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An Interactive Use of the Lanchester Combat Model

Captain Bart D. Stewart

The business of war is a tough one, and, in all likelihood, one that will never go away.  Our military forces are developing into a more complex entity, continually striving to better the total force and create a safer world.  Many factors contribute to this process, but nothing is more crucial than those serving our country in uniform.  When deterrence fails, how can we protect our most valuable resource?  How do we win our wars?  And before we even fight them, how do we plan for them?

Could commanders better prepare for battle if a simple, interactive, unit-specific approach were made available in the planning process?  And what if service members at all levels could interact with it?  At the very least, service members could visualize the impact on readying the force in a variety of fashions.  By employing a form of the Lanchester Combat Model in Microsoft Excel, such an tool is available.

Bart D. Stewart is in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the U. S. Military Academy.

Published February, 2003
© 2003, Bart D. Stewart

Captain Bart D. Stewart, "An Interactive Use of the Lanchester Combat Model," Convergence (December 2004)