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Game-theoretic analysis of the confrontation between Russia and the U.S. on the Ukrainian front. Cold war 2.0
Material posted: Publication date: 16-11-2014

"Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical center, because its very existence as an independent state helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian Empire. Without Ukraine, Russia can still fight for the Imperial status, but then she would become primarily Asian Imperial state."

Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Not for whom not secret that the ultimate goal of the conflict with Russia in victory for the U.S. and NATO are not so much version material factors (control over territory, energy resources, technologies, postponement of financial disaster, etc.), but the elimination of Russia as the forces opposing the establishment of a New world order (NWO).

One of the consequences of the Ukrainian crisis for Russia - the polarization of political life and a growing tendency to call a spade a spade.

Ukraine, I guess many Russian experts would remain calm, if not an acute crisis of the system of virtual capitalism, of financial and political degradation of the authorities in the USA and Europe. Hoping to avoid another catastrophic banking and financial collapse, Washington has launched a long-prepared explosive Ukrainian project with the purpose to provoke Russia into armed conflict with Ukraine and in the manner of punishment to cause of irreparable damage with global effects. If all will develop in the American scenario and Russia will lose (which is unlikely, but the worst option is you have to keep in mind), the administration and the banking and financial circles in addition to obtaining control over the territory and resources of Russia could be written off due to the war debts of the Federal Reserve System, will remove the next "bubbles" in the markets of securities and, as always, good work, and America will regain its dominance in world politics and Finance. Experts believe that all this is extremely dangerous, we need drastic decisions and actions.

The problematic of conflicts and crises in international politics, analysis and forecast of development of conflicts, crisis management is now emerging as one of the most relevant topics. Global changes on the international scene, the sharp escalation of the conflict in the middle East, the conflict in Ukraine, escalating territorial disputes between countries, the chaos in different parts of the world - examples could be multiplied almost ad infinitum – all this suggests that the level of instability in the world has grown immensely and tendency to its reduction is not observed, rather the contrary. In this regard, the primary problem is to develop mechanisms and tools to recognize a crisis or potential conflict, to establish fairly reliable forecast of its development and to make recommendations for effective resolution of crisis or conflict. All this requires the development and use of appropriate tools.

Sufficient studies of crisis situations and conflicts in international relations is a simulation game. Underlying game theory, essentially, and has been specifically designed for solving such problems. Its feature is that, unlike most other methods, in which analysis of alternative strategies for the conduct of a party in whose interest is the research and selection of optimal variants is carried out without the "direct" taking into account the possible actions of the other parties to the conflict, simulation game allows you to explicitly assess the impact of the activities of all actors of the analyzed process done to achieve their goals, which greatly increases the adequacy and reliability of the results. In many cases, are analyzed and evaluated not only (and not so much) alternative behavior strategies of the parties involved in the conflict, but resulting from the application of these strategies in the situation that allows you to create variants of possible development scenarios of conflicts and crises, as well as to determine the most likely scenario.

Among the most developed methods of gaming simulation methods are the so-called game theory, two persons with opposite interests (zero-sum game). These methods are widely used to analyze and predict military conflicts (for example, simulation of hostilities, including the use of nuclear weapons). This is because the methods of game theory, two persons with opposite interests turned out to be the most adequate tool for the analysis of problems in which the objectives of the parties are not just conflicting, but quite the opposite. For these games introduced the concept of clearly defined optimal solutions and developed methods for finding optimal strategies for each side (each "player").

However, in many cases using methods of game theory, two persons with opposing interests is not effective for qualitative analysis and the prediction of crises and conflicts. This is determined by the following factors:

  • crises and conflicts in most cases are characterized by the presence of not two but a larger number of parties involved in the conflict (and these can be not only conflicting parties but also other participants of the process – intermediaries, various international organizations, peacekeeping forces, etc., – actions which may significantly affect the nature and development of the conflict);
  • the interests of these parties are not absolutely antagonistic, but only partially conflict character (and sometimes it is possible to find solutions, not only acceptable to all "players", but also improving their position).

As a quite effective instrument's simulation of crisis situations and conflicts can be used in game theory N parties with neprotivlenie (more precisely, with partly conflicting) interests. As experience has shown, the use of methods of the theory of not antagonistic games, you can get quite important information about the nature of the conflict and predict its possible development.

An important feature of gaming simulation is that it allows you to isolate the so-called stable situation (or a situation of equilibrium). A stable situation characterized by the following property: if either party will change unilaterally her strategy to any other, the new emerging situation will be for this side is worse (or at least not better) than the original stable.

Identify stable situations the game models is a very important aspect of the analysis of crisis situations and conflicts because it enables you to determine the behavior strategies of the conflicting parties (and parties "involved" in the conflict) and the nature of the relationship between them, in which these relationships can be lengthy. If the relationship (this situation) are acceptable to all parties to the conflict (and this is determined by evaluation of a stable situation), this information may be useful to predict possible ways of resolving the crisis. If a stable situation in essence means the intensification of the conflict or delay, then such information is also quite important because it enables you to determine unwanted options for the development of the conflict (it is clear, that the implementation of such a stable situation "out" of it would be very difficult).

Note that stable situations can be several. This makes it possible not only to determine probable scenarios of development of the conflict (which eventually "end" the transition to a stable relationship), but in some cases allows to identify the optimal scenario, the implementation of which is necessary to guide the effort.

Finally, information about stable situations can be very useful for analysis and prediction of the negotiation process between the parties to the conflict, because the agreement to implement a stable relationship will have a property additional, "internal" reliability and stability due to the unfavourable unilateral amendments of these relationships for any of the parties to the conflict.

The next important result of the analysis game models of conflict development is the definition of so-called guaranteed "win" for each side, i.e. such that each "party" to the conflict can provide a no matter what strategies will adhere to other parties, as well as defining the strategy (or strategies) of behavior, this provides a guaranteed "win".
Evaluation of the guaranteed result and the corresponding behavior strategies allows to obtain quite important information relating to the possibility and the effectiveness of one or another party to the conflict "unilateral" action without consultation with the other parties to the conflict and the involved intermediaries, international organizations, etc., which allows at least as a first approximation to predict the likely behaviour patterns of the conflicting parties (willingness to negotiate, delay or halt further escalation of the conflict). In particular, if the evaluation of the guaranteed result for any of the conflicting parties is positive (i.e. is an actual win for that party), it could serve as a valid reason for the assumption that the party to the conflict can act absolutely independently.

Another result of the analysis of the game model is to determine the possibility of formation of mutually advantageous coalitions of parties, i.e. agreements between two or more parties about the choice of their strategies, providing them a guaranteed win at a certain level, regardless of the actions of parties outside the coalition. "Coalition" analysis is a very important step in the study of crises and conflicts, because it allows to predict the possibility of reducing the level of conflict through the conclusion of agreements between other participants. Moreover, in some cases it is possible the full resolution of the conflict in which all parties benefit.

As an illustrative example, we present an example of using techniques of gaming simulation in solving the problem analysis of the current confrontation between Russia and the US and predict possible variants of development of these relations.

In this predictive study had the following major objectives:

  1. To consider possible changes in the relationship between Russia and the United States(NATO), to determine whether stabilization of these relations, at least for a short period, and if so, what could be the stable nature of these relationships (Fig. 1).
  2. To consider possible implementation of mutually beneficial bilateral agreements between the parties to the political process.

Analyzing the Ukrainian crisis, at first glance, selects 4 warring parties: Ukraine, Russia, USA and EU. However, a more in-depth understanding of conflict emerges the following picture:

  1. The Ukrainian crisis is a confrontation between Russia and the USA, between two civilizational systems and two paradigms of the world order. Perhaps this is the decisive battle of the two giants, in which Ukraine front, as well as a tool, it is also a pretext for a further NATO expansion to the East.
  2. The EU and NATO are only instruments of influence and pressure on Russia in the hands of the United States, unapostolic are in close proximity with Russia and have a huge set of connections,threads for which to pull and which can be cut.

Therefore, on the Ukrainian chessboard we have 2 players – Russia and the United States.

For further gaming simulation let us denote Russia – M (bear), USA – B (Buffalo).
Each player in the game has certain goals, which they achieve during the game. To achieve its goals the players are using certain strategies. Given that circumstances can change and strategies can be a huge variety and they can be adjusted depending on the behavior of other participants of the conflict and involvement in the conflict, third parties and organizations. To address these objectives were formed following, rather generic, alternative behavior strategies of Russia and the USA.

Strategy of the Russian Federation

M1 - Introduce troops into the new Russia. (Depending on the US strategy may direct armed clashes with the Russian army by the US army and NATO).

M2 - to make concessions to the West. To allow Ukraine to crush the Donbass, forced him to return to his composition, as well as to allow Ukraine to join NATO.

M3 - Take expectant position. To provide economic and political support for Novorossiya, while inter-clan fighting in Kiev for money and power will not lead to a complete collapse of the economy and a new Maidan in Ukraine. Wait until the US and its allies do not discredit themselves in the face of the world community and its own citizens. Constant infusion of money into the black hole of the Ukrainian economy will start to cause resentment in the EU. Costly foreign policy of the USA and the EU will exacerbate their domestic economic and socio-political problems that presumably would weaken them greatly.

At the same time, Russia has been shifting its attention to the East, strengthening its position in the Asian region, compensating for the damage to the economy caused by Western sanctions. Together with the BRICS countries and the SCO is building a new global financial and trade institutions, which compete with the Pro-American international institutions.

U.S. strategy

B1 - Enter NATO forces in Ukraine. To accept Ukraine into NATO to place its military forces on the territory of Ukraine. (Depending on the strategy of Russia's possible direct armed confrontation Russia and NATO headed by the USA)

B2 - to Exhaust and undermine Russia by maintaining the Ukrainian crisis in a protracted state, thus creating a point of instability, a kind of eternally frozen conflicts on Russia's borders, which will force Russia to spend large sums of money to ensure their own security in the region. Moreover a protracted war in the new Russia, constantly escalating unresolved contradictions between Russia and Ukraine will start to psychologically exhaust the population of Russia, Western sanctions will undermine the Russian economy, which will destabilize the country, discredit the government of the Russian Federation in the eyes of the population and will allow US to launch the project of ruin and dismemberment of Russia.

B3 - to Refuse further assistance to Kiev and to allow Russia to draw Ukraine into its sphere of influence.
Taking into account that the development of the situation depends on a party's strategy, the rationality and irrationality of the behavior, the symmetry or asymmetry of responses according to strategies described by game theory, it may be at least 3x3=9 different situations. Construct a game matrix to reveal the most optimal strategy for the players and to find the equilibrium point, i.e. a situation of stability.


 

In Fig.1 schematically shows one of possible variants of changing relations between the parties and the results. As a starting point adopt the following situation: Russia is expectant attitude. Provides economic and political support for Novorossiya, while inter-clan fighting in Kiev for money and power will not lead to a complete collapse of the economy and a new Maidan in Ukraine. Wigdet moment, while the US and its cronies discredit themselves in the face of the world community and its own citizens. Constant infusion of money into the black hole of the Ukrainian economy will start to cause resentment in the EU. Costly foreign policy of the USA and the EU will exacerbate their domestic economic and socio-political problems that presumably would weaken them greatly. In turn, the U.S. is trying to exhaust and undermine Russia by maintaining the Ukrainian crisis in a protracted state, thus creating a point of instability, a kind of eternally frozen conflicts on Russia's borders, which will force Russia to spend large sums of money to ensure their own security in the region. Moreover a protracted war in the new Russia, constantly escalating unresolved contradictions between Russia and Ukraine will start to psychologically exhaust the population of Russia, Western sanctions will undermine the Russian economy, which will destabilize the country, discredit the government of the Russian Federation in the eyes of the population and will allow US to launch the project of ruin and dismemberment of Russia.

It is assumed that any party changes its strategy if and only if the situation resulting from this change will be for this side more favorable than the previous one (or at least, no less favorable). It is important to note that you should not understand the changing strategies of the conduct of parties in the literal sense. In reality such changes can occur only in the form of threats and, consequently, kontrovers other participants in the political process. But analysis of a sequence of such steps allows to come to a practically important conclusions about the possibility of stabilizing relations "warring" parties, and the nature of stable relations will crucially depend on the sequence of strategies used that enables not only to predict the dynamics of changing relations, but also to determine the optimal behaviors of the parties.

Suppose Russia decided to send troops into Novorossiya to protect civilians from aggression by Kiev, then the USA take Ukraine into NATO and enter on its territory troops. This situation is theoretically stable, but unacceptable because it can result in a local armed conflict between Russia and NATO headed by the USA and to follow the path of further escalation of the conflict involving other countries and taking on global dimensions.

However, there may be another situation. Let's assume that Russia is sticking to its strategy of waiting, and the USA take Ukraine into NATO and bring troops into its territory, then it is logical to assume that Russia will be forced to send troops to Novorossiya, which as a consequence may lead to confrontation and armed conflict between the parties.

In this case, based on the simulation results, it follows that the situation that the selected source M3 - B2, in essence, is the situation of stability or equilibrium, but no pure Nash equilibrium and equilibrium in the context of threats and Contreras N. Howard and his theory of metair.

Of course the player can try to improve their situation by changing strategy, but any change still will eventually lead to confrontation and escalation of the conflict in the flesh to the global scale.

The above results of projection studies are rather fragmented and focused on the illustration of the potential of gaming simulation for analysis and prediction of crises and conflicts. In conducting such research there is a whole range of problems associated, on the one hand, with the need to address methodological problems (the formation of the original set of alternatives, and the group mnogomernyh conduct of examinations and processing of results, a sensitivity analysis of the simulation results to changes in expert assessments, etc.), and on the other hand, with integration of different methods of analysis (situational analysis, gaming simulation, cognitive modelling, expert forecasting methods – Delphi, Pattern, fuzzy systems, etc.) and their relation to generalized predictive analytical model.

Research shows that in the case of integrated use of modern methods of analysis used in political science, Economics, history, sociology, and applied mathematical methods (modelling, operations research, theory of decision making, fuzzy set theory, prediction), the joint work of specialists in humanitarian and technical profile, it is possible for successful solution of the specified tasks and obtain an effective and practically useful results in the study of crises and conflicts in international politics.

 

Krivelskaya E. P.

 

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