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The Science of War by Michael E. O'Hanlon

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CHAPTER II

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Modeling Combat and Sizing Forces

IS IT POSSIBLE to make meaningful estimates of how wars will unfold? The most important result to try to predict is, of course, the winner. Even in situations where that might be rather foreseeable, as in the two U.S.-led invasions of Iraq in the last two decades, gauging the likely duration of the conflicts—and the likely casualties that will ensue to participating armies and proximate civilians—is of great interest when possible.

An important related question is: Can we make meaningful estimates of what force package would be adequate to prevail, and prevail decisively, in a proposed conflict? This ...

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