Abstract for: The application of modelling and simulation in support of operational decision making during land operations

Contemporary military interventions are aimed to influence the complex dynamics of a conflict to create a stable situation in which further outside intervention is no longer necessary. To this end, an operational commander has to translate a desired end-state to tactical activities conducted by the units under his or her command. Modelling and simulation (M&S) could serve as a capability for a commander to structure available information and derive insight into the situation to assist decision making. Within the Dutch military, qualitative techniques, such as Causal Loop Diagrams and problem structuring methods such as MARVEL are used to this end (Barros & Monsuur, 2011; Heesmans, 2008; Veldhuis et al. 2015). However, the simulation capabilities of M&S methods (such as stock-and-flow models) are normally not used within the operational decision making process. This paper reports some results from an on-going study conducted for the Dutch military that aimed to assess if and how M&S could be applied as part of the operational decision making process. As part of this assessment, a small use-case concerning a counter-insurgency intervention was developed using group model building, system dynamics and exploratory modelling and analysis.