Illustrating a Model-Game-Model Paradigm for Using Human Wargames in Analysis

by Paul K. Davis

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This paper proposes and illustrates an analysis-centric paradigm (model-game-model or what might be better called model-exercise-model in some cases) for relating human wargaming to modeling and analysis. It is especially useful when considerable prior knowledge has already been captured in a model but the model may not adequately address the breadth and richness of issues and options that actual decisionmakers need to consider. Other paradigms are more useful when, for example, no good model exists initially, when the premium is on finding fresh boundary-bursting ideas, or when it is crucial to involve stakeholders in model development from the outset. The model-game-model paradigm was illustrated in an application to crisis planning on the Korean peninsula. It included development of an initial theory-based model, design of a war game to explore qualitative matters (e.g., options, criteria for evaluation, and uncertainty), and execution of such a game in Seoul, South Korea. The game confirmed many aspects of the model but revealed shortcomings that led to model enrichment with additional options and considerations. All of this illustrated successfully one cycle of the model-game-model process. Further cycles are planned.

This research was conducted by the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division.

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