Incentive Stackelberg Strategies for a Dynamic Game on Terrorism

Date of Original Version



Working Paper

Abstract or Description

This paper presents a dynamic game model of international terrorism. The time horizon is finite, about the size of one presidency, or infinite. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of incentive Stackelberg strategies for both decision-makers of the game (“The West” and “International Terror Organization”) allows statements about the possibilities and limitations of terror control interventions. Recurrent behavior is excluded with monotonic variation in the frequency of terror attacks whose direction depends on when the terror organization launches its terror war. Even optimal pacing of terror control operations does not greatly alter the equilibrium of the infinite horizon game, but outcomes from the West’s perspective can be greatly improved if the game is only “played” for brief periods of time and if certain parameters could be influenced, notably those pertaining to the terror organization’s ability to recruit replacements.