Unless the certainty of the loss of a precious possession holding greater value to the antagonist than the value placed on achieving the objective of the expected behavior, insufficient motivation will be generated to alter behavior. For sufficient motivation to be generated, it is paramount that the protagonist convinces the antagonist of the certainty of the loss of the precious possession unless an altered behavior is chosen within appropriate timeliness.
It is a challenge to the protagonist to understand what is precious to the antagonists. For example, since Vietnam, Americans citizens quickly become upset when the number of American military deaths increase, however many of our opponents do not share that value. During the Iran-Iraq war, Iran was quick to use human-wave assaults, reminiscent of the Chinese in Korea or all players during World War I. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Americans in the 21st century get upset even over large numbers of enemy soldiers being killed or wounded. Thus should an American protagonist adopt a scheme to kill many citizens, or even soldiers of a foreign state to prevent an unacceptable behavior (short of murdering massive numbers of Americans), the deterrence will likely fail due to public opposition on the American side of the formula.
Before the antagonist will make a decision to alter the expected behavior, there has to be certainty (cA) of the loss of the precious. Certainty is a product of means and willingness, represented as: cA = M(3W). Here (M) is the antagonist’s perception of the means to take the precious possession; (W) is the antagonist’s perception of willingness of the protagonist to use the means to take the precious possession. Notice that (W) carries 3 times the weight of (M) in the computation of (cA). Means without sufficient will to use it rarely if ever provides successful deterrence.
Means: M = frm
Some tangible instrument has to exist before a loss can be initiated. That is the means, which is a product of three factors: Here (f) is the antagonist’s perception of the force-structure available to the protagonist’s guarantee; (r) is the antagonist’s perception of the readiness of the force-structure; and (m) is antagonist’s perception of the morale of the forces that will create the loss. Perceived weaknesses in any of these areas can produce the perception of a hollow force by an antagonist. For example, during the Cold War, the US objective was to prevent the spread of Soviet-sponsored communism. However in the years during and following the Vietnam War, the failure of the US leadership to maintain the perception of a capable military was a factor in increased Soviet activity in many third-world struggles, as in such states as Yemen, Mozambique, Tanzania, Ethiopia, the Republic of Congo, Libya, Nicaragua, and Afghanistan.
- f = isdl
The antagonist’s perception of the force structure that will come against him in a combination of several sub-factors: (i) is inventory of components, (s) is the condition of inventory, (d) is geographical position or disposition of the inventory, and (l) is the logistical process that empowers the inventory.
- r = dootq
The antagonist’s perception of the readiness is a product of three factors: (do) is doctrine and organization; (o) is operational experience; (t) is training and education; and (q) is the quality and quantity of operational personnel
- m = bu
The antagonist’s perception of the morale is a product of: (b) is esteem of the personnel; (u) is the understanding the personnel have of their mission and purpose. Soldiers, airmen, Marines and sailors, who don’t feel good about themselves or believe in their purpose, may falter in their efforts. The Vietnam era was a time of low morale as was the hollow force period following 1976. Morale was resurrected after 1980 when great strides were made during the Reagan administration to reestablish American prestige.
Willingness: W = pglm
Even if a capable means exist, the will to use the means must be there before a loss can be suffered by the antagonist. The will is derived from a product of three factors. Here (p) is the antagonist’s perception of will of the population that supports the protagonist’s intention to divest the antagonist of the precious possession; (g) is the antagonist’s perception of the will of the government that is responsible for the protagonist’s intention to divest the antagonist of the precious possession; and (lm) is the antagonist’s perception of will of the military leaders responsible for performing the action that will manifest the generation agent’s intention to divest the antagonist of the precious possession. The willingness of any particular factor could be summarized as supporting, divided, or opposed.
For example, the 444-day Iranian embassy hostage crisis ended on the day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated. The perception that the new variable (g) was going to do something about the unacceptable behavior of holding US diplomats as hostages had to be the deciding factor.
Each of the factors used to determine probability of success must be translated into a numerical value before they can be inserted into the equation. An index representing the sufficiency of the factor as it relates to the certainty of the antagonist losing his precious (cA) can then be obtained. Using simple X Y graphs (see figure 4-1 below), and expert analysis, the sufficiency of each specific resource can be plotted to obtain the value of the specific factor for the equation. The equation will combine these values to determine a synergistic factorial sufficiency value, thus predicting the success or failure of the intended deterrence effort.