Accession Number : ADA330025

Title :   A Framework for Military Decision Making under Risks

Corporate Author : AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL

Personal Author(s) : Schultz, James V.

PDF Url : ADA330025

Report Date : AUG 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 56

Abstract : This is a study of the applicability of prospect theory to military decision making. Prospect theory posits that the decision maker's reference point determines the domain in which he makes a decision. If the domain is one of losses, the decision maker will tend to be risk seeking, if gains, then he will be risk averse. The author proposes that if prospect theory's propositions are correct, then it may be possible for the decision maker, by assessing his own domain, to make better informed decisions. One implication of this study is that if the decision maker can do the same for a subordinate or for an enemy, he may be better able to predict their responses in a given situation. The project's goal is to develop a framework for assessing risk propensity. It does this by first describing the military decision making process and concluding that it is a rational decision making process. Second, this study describes prospect theory and matches the key aspects of the theory with the military decision making process. Third, it proposes a framework for assessing risk propensity. The theory is tested in a case study of Gen Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1944 decision to launch Operation Market Garden. This decision is analyzed in terms of Graham T. Allison's three models for decision making and prospect theory to determine which model or theory seems to provide the best explanations for Eisenhower's decision. The last chapter applies the risk propensity framework to the case study to test if it can predict risk propensity and its impact on decision making.

Descriptors :   *DECISION MAKING, MILITARY OPERATIONS, RISK, OPERATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS, DECISION THEORY, MILITARY APPLICATIONS, MILITARY PLANNING.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE