Abstract for: Policy Simulation in a Warzone: System dynamics in Afghanistan

The paper describes a system dynamics policy simulation engagement undertaken with the US special operations command in Afghanistan between August 2011 and February 2012 and is organized into three sections. First, the basic mission and motivation for the engagement are reviewed. Second, the results of and lessons learned from the engagement are discussed. Third, a reference mode is begun to support a more extended system dynamics-based study that addresses the counterintuitive outcomes of the Afghan intervention specifically and of the problems associated with nation building more generally.