fight because it is ill-defined, or when they ignore it entirely. This report defines will to fight and describes its importance to the outcomes of wars. It gives the U.S. and allied militaries a way to better integrate will to fight into doctrine, planning, training, education, intelligence analysis, and military adviser assessments. It provides (1) a flexible, scalable model of will to fight that can be applied to any ground combat unit and (2) an experimental simulation model.
Introduction and Historical Background: Will to Fight Matters
A Model of Will to Fight
War Gaming and Simulating of Will to Fight
Concluding Thoughts and a Note About Ongoing Research
Structured Literature Review Process and Findings
Coded Case Study Procedures and Results
American Military Doctrine and the Will to Fight
Interview Questions and Representative Quotes
Silver Model (CPM) Technical Details
The research described in this report was prepared for the United States Army and conducted by conducted within Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program within the RAND Arroyo Center.
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