Naval War College Review


Jimmy Drennan


You are a tactical commander tasked with a mission to seek out and destroy one of the enemy’s premier capital ships in his home waters. You have two potential striking forces at your disposal: a world-class surface combatant of your own with a 99 percent probability of mission success (Ps = 0.99) or a squadron of eight in- dependently operating, missile-carrying small combatants, each with a chance of successfully completing the mission no better than a coin flip (Ps = 0.5). Do you go with the almost sure thing and choose to send in your large combatant?