Date of Award

Summer 2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Modeling Simul & Visual Engineering

Committee Director

John A. Sokolowski

Committee Member

Catherine M. Banks

Committee Member

Andrew J. Collins

Abstract

The thesis examines possible US and Russian policy decisions following the establishment of an Islamist safe-haven in Chechnya. Conflicting national policies affect the possibility of a negotiated settlement. Domestic and international political considerations constrain the decision-making of the two nations. The author applies game theory to examine the sequential decision-making of the two nations. The extensive form model draws outcome payoff values from a bounded uniform distribution. This approach naturally models uncertainty; and, it allows repeated probabilistic instantiations of the model. These instantiations produce a range of solutions. The most likely outcome was a negotiated settlement, generally following a tit-for-tat strategy. The second most likely outcome was a conflict initiated by the US. What-if scenarios were used to explore the model. The scenarios illustrate the flexibility of the model. The modeling approach developed in the thesis can be adapted to study other international conflicts. The quantitative data, outcome payoff ranges, was contrived by the author following an analysis of the literature. While the model developed in the thesis is repeatable, similar outcomes assume the would-be modeler is in analytical concurrence with the author. Thus, the development of unbiased preference indices is identified as an area for future consideration.

DOI

10.25777/sk27-wz76

ISBN

9781124293639

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