Individual versus overarching protection and attack of assets
Two agents protect and attack a collection of assets overarchingly versus individually. Examples of overarching protection are border security, counter intelligence, and public health measures. Both layers of protection have to be breached for an attack to be successful. We consider a simultaneous game, and a two period game with overarching contest in period 1 and individual contests in period 2 if the attacker wins period 1. With reasonable assumptions, such as contest intensities not exceeding one, the defender prefers two protection layers, while the attacker prefers one protection layer. When the unit effort costs of overarching protection and attack are equal, and the agents’ valuations for each asset are equal, in the simultaneous game defender and attacker efforts are equal in the overarching contest. In contrast, for the two period game, the defender invests more than the attacker in the overarching contest to prevent the occurrence of period 2. If the attacker nevertheless wins period 1, both agents exert larger efforts in period 2 compared with the individual contests in the simultaneous game. Framed within the Colonel Blotto literature, the attacker must win the first battlefield (overarching contest) in order to engage in the contests over the n other battlefields (individual contests).