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Posts Tagged ‘Military Innovation’


A while ago I made some comments on Richard Danzig’s CNAS piece, Driving in the Dark. It had been my intention to follow-up that post quickly, but as often happens, other demands rose to the top of the stack. For the sake of completeness, I wanted to follow up with some additional thoughts on the second part of his paper. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments on Richard Danzig’s Driving in the Dark

Last month the Center for New American Security (CNAS) published an excellent report by Richard Danzig called Driving in the Dark: Ten Propositions About Prediction and National Security. While much of what has been said in this report has been discussed elsewhere, I believe that this report provides one of the most coherent, complete, and compact discussions regarding how to cope with inevitable failures of prediction in national security policy. This posting discusses three interesting points that Danzig makes in the first half of his report. A follow-up posting will continue by examining the second half of the report. Read the rest of this entry »

Rock-Paper-Scissors and Arms Races Part 6

Previous posts had examined the replicator equation as the basis of agent behavior in an arms race defined by a game of rock-paper-scissors (RPS). This post begins a follow-on examination regarding the use of best-response as an alternative behavior or strategy on the part of competing agents. In some ways, best-response may be unrealistic with respect to how agents can adapt, especially if they are capable of making large jumps or changes to strategies in short-periods of time that are not reflective of real-world organizations. However, in other ways, the strategy is quite realistic for social actors because it affords them opportunities to revive dead or eliminated strategies when suitable while the biologically based replicator loses them forever once extinct. Read the rest of this entry »

Rock-Paper-Scissors and Arms Races Part 5

The last examination of the rock-paper-scissors (RPS) model added spatial considerations to the replicator equation, used as the basis for agent logic. Here, the outputs and responsiveness to geographic considerations are examined using the modified replicator equation discussed earlier. Read the rest of this entry »

Rock-Paper-Scissors and Arms Races Part 4

It has been a while, but I’m going to return to the Rock-Paper-Scissors (RPS) model that I started developing several weeks ago. This posting looks at the mechanics of of adding geography to the model, while a future posting will actually run the geographic version of the model—this posting is essentially a bridge between model assessments. Having already established that the agent-based framework can replicate the behavior of the equation based model, modifications to the ABM can add new features and relax assumptions embedded in the mathematical formalism, allowing for explorations that are increasingly relevant to the international system. Read the rest of this entry »

Evolved Threat Wargame Observations

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in the 4th and final wargame in a series examining the future of warfare. The game itself presented a fairly standard gaming scenario, which proved to be quite challenging given the likely capabilities of red (adversary) forces and the political situation that framed the conflict. Read the rest of this entry »

Rock-Paper-Scissors and Arms Races Part 2

This posting will examine some of the basic properties of a mathematical model of RPS implemented in Excel that employs the replicator equation as a way of examining the dynamics of innovation within arms races. Read the rest of this entry »

Rock-Paper-Scissors and Arms Races Part 1

I have always been fascinated by military innovation and they ways in which individuals and organizations perceive and adapt to threats and opportunities in their environments. One of the important lessons from game theory, biology, and military history is the fragility of dominant positions – there is rarely a dominant strategy that trumps all possible options available to one’s adversaries. Read the rest of this entry »
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