Inadvertent War in Europe: Crisis Simulation

Policy Brief

Published By


June 1985

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This report analyzes a simulation, conducted in the spring of 1984 at Stanford University, of a hypothetical U.S.-Soviet crisis in Germany.  The simulation was organized by the Center for International Security and Arms Control as a part of the course, Political Science 138B, "Arms Control and Disarmament Seminar."

The purpose of this study is not to predict whether or not inadvertent war in Europe will occur but to understand how it might possibly occur and how better to avoid it.  The utility of the crisis simulation lies in the insights it provides regarding (1) difficult policy dilemmas likely to be experienced at many points in a crisis and (2) possibilities for misperception, misjudgment, and escalation that inhere in the process of interaction between the two sides in a crisis.

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