A post by Helen Greenhough, PhD Research Student, Imperial College, Dept of Computing
As an analyst in the defense sector, the adage of threat = capability x intent was widely accepted. But where did it come from?
In the course of my research I was pleased to come across what appears to be the original source of this equation in J. David Singer’s 1958 paper ‘Threat Perception and Armament-Tension Dilemma’ and was originally: ‘Threat-Perception = Estimated Capability x Estimated Intent’ [p94, Singer, J. 1958]. This quasi-formula posits that the perception of a threat can be reduced to zero by either reducing military capability or military intent.