Game-Theoretic Modeling of Asymmetric Conflicts


21st century has seen the USA, NATO and international coalitions participating in politico-military asymmetric conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Military campaign in Afghanistan has already become the longest in the US history. Before leaving the office, the former US president Barack Obama had declared the success of the mission. At the same time, the decrease in a number of foreign troops in Afghanistan is said to have led to the instability in this country. Effectiveness and efficiency of the decisions taken by the previous White House administration are again a subject of the fierce debates amidst the new strategic plan for Afghanistan announced by the new USA president Mr. Trump. The White House has decided to focus on a result, not a timeframe. The mission will be aimed at “killing terrorists”, not at peacekeeping in or development of Afghanistan. The authors of the article try to escape linear paradigm and descriptive method, estimating the efficiency of the military component of the US and ISAF strategy in Afghanistan during Mr. Obama’s presidency (2009–2016) with the use of the game- theory model developed earlier by other scholars. This model describes the relations between terrorist and counterterrorist actions. The model turns out to be inapplicable to the asymmetric conflict, according to the results of the regression analysis of the panel data and time-series, characterizing the politico-military situation in Afghanistan in 2009–2016, and collected by authors through quantitative event-analysis. Surprisingly the function of the terrorist actions in Afghanistan is positively related with the functions of counterterrorist actions, whereas, the functions of counterterrorist actions does not depend on terrorist attacks. As a result, the authors of the article suggest a new game-theory model for the forecasting of the politico-military situation in Afghanistan after 2016 within non-linear paradigm framework.


complex systems theory; nonlinear paradigm; asymmetric conflicts; NATO; US; Taliban; Afghanistan; quantitative methods; game-theory; regression analysis; terrorism.

Authors: Alexey Teteryuk, Yan Chizhevsky

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