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Space Competition and the Dynamics of Conflict: Using Game Theory and Artificial Intelligence to Gain Strategic Insight

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[Technical Report, Research Report]

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The authors of this report summarize research to date about using a game theoretic model of competition and cooperation in outer space to examine the dynamics of conflict there, short of wars of total destruction. In 2014, the RAND Corporation began developing a game-theoretic model to assess strategic implications of investments in space capabilities by the United States and a competitor nation. In projects since, we built on traditional game theory to provide a context-rich assessment of how nation-state investments may play out over a range of possible futures. Although prior published research using this model explored the impact of investments on deterring horizontal escalation of a terrestrial war into outer space, this report focuses on the dynamics of space competition in the context of limited space war. This report provides a summary of the aspects of our work that should be of interest to a general audience of space policymakers and potential warfighters.

Subject Categories:

  • Unmanned Spacecraft
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]