The Pentagon has a wealth of data at their finger tips and they use it in many ways….one is to predict the outcome of any military action that the US may engage in.
These days analyst play a role as they did back in the day….but today they rely on computers for their extended predictions. All the algorithms and such give the leaders a look at what to expect and they can plan thus.
Even as far back as 50 years ago a computer was used to predict the outcome if the Vietnam War…….
At just about the halfway point of Lynn Novick and Ken Burns’s monumental documentary on the Vietnam War, an army advisor tells an anecdote that seems to sum up the relationship between the military and computers during the mid-1960s.
“There’s the old apocryphal story that in 1967, they went to the basement of the Pentagon, when the mainframe computers took up the whole basement, and they put on the old punch cards everything you could quantify. Numbers of ships, numbers of tanks, numbers of helicopters, artillery, machine gun, ammo—everything you could quantify,” says James Willbanks, the chair of military history at U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. “They put it in the hopper and said, ‘When will we win in Vietnam?’ They went away on Friday and the thing ground away all weekend. [They] came back on Monday and there was one card in the output tray. And it said, ‘You won in 1965.’”
This illustrates that no matter the amount of info that one has at their disposal…..certainty of a victory in war is a guess….at best.