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The Mathematics of War Needs to be Understood to Preserve the Peace.   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2014-8-9 13:55:56 |Display all floors
This post was edited by abramicus at 2014-8-9 14:03

There is a glaring lack of appreciation by the international community of the mathematics that define the probabilities of a catastrophic global conflict and that of preserving the peace.  Smaller countries, like Vietnam, Philippines, and even Japan, are felt to be unlikely to trigger such a disaster.  Perhaps, the world has been all too cozy with its deep understanding of the dynamics of a bipolar world and the dependency of its peace on the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction, and it has failed to grasp the opposite situation as pertains to a multipolar world and where the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction may be limited to only the major powers, while the lesser nations can expect only partial destruction, in exchange for the near complete destruction of the major powers.

Let us construct a risk table, quantifying approximately the risk of any one country doing something that could trigger a major conflict between all the major powers, i.e., lead to WWIII.  Right next to it, we calculate its complement, i.e., the chance that such a country would not trigger a world conflict.

COUNTRY        War       Peace
Vietnam:          0.02      0.98
Philippines:      0.02       0.98
Japan:             0.40       0.60
NKorea:           0.30       0.70
SKorea:           0.05       0.95
etc.

Just these "minor players" alone, have raised the risk of a world war to around 62%!!!

How so?  To achieve the preservation of world peace, none of these countries should do anything that triggers a world war.  Just one is enough to create a free for all.  Therefore, peace is possible only if every one of these countries practice sufficient restraint to avoid provoking the other major powers, even if it feels it is securely backed by one of them to the point it can attempt some risky actions.  This means, we have to multiply the probability of Vietnam practicing sufficient restraint, i.e., 0.98 [this is already very conservative], by the probability of the Philippines practicing sufficient restraint of 0.98 [again very conservative estimate], and so forth, the product of which five rows is equal to 0.38.  That is the probability of everyone playing ball and avoiding provocations.   Thus, the probability of any one of them triggering a global conflict is equal to 1 minus 0.38, or equal to 0.62!!!

No matter how one looks at it, the overall picture is that the risk of a global conflict has reached, if not exceeded, 50%.

To make things worse, these "lesser players" are emboldened by their perception of support from one or more major powers, that they can provoke without devastating consequences to themselves, as they think they will be saved in the nick of time, even if that is more wishful thinking than logic.

Therefore, it is time that all proxy provocations must completely cease, or else, the situation will spiral exponentially out of control at any time.  It is time that the world leaders understand the iron logic of the mathematics that defines the world they have set up.  Everything is inter-related, not just in economics, but also in war and peace.  Proxy wars do not prevent WWIII, they facilitate it exponentially.  The numbers do not lie.




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Post time 2014-8-9 14:14:59 |Display all floors
so where do these figures come from?

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Post time 2014-8-9 14:18:57 |Display all floors
like to see the figures for the Balkans

they done very well in the war stakes
ExJ.H

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Post time 2014-8-9 15:15:13 |Display all floors
I used the numbers for illustration purposes, giving each protagonist a very conservative estimate of its likelihood of triggering a major military conflict between any or all of the nuclear powers.  Japan's use of squadrons of 8 F15 fighter jets to intimidate China's twin propeller unarmed patrol planes, its taking dangerous maneuvers close to Chinese military jets in international airspace that Japan claims as its exclusive ADIZ, and its repeated mllitary excercises to invade Diaoyudao by force, are all provocative in the least, and outright bellicose at the worst.  You can assign your own numbers to each of these "minor players" and even expand the list, but the mathematics of probability of any one of these "lesser countries" deemed to be mere "proxies" triggering an anything but "lesser war" of nuclear proportions remains the same.  However you chop and dice the numbers, you will get close to or greater than a 50% chance of a global conflict.

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Post time 2014-8-9 16:06:16 |Display all floors
abramicus Post time: 2014-8-9 15:15
I used the numbers for illustration purposes, giving each protagonist a very conservative estimate o ...

I see you have awarded a very large 'War index' to Japan. I find this odd since even China has started more wars than Japan since WWII. In fact, China has started more wars than almost all of the countries you listed (since WWII).

How did you account for this in your figures?

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Post time 2014-8-9 16:29:19 |Display all floors
These countries have increased the risk for a major war ???

COUNTRY        War       Peace
Vietnam:          0.02      0.98
Philippines:      0.02       0.98
Japan:             0.40       0.60
NKorea:           0.30       0.70
SKorea:           0.05       0.95
etc.

And what about CHINA and RUSSIA ???

Don't try to tell us that they are the new "Switzerlands" of the world !

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Post time 2014-8-9 16:33:02 |Display all floors
COUNTRY        War       Peace
Vietnam:          0.02      0.98
Philippines:      0.02       0.98
Japan:             0.40       0.60
NKorea:           0.30       0.70
SKorea:           0.05       0.95
etc.

None of these countries have placed an oil rigg in the EEC of another country
None of these countries had been as aggressive as China has been in the last 5 years.

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