This report provides the analytical foundation for a model that enables planners to explore the likely interaction effects among a wide range of factors influencing strategic nuclear relationships and national security. The model facilitates the assessment of emerging strategic dynamics by simulating the deployment of defenses, adoption of arms control and threat reduction measures, alterations in offensive force structure and posture, integration of new technologies, changes in strategy and doctrine, and the formation of alliances. The ultimate aim of this effort is to provide US decision makers with a resource to assess trade-offs among the range of options available to them in response to challenges posed by strategic competition and cooperation through 2020. This report first summarizes previous research on this subject noting substantive findings, methodological issues, and shortcomings of that work. Then the report lays out a conceptualization for an actor-based model of three-way strategic interaction. The primary driver for strategic interaction is the decision calculus performed by state actors including threat perception, option formulation, decision criteria, and policy choice. The discussion defines and specifies the key variables and terms used in the formulation of the model. The report concludes with a discussion on how a model excursion ends, its explicit outputs, as well as the range of pre-set scenarios available to the user. Note: This document has been added to the Homeland Security Digital Library in agreement with the Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering WMD (PASCC) as part of the PASCC collection. Permission to download and/or retrieve this resource has been obtained through PASCC.
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