Informing National Security Policy by Modeling Adversarial Inducement and Its Governance

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The distinction between peace and conflict in contemporary international relations is no longer well-defined. Leveraging modern technology, hostile action below the threshold of war has become increasingly effective. The objective of such aggression is often the influence of opinions, emotions, and, ultimately, the decisions of a nation's citizenry. This work presents two new game theoretic frameworks, denoted as prospect games and regulated prospect games, to inform defensive policy against these threats. These frameworks respectively model (a) the interactions of competing entities influencing a populace and (b) the preemptive actions of a regulating agent to alter such a framework. Prospect games and regulated prospect games are designed to be adaptable, depending on the assumed nature of persuaders' interactions and their rationality. The contributions herein are a modeling framework for competitive influence operations under a common set of assumptions, model variants that respectively correspond to scenario-specific modifications of selected assumptions, the illustration of practical solution methods for the suite of models, and a demonstration on a representative scenario with the ultimate goal of providing a quantifiable, tractable, and rigorous framework upon which national policies defending against competitive influence can be identified.


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Socio-Economic Planning Sciences

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