"Graphing" an Optimal Grand Strategy
MetadataShow full item record
Graph theory provides a useful framework for generating insights into problems of sufficiency and optimality across a wide variety of physical relationships. Applied to the realm of grand strategy, this approach assists in developing a methodology for estimating the minimum level of forces required and determining the optimal deployments for the successful pursuit of national security goals. In theory, the adoption of a defense-in-depth maneuver strategy provides the most efficient use of scarce resources. However, deterrence stability attenuates due to the absence of robust local balances of forces. Comparative case analyses of the Roman and British empires confirm the efficiency of depth defense, as well as the weakening of deterrence. Implications for U.S. policy are that, despite sizeable reductions, two regional wars can be fought and won, nearly simultaneously, even below base force levels. However, the deployments required to effect this grand strategy may make challenges to conventional deterrence more likely. Finally, it is demonstrated that small increases in forces above minimum requirements create a valuable "margin of safety" and may significantly improve crisis and deterrence stability...
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Pjetraj, Walter M. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 1995-09);This thesis critically analyzes a prominent theoretical framework concerning the conditions necessary for successful deterrence and conflict-containment, with special attention to historical antecedents to the current ...
Barretta, Michael A. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 1995-06);This thesis tests the theory that nuclear proliferation might enhance strategic stability by making the use of military force between possessors of nuclear weapons unlikely. It discusses the existing literature on deterrence ...
Kolbas, Patrick Joseph (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 1991-06);This thesis examines the implications for nuclear deterrence between the United States and the Soviet Union brought about by the dramatic changes in the strategic environment during the 1980s. Specifically, it examines the ...