Formalizing Acquisition Path Analysis

  • Morton Canty
  • Clemens Listner


The theory of directed graphs and non-cooperative games is applied to the problem of verification of State compliance to international treaties on arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Hypothetical treaty violations are formulated in terms of illegal acquisition paths for the accumulation of clandestine weapons, weapons-grade materials or some other military capability. The paths constitute the illegal strategies of a sovereign State in a two-person inspection game played against a multi- or international Inspectorate charged with compliance verification. The effectiveness of existing or postulated verification measures is quantified in terms of the Inspectorate’s expected utility at Nash equilibrium. A case study involving a State with a moderately large nuclear fuel cycle is presented.



This report was prepared in close cooperation with Irmgard Niemeyer (Forschungszentrum Jülich), Arnold Rezniczek (UBA Unternehmensberatung GmbH, Herzogenrath) and Gotthard Stein (Bonn).


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morton Canty
    • 1
  • Clemens Listner
    • 2
  1. 1.ConsultantJülichGermany
  2. 2.ConsultantBerlinGermany

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