Exploratory Analysis of the Military Value of Information and Force   [open pdf - 4MB]

This thesis addresses the military value of information in conflict. It is composed of three complimentary experiments. The first experiment uses a simple contest to assess how military decision makers perceive and use information. The results of the experiment demonstrate that many military decision makers do not always use information optimally. Equally insightful, most military decision makers significantly overestimate the value of information compared to force advantage. The second experiment is an exploratory analysis of like naval surface forces and explores the value of information versus force advantage in modern naval surface combat using a computational model of naval missile combat. The results of the exploratory analysis of like naval forces suggest that increasing information advantage can enhance but occasionally may degrade a force's effectiveness. In contrast, increasing force advantage in the same conflict always enhances the combat effectiveness of the forces investigated. The third experiment analyzes a more realistic asymmetric scenario. In this case study, American aegis type ships engage more numerous coastal defense type forces. The results show the advantage of numbers even when the aegis type ships have virtually total information.

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