Abstract for: Continued development of a concept to implement M&S in support of the operations process

Today’s military faces a hybrid threat that blends conventional, irregular and hybrid warfare. Military interventions aim to influence undesirable dynamics to create a more desirable state of the world. To this end, commanders follow the operations process to translate a desired end-state to tactical activities conducted by the units under his command. A difficult task lies in understanding the interactions between actors and factors that shape the conflict and how these can be influenced. A commander will have to make inferences about effects and future behaviour while the current situation is highly uncertain. Modelling and simulation (M&S) methods such as System Dynamics could serve as a capability to structure information and derive insights on the problem and possible interventions. However, M&S methods, such as System Dynamics models, are not frequently used. This paper reports results from an on-going study conducted for the Netherlands Armed Forces that aims to assess if and how M&S could be applied as part of the operational decision making process. An example concerning military interventions is presented in which exploratory system dynamics modelling and analysis (ESDMA) is used to explore plausible futures under deep uncertainty.