This "Theory of Surprise, Part 1" lecture module was created as part of the Center for Homeland Defense and Security's course on Intelligence for Homeland Security: Organizational and Policy Challenges taught by James J. Wirtz at the Naval Postgraduate School. "Why do states, non-state actors or individuals attempt to surprise their opponents? Why do they often succeed? How does surprise affect strategic interactions, competitions in which the behavior of both sides determine the outcome? Why do some surprise initiatives succeed spectacularly, only to end in disaster for the side the initially benefited from surprise? If we can explain surprise, can we prevent if from occurring? To answer these question, one would have to develop a theory of surprise - a unifying explanation of why states, for example attempt to surprise their opponents with diplomatic or military initiative, why they succeed and how surprise helps them to achieve their objectives."
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