Report from Iron Mountain - Anonymous

Section 8: Recommendations

We propose the establishment, under executive order of the President, of a permanent WAR/PEACE Research Agency, empowered and mandated to execute the programs described in (2) and (3) below. This agency

  • will be provided with non-accountable funds sufficient to implement its responsibilities and decisions at its own discretion, and
  • will have authority to preempt and utilize, without restriction, any and all facilities of the executive branch of the government in pursuit of its objectives.

It will be organized along the lines of the National Security Council, except that none of its governing, executive, or operating personnel will hold other public office or governmental responsibility. Its directorate will be drawn from the broadest practicable spectrum of scientific disciplines, humanistic studies, applied creative arts, operating technologies, and otherwise unclassified professional occupations. It will be responsible solely to the President, or to other officers of government temporarily deputized by him. Its operations will be governed entirely by its own rules of procedure. Its authority will expressly include the unlimited right to withhold information on its activities and its decisions, from anyone except the President, whenever it deems such secrecy to be in the public interest.

The first of the War/Peace Research Agency's two principal responsibilities will be to determine all that can be known, including what can reasonably be inferred in terms of relevant statistical probabilities, that may bear on an eventual transition to a general condition of peace. The findings in this Report may be considered to constitute the beginning of this study and to indicate its orientation; detailed records of the investigations and findings of the Special Study Group on which this Report is based, will be furnished the agency, along with whatever clarifying data the agency deems necessary. This aspect of the agency's work will hereinafter be referred to as "Peace Research."

The Agency's Peace Research activities will necessarily include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. The creative development of possible substitute institutions for the principal nonmilitary functions of war.
  2. The careful matching of such institutions against the criteria summarized in this Report, as refined, revised, and extended by the agency.
  3. The testing and evaluation of substitute institutions, for acceptability, feasibility, and credibility, against hypothecated transitional and postwar conditions; the testing and evaluation of the effects of the anticipated atrophy of certain unsubstantiated functions.
  4. The development and testing of the corelativity of multiple substitute institutions, with the eventual objective of establishing a comprehensive program of compatible war substitutes suitable for a planned transition to peace, if and when this is found to be possible and subsequently judged desirable by appropriate political authorities.
  5. The preparation of a wide-ranging schedule of partial, uncorrected, crash programs of adjustment suitable for reducing the dangers of unplanned transition to peace effected by force majeure.

Peace Research methods will include but not be limited to, the following:

  1. The comprehensive interdisciplinary application of historical, scientific, technological, and cultural data.
  2. The full utilization of modern methods of mathematical modeling, analogical analysis, and other, more sophisticated, quantitative techniques in process of development that are compatible with computer programming.
  3. The heuristic "peace games" procedures developed during the course of its assignment by the Special Study Group, and further extensions of this basic approach to the testing of institutional functions.

The WAR/PEACE Research Agency's other principal responsibility will be "War Research." Its fundamental objective will be to ensure the continuing viability of the war system to fulfill its essential nonmilitary functions for as long as the war system is judged necessary to or desirable for the survival of society. To achieve this end, the War Research groups within the agency will engage in the following activities:

(a) Quantification of existing application of the non-military functions of war. Specific determinations will include, but not be limited to:

  • the gross amount and the net proportion of nonproductive military expenditures since World War II assignable to the need for war as an economic stabilizer;
  • the amount and proportion of military expenditures and destruction of life, property, and natural resources during this period assignable to the need for war as an instrument for political control;
  • similar figures, to the extent that they can be separately arrived at, assignable to the need for war to maintain social cohesiveness;
  • levels of recruitment and expenditures on the draft and other forms of personnel deployment attributable to the need for military institutions to control social disaffection;
  • the statistical relationship of war casualties to world food supplies;
  • the correlation of military actions and expenditures with cultural activities and scientific advances (including necessarily the development of measurable standards in these areas).

(b) Establishment of a priori modern criteria for the execution of the nonmilitary functions of war. These will include, but not be limited to:

  • calculation of minimum and optimum ranges of military expenditure required, under varying hypothetical conditions, to fulfill these several functions, separately and collectively;
  • determination of minimum and optimum levels of destruction of LIFE, PROPERTY, and NATURAL RESOURCES prerequisite to the credibility of external threat essential to the political and motivational functions;
  • development of a negotiable formula governing the relationship between military recruitment and training policies and the exigencies of social control.

(c) Reconciliation of these criteria with prevailing economic, political, sociological, and ecological limitations. The ultimate object of this phase of War Research is to rationalize the heretofore informal operations of the war system. It should provide practical working procedures through which responsible governmental authority may resolve the following war-function problems, among others, under any given circumstances:

  • how to determine the optimum quantity, nature, and timing of military expenditures to ensure a desired degree of economic control;
  • how to organize the recruitment, deployment, and ostensible use of military personnel to ensure a desired degree of acceptance of authorized social values;
  • how to compute on a short-term basis, the nature and extent of the LOSS OF LIFE and other resources which SHOULD BE SUFFERED and/or INFLICTED DURING any single outbreak of hostilities to achieve a desired degree of internal political authority and social allegiance;
  • how to project, over extended periods, the nature and quality of overt warfare which must be planned and budgeted to achieve a desired degree of contextual stability for the same purpose; factors to be determined must include frequency of occurrence, length of phase, INTENSITY OF PHYSICAL DESTRUCTION, extensiveness of geographical involvement, and OPTIMUM MEAN LOSS OF LIFE;
  • how to extrapolate accurately from the foregoing, for ecological purposes, the continuing effect of the war system, over such extended cycles, on population pressures, and to adjust the planning of casualty rates accordingly.

War Research procedures will necessarily include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. The collation of economic, military, and other relevant date into uniform terms, permitting the reversible translation of heretofore discrete categories of information.
  2. The development and application of appropriate forms of cost-effectiveness analysis suitable for adapting such new constructs to computer terminology, programming, and projection.
  3. Extension of the "war games" methods of systems testing to apply, as a quasi-adversary proceeding, to the nonmilitary functions of war.

Since Both Programs of the WAR/PEACE RESEARCH Agency will share the same purpose—to maintain governmental freedom of choice in respect to war and peace until the direction of social survival is no longer in doubt, it is of the essence of this proposal that the agency be constituted without limitation of time. Its examination of existing and proposed institutions will be self-liquidating when its own function shall have been superseded by the historical developments it will have, at least in part, initiated.