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Assessing alternative mixes of active and reserve forces is a crucial defense issue. Force structure decisions are made in an inherently uncertain environment: Force requirements can vary unpredictably, sometimes surging dramatically, depending on the types of conflicts that arise. The RAND SLAM program is a software application designed to aid military analysts in exploring the inherent trade-offs between cost, stress, and risk in force structure decisions. Its unique feature is that it models force requirements stochastically, allowing for analysis of requirements that change unpredictably over time. This report serves as a user's guide, explaining the program's features and interface and guiding the user through example analyses. Several of these example analyses examine some of the same force structure decisions as those analyzed with spreadsheet techniques by Lynn E. Davis et al. in Stretched Thin: Army Forces for Sustained Operations, thus validating the RAND SLAM results against this previous work. The authors also discuss the underlying model for the program, including its strengths and limitations and how it might be expanded and improved.

This research was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and conducted within the Forces and Resources Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute (NDRI) with NDRI concept development funds, and then as part of the OSD/RA sponsored project “Sustaining the RC”. NDRI is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

This report is part of the RAND technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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