European Conflict Analysis Project (ECAP)
Publication Type:Journal article preview
Source:Information & Security: An International Journal, Volume 49 (2021)
Keywords:armaments planning, confidence building, conflict modelling, European conflict, inter-national cooperation, military deterrence, military threat, NATO defense planning, nuclear armament, simulation, soft deterrence
With this report I am describing a US-German project that was worked on from 1983-1992 and which, from today’s point of view, seems to be worth revisiting in its essential points. The general goal of the project was to provide analytical support to decisions on the conventional defense capability of the NATO armed forces in Central Europe and the political-strategic debate on deploying medium-range nuclear missiles. An important aspect was the consideration of the paradoxical situation of a possible use of tactical-nuclear battlefield weapons with the associated escalation risks and the hoped-for deterrent effect in the strategic area. One of the foundations was the analytical use of quantitative simulation models and methods that were already relatively mature at the time for the reproducible calculation of a conventionally conducted attack of the Warsaw Pact with a likely focus on Central Europe. The main results were the type of cooperation and the structure of the analyses, the evidence of the usefulness of simulation models and, last but not least, the development of common goals, especially in phases of great upheaval such as the end of the Soviet system.