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Lecture 2

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Department
Political Science
Course
Political Science 2231E
Professor
Erika Simpson
Semester
Winter

Description
1Lecture 2Game Theory Rationality and the Cuban Missile Crisis Demosthenes Grab Opportunity Small Opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises Ralph Waldo Emerson Be Ambitious Without ambition one starts nothing Without work one finishes nothing The prize will not be sent to you You have to win it Introduction to Game TheoryGame theory rationally and dispassionately examines the strategic behavior of nationsGame theoretical models illuminate the underlying structure of conflictGame models can explain and describe situation they can also be used to prescribeGames give policymakers a cheap and quiet way to go to war for the mundane purposes of planning budgets for tinkering with a size of Army divisions and Navy fleets and for putting nonexistent weapons and outlandish tactics onto mythical battle fieldsNumerous games have been developed in obscurity by the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency the Army Concepts and Analysis Agency and the Army Research Institute for the Behavioural and Social SciencePerception of war gaming which is looked upon as a matter best kept inside what players often refer to as the gaming communityThe Naval War College unlike the Pentagon still clings to the old word probably because the Navy has been the oldest and most persistent user of gamingMany of the basic rules of American war gaming were developed at the college during the years between WWI and WWII In modern times its Center for War Gaming became a major stadium for the planning of WWIIIThe play goes on in war colleges and in some forty universities and think tanks that stage games for the Department of Defence and other customers including foreign countriesBDM International a Washingtonbased military consulting firm in 1986 was working on a game that would be sold to Iraq for use in its war against IranThe heart of the game would be a model of Iranian transportation and oilpipeline systems a kind of dart board for Iraqi pilots to practice on before flying off to bomb the real thingBDM is one of several major think tanks that develop highly sophisticated games that play out crises involving nuclearwar control and communicationsRecently the Strategic Defence Initiative better known a Star Wars has inspired a host of new gamesFrom many of these games comes ideas that find their way into American foreign policy and military contingencyThe Attraction of Game Theory Why is Game Theory SexyRacy termsInnocuous quasimathematical languageLanguage conceals underlying political realities Why is Game Theory Important to IR 2 Illuminates the logic of structural relationsBased on shared ideas and concepts which contribute to IR languagejargonIlluminates the abstractions of strategizing and underlying assumptions of strategic studiesClarifies assumptions about rationality which underlie military and economic thinkingHelps generate options and alternative strategies such as tits for tatthese help cooperation emerge in a world without central authority eg Anarchy Important ConceptsMatrix 1 boxMatrices more than 2 boxesPayoff A or B s payoffOutcomes ABs payoffsRow Bs choices and payoffsColumn As choices and payoffs Chicken or Deterrence GameChicken MatrixSam row alongside USIvan column across top RussiaDeveloped by Daniel Ellsberg RAND think tank Based on teenage gameFirst driver who swerves losesBoth drivers are losers if they collide What should Sam and Ivan DoMake a decisionConsider all the worst possible consequences of each choiceChoose so as to avoid the worst conceivable outcome this is called the minimax principle o Look for the payoffs where my minimal payoff is maximal o Ie Look to make the decision which makes the best of the worst behaviour of my opponent o If Sam and Ivan choose according to the minimax principle they will both decide to swerve so as to avoid the worst payoff a perfectly rational solution Logical ConclusionIf the US and the SU choose according to the minimax principle they will both decide not to rely on a strategy of Mutual Assured Destruction so as to avoid any possibility of destructive nuclear warStrategists Problem Given that the US and Europe would back down because of the risks of nuclear war a strategy of Mutual Assured Destruction wasnt credible
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