Evidence of deterrence is visible through the behavior of the antagonist. However, that behavior stems from a value system that lies beneath it. Just under the visible display of actions, is a boundary of attitudes that are sustained by a core-belief organism. Without making a judgmental approach of whether any specific antagonist’s core-belief system is better or worse than that of the protagonist, the core-belief organism is the virtual soul that drives attitudes, which in turn produce quantifiable actions. Since the primary purpose of deterrence is to alter behavior or actions of the antagonist, the antagonist’s value system becomes the primary focus of the crisis-action planning generation agent.
The oft-touted goal of “winning the hearts and minds of the people” is a concept that refers to altering the people’s attitudes, which directly drive the actions and behaviors of all decision makers. If an attitude of hatred can be converted into disdain, then tolerance, then respect or even at the far right of the spectrum—of liking or even loving—then the need for a deterrence effort is soon rendered obsolete, because the expected behavior of the antagonist would not be of a detrimental nature to the protagonist. When that transformation occurs, the antagonist would have become an ally of the protagonist. However, experience has shown that attitudes are nearly impossible to morph through such a process since something deeper is fueling the attitude.
At the deepest level of antagonist’s value system, which drives behavior, is a core-belief organism. From a theological perspective this would be the “soul” of the decision maker—often rooted in the official teachings of some organized religion or culture. Irregardless of origin, the core-beliefs take on a religiosity of their own in as far as determining attitudes that govern the actions of players. Forcing a change to an antagonist’s core-beliefs in a near-impossible task, without great cost, but focusing investments based on the values in those core-beliefs may yield great returns.
For a protagonist to be most precise in developing courses of action that will motivate the antagonist to select an acceptable alternate behavior, it is essential to understand the value system of the antagonist. It consists of a core-belief organism that develops attitudes, which drive the actions of behavior.
The expected behavior of the antagonist has an intermediate or long-term objective as its purpose. That objective has a value to the antagonist, which stems from the antagonist’s value system. The protagonist must understand not only the value system the antagonist is operating from but also the value the antagonist has placed on the objective of the expected actions.
This is the crux of the conflict for the protagonist: the expected behavior of the antagonist that the protagonist has been determined to be unacceptable. Supporting that decision, the protagonist also has a value system, which includes a core-belief organism. For the purposes of the success formula, the protagonist value system is considered static in the execution of deterrence activity. Should that system change, it would be necessary to return to the beginning of the computation with the new values for the formula in order to achieve success.