Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Operations Research


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Gregory S. Parnell, PhD


The objective of this research was to develop an analytical framework to assess future force structure requirements under the major uncertainties inherent in the post-Cold War era. Among the uncertainties are the frequency and nature of future threats to U.S. interests and the cost of maintaining, building, and demobilizing forces. The centerpiece of the methodology is a computer model which simulates the development of threats to U.S. interests and the actions the U.S. takes to protect those interests. From this simulation, the costs and risks associated with different policy alternatives can be estimated. The simulation is set within a broader decision-analysis framework which provides the philosophy for determining the inputs to the simulation and for analyzing the output from the simulation. The research included an analysis of 24 policy alternatives involving the size of the Base Force, the safety margin maintained between the force size and the force requirement, the rate of force buildup, and the rate of force demobilization. The results suggest that the buildup rate is a key factor in lowering the costs of the U.S. military while controlling the risk of being unable to protect U. S. interests.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number