The Athena simulation software supports an analyst from DoD or other federal agency in making stability and reconstruction projections for operational analyses in areas like Iraq or Afghanistan. It encompasses the use of all elements of national power: diplomatic, information, military, and economic (DIME), and anticipates their effects on political, military, economic, social, information, and infrastructure (PMESII) variables in real-world battle space environments. Athena is a standalone model that provides analysts with insights into the effectiveness of complex operations by anticipating second-, third-, and higher-order effects. For example, the first-order effect of executing a curfew may be to reduce insurgent activity, but it may also reduce consumer spending and keep workers home as second-order effects. Reduced spending and reduced labor may reduce the gross domestic product (GDP) as a third-order effect. Damage to the economy will have further consequences.
The Athena approach has also been considered for application in studies related to climate change and the smart grid. It can be applied to any project where the impacts on the population and their perceptions are important, and where population perception is important to the success of the project.