Modelling Nuclear Weapon Effects in Wargaming Using Monte Carlo Simulations

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United States Military Academy
The United States Army’s interpretation of nuclear weapon effects needs change and modernization. Wargaming exercises are commonplace in today’s military, however, despite the growing threat of non-strategic nuclear weapons (NSNW), little has been done to inform battlefield commanders on their true effects. Our research seeks to develop a tool for commanders to easily interpret quantifiable effects of a NSNW. Utilizing Monte Carlo simulation, we are developing a new methodology to analyze NSNW effects. Our model allows a commander to calculate the expected unit strength following a NSNW strike which will aid in their operational decision-making ability. The Monte Carlo simulation method for analyzing nuclear effects offers a novel approach to account for variation while giving the commander an analytically interpretable output as descriptive statistics that avoids probabilities.
: Monte Carlo Simulation, Wargaming, Nuclear Effects, Non-strategic Nuclear Weapons
Guetzke, Tyler (CDT ’23), MAJ Alexander Withenbury, and MAJ Zachary Dugger. “Modelling Nuclear Weapon Effects in Wargaming Using Monte Carlo Simulations.” Proceedings of the Annual General Donald R. Keith Memorial Conference, West Point, New York, May 4,2023.