Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Raymond R. Hill, PhD


US airpower theory and doctrine depend on the concept that the destruction of a few key targets or centers of gravity can unravel the enemy's physical ability to wage war or break his will to prosecute the war. This synergistic decimation of the enemy's effectiveness and resistance to our political will is known as Strategic Effects. These strategic effects are very difficult to quantify and are not directly accounted for in current DoD computer models. Since these computer models are used to aid with decisions about force structure and budget priorities, many believe that the Air Force's greatest potential contribution to modern joint warfare is going unrecognized and under financed. This thesis explores military theory and current doctrine to define a method quantifying strategic effects. This method is based upon the Observe-Orient-Decide-Act (OODA) decision cycle. Next, current modeling techniques, and specifically the campaign level model, THUNDER, are examined for applicability to model strategic effects as defined. Finally, a proof of concept model is developed to study the advantage associated with OODA loop exploitation. This simple model uses Java-based, multi-threaded, autonomous, complex adaptive agents to demonstrate the non-linear (synergistic) results of OODA loop exploitation. These results are similar to the anticipated effects of strategic attack and provide a solid foothold from which the study and modeling of strategic effects can begin.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number