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December 01, 2004

War Gaming

As I pointed out in a previous post on Iran's nuclear ambitions I think that there are two factors at work, civilian nuclear power and the Mullahs burning desire to acquire nuclear weapons. I'm not too optimistic about soft power negotiations being effective in stopping the nuclear weapons drive and I thought it might be interesting if we interactively war gamed the situation, perhaps starting with an interactive decision tree analysis where we could conduct a poll for each branch and start navigating the likelihoods of future events.

It seems to me that Europeans, at the end of the day, would be willing to live with a nuclear armed Iran, where that would be a more bitter pill for Americans to swallow. If action is needed to thwart the Mullah's ambitions can the US go it alone considering present commitments in Iraq?

I'm thinking that with a decision tree analysis we can look at each step from the present to possible outcomes, for instance, if force is to be considered, how will we muster the resources. What is the probability that we'll have a draft, or increase recruitment, how long to work those troops through training, will we redeploy from other overseas theatres and leave Iraq levels static, will we downsize Iraq troop levels in preparation for nationbuilding in Iran, or will we see that military options are really not on the table. If the latter then what other options can be explored.

If we lay out the decision branches, and set up a poll, we can all vote on each branch and get a feel for the "wisdom" of each branch and the likelihood of events going that way.

Does this sound like something people would be interested in? Perhaps Arcane or some of our other bloggers can be enticed help design the experiment. Anyways, I'd be interested in people's opinions on whether they'd like to see this type of interactive experiment take place. If enough people are interested, I could start putting together a rudimentary tree to get the ball rolling.

Posted by TangoMan at 05:16 PM