Deterring or Coercing Opponents in Crisis: Lessons from the War with Saddam Hussein,
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
Pagination or Media Count:
This study applies an experimental interdisciplinary methodology Davis and Arquilla, 1991 for understanding the possible reasoning of opponents in crisis and conflict and for using that understanding to develop well-hedged and adaptive deterrent strategies. First, we develop alternative models of Saddam Husseins reasoning over the period of February 1990 to February 1991, using only information available during the crisis rather than exploiting the benefits of hindsight. We then explain Saddams behavior retrospectively and argue that having developed and worked with the alternative models during the crisis could have materially improved the formulation of U.S. strategy. We next use the models to analyze such speculative questions as could we have deterred Saddam and to suggest more general conclusions about appropriate strategies of deterrence in future crisis. Finally, we recommend major changes in the processes by which the U.S. prepares for contingencies in peacetime and deliberates about strategy as a crisis develops.
- Administration and Management