The Attrition Dynamics of Multilateral War
Lin, Kyle Y.
MacKay, Niall J.
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We extend classical force-on-force combat models to study the attrition dynamics of three-way and multilateral war. We introduce a new multilateral combat model—the multiduel—which generalizes the Lanchester models, and we solve it under an objective function that values one’s own surviving force minus that of one’s enemies. The outcome is stark: either one side is strong enough to destroy all the others combined, or all sides are locked in a stalemate, which results in collective mutual annihilation. The situation in Syria fits this paradigm.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/opre.2018.1718
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