Creative use of scenarios
Tritten, James John
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Surprise and the Single Scenarios' is the title of an article by Sir James Cable. The essence of his thesis is that the United Kingdom should not prepare its military with just one contingency in mind. Related theses have been debated for many years; should Soviet military strategy be based upon the doctrinal assumption of quick escalation to nuclear war? Should U.S. nuclear forces be procured with the requirement to survive a well executed surprise first strike? In considering these and related political-military questions, scenarios are often created to flesh out the concept being considered. For example, military planners in the USSR undoubtedly use alternating scenarios to consider possible courses that armed conflict could take in order that they might assess the impact of short or long time scales on nuclear/conventional interactions. Similarly, varying scenarios are used in the U.S. to demonstrate the impact of different threat assumptions on the amount and types of nuclear forces that the U.S. should buy that would 'guarantee' an acceptable level of retaliation. The major point to all this, and this report, is that in order to perform complex political military assessments, political scientists either explicitly or implicitly use operations analysis techniques, including simulations, gaming and scenarios
NPS Report NumberNPS-56-87-001
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