Accession Number:

ADA594499

Title:

Modeling, Simulation, and Operations Analysis in Afghanistan and Iraq: Operational Vignettes, Lessons Learned, and a Survey of Selected Efforts

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA

Report Date:

2014-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

194.0

Abstract:

This report surveys and provides lessons learned on modeling and operations analysis OA in Operations Enduring Freedom OEF and Iraqi Freedom OIF. Operations and environmental complexities in Iraq and Afghanistan placed heavy demands on U.S. military commanders, requiring them to make critical, time-sensitive decisions with limited information. Modelers and analysts provided both direct and indirect, or reach-back, support to commanders in both theaters to help them make wellinformed decisions across the full spectrum of counterinsurgency and irregular warfare COIN and IW operations. Based on our analysis of both the literature and interviews with commanders and analysts, we identified four general categories that encompassed most decision support 1 force protection 2 logistics 3 campaign assessment and 4 force structure. We assess that modelers and analysts were able to successfully inform many force protection and logistics decisions, but they were less effective in supporting campaign assessment and force-structuring decisions each category is described in greater detail below. Scope, scale, complexity, and the opacity of the operational environment were critical variables Modeling and analysis were effective at addressing difficult but relatively concrete tactical and operational problems, but less useful in addressing complex strategic problems that required detailed analysis of the operational environment. This finding was perhaps unsurprising given the complexity of the environments and operations in both theaters, but it does help refine understanding of the ways in which modeling, simulation, and analysis might be used most effectively in IW. It also informs decisions on current and future investment in modeling and analytic capabilities. The theory and practical methods for force protection and logistics decision support are generally sound and warrant continued investment, while the theory and methods that support campaign assessme

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE