How do we understand and adapt deterrence to emerging security challenges that arise from a complex system of integrated, interacting and rapidly evolving challenges?
In her NATO-funded project through NSRI, Dr. Michelle Black tested and began the validation of a multi-actor deterrence framework that helps answer this question.
Now, an NSRI IRAD team of researchers from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) is exploring how to convert the methodology into a unique deterrence laboratory.
"With our tested methodology, we aim to provide this high-level resource to our Nation’s defenders in a way that is efficient, specific and actionable," said Dr. Black who serves as an NSRI Fellow.
Instead of looking at one problem at a time, through the lab the team intends to expand to multiple scenarios with increased complexity and for various national security agencies.
The project team includes four researchers who also serve as NSRI Fellows: Dr. Deanna House, UNO assistant professor of information systems and quantitative analysis, Elsbeth Magilton, executive director of the Nebraska Governance and Technology Center as well as the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law program at UNL, Dr. Lana Obradovic, UNO director of international studies, and Dr. Tyler White, UNL associate professor of political science. Three graduate assistants are also contributing to the conceptual work Josie Nelson, UNO, Steve Saunders, UNO, and Rachel Urban, UNL.
Nearing the end of the 12-month project, the team has accomplished several key milestones, including but not limited to:
- Built a team of interdisciplinary NU researchers
- Published concept for multi-actor deterrence
- Presented the concept to stakeholders and interested parties
- Applied for several grants
They will continue to present the methodology as a potential solution to addressing complex strategic deterrence scenarios while seeking grant funding.
"As the world becomes more complicated, we need to help deterrence leaders work with multiple actors across multiple domains," Dr. White said. "We are finding this methodology to be useful at many different levels from big state-to-state scenarios to interagency problem solving.
"For the U.S. to maintain its advantage we need to make better decisions, more quickly, and with our eyes wide open. This project, I believe, can help us do that."
About the National Strategic Research Institute
Through the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska leading scientists deliver innovative national security research, technology, product and strategy development, training and exercises, and subject matter expertise to the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. One of only 14 DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Centers in the country, NSRI is sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command and works to ensure the United States’ safety and preparedness against increasingly sophisticated threats. Read about our mission.