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Wargaming the Arctic

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Arctic Circle (Oct. 2003) — Three Polar bears approach the starboard bow of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Honolulu (SSN 718) while surfaced 280 miles from the North Pole. U. S. Navy photo by Chief Yeoman Alphonso Braggs.

Over at 1945 I work through a simulation that the Patterson School ran in conjunction with the Army War College:

The Arctic exercise is new, but the practice of bringing students into policy simulations isn’t.  This simulation is one of several International Strategic Crisis Negotiation Exercise (ISCNE) scenarios run by the Center for Strategic Leadership (CSL) at the United States Army War College (USAWC). The subjects of other scenarios include Nagorno-Karabakh, the South China Sea, and Cyprus. Schools that have participated in the ISCNE include the Georgetown School of Foreign Service, the Jackson School at the University of Washington, The Maxwell School at Syracuse, The Korbel School at Denver, and others.

Wargame is and isn’t a misnomer; no war is being gamed, but “wargaming” has become a convenient term of art for a certain kind of policy simulation. The ISCNE simulations never involve actual conflict, but rather negotiation between teams with complicated political instructions. The teams pursue overall agreement within the strictures of particular national interests. These sims are different from the Crisis Simulation that we run on our own in that they have fairly strict rules of engagement and they’re played many times over. In any case, check it out. If you’re part of a program that could benefit from this kind of engagement, feel free to drop me a line and I’ll connect you with the appropriate people.

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