Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Richard F. Deckro, PhD


In The Art of War, Sun Tzu begins by stating: "War is a matter of vital importance to the State; the province of life or death; the road to survival or ruin. It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied." Sun Tzu follow's this opening by stating five fundamental factors a commander must master to be successful in combat. The first of these factors is moral influence which Sun Tzu defines as "that which causes the people to be in harmony with their leaders, so they will accompany them in life and death without fear of mortal peril." In the face of the instant communication provided by satellites, 24 hour news media coverage, and other technological advances, this factor is even more relevant today. This research provides an analytic framework, based on the principles of fourth generation operations, capturing the effects of will and resolve of the combatant and population. The strategic level model investigates the long term impacts of asymmetric conflict. These results are primarily measured in the socio-political arena rather than the military battlefield. The model developed in this dissertation remains a model of conflict and combat. However, some of the impacts from the political, economic, and informational instruments of power are represented in the model through the dynamic adaptation of public resolve and combat spirit. To paraphrase Sun Tzu, war is vitally important and must be studied. Therefore, this dissertation puts forth a means to model key aspects of conflict in the `long war'.

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