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"Can war games help us avoid real-world conflict?" Topic

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277 hits since 6 Sep 2017
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Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2017 7:38 p.m. PST

It's trying to find out why a massive American naval fleet has just arrived in the region. But it's not getting any answers. There's chaos in the White House as various factions try to influence the president.

Some of this might sound familiar. But this is not real life. It's the scenario in a war game called Dire Straits, set in 2020.

And it's being acted out, not on the world stage, but in a lecture theatre and seminar rooms at King's College, London.


Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2017 8:41 p.m. PST

If you have leaders inclined to pay any attention to a "game", maybe.
I don't see any leader on the world stage now who shows such an inclination.
All wargames ever taught me was that if I need a 6, I would roll a 2.
Games reflect and reinforce the biases of their designers.

USAFpilot07 Sep 2017 9:21 p.m. PST

Wargaming has been written into our military doctrine as part of any joint operations planning process. Maybe not in the same context as dice throwing recreational gaming, but nonetheless the term wargaming is used. And "wargaming" does take place at the operational level of war on military planning staffs.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2017 9:28 p.m. PST

Well done, you got the link to copy right the first time! (Unlike my effort.)

Bob the Temple Builder08 Sep 2017 1:54 a.m. PST

I took part in this Megagame as part of the Control team.

For many participants this was their first experience of large-scale political/military gaming, and was intended to demonstrate the processes used as well as the pros and cons. This was part of a three day conference intended to spread the message about the usefulness of wargaming. The BBC only saw and reported on part of what happened during the conference.

The fact that this news item projected wargaming as being something other than people pushing toy soldiers around on a tabletop (something that I personally enjoy!) is IMHO a good thing. As to the 'can wargames like this prevent wars?' … I doubt it BUT it might just allow potential participants to experience crisis management in a safe-to-fail environment.

Bob the Temple Builder08 Sep 2017 3:56 a.m. PST

My part in this Megagame is covered here = link

Personal logo Dentatus Supporting Member of TMP Fezian08 Sep 2017 3:58 a.m. PST


Some people want what they want and will resort to force to get it. Always have and always will.

Would you be willing to give up territory/natural resources/rights/liberties/ideological principles/form of government/etc, on the results of a game?

Apache 608 Sep 2017 2:52 p.m. PST

The U.S. Department of Defense has made recommendations about institutionalizing 'gaming' (without the focus on war) out interventions and other strategic and 'operational' actions.

The DOD, at least has realized that the next step beyond the "joint" planning is to include Interagency and multinational elements.

One part of the challenge is the difference in terminology and doctrine (or lack of it for some agencies) for planning. Some non-DOD agencies can be very inconsistent in planning. Oddly and counterintuitively, it's too often the DOD (or subordinates such as Geographic Combatant Commands) looking at the longer term impacts and second, third and subsequent effects, and the state department just addressing the "crisis of the moment." This is likely based on a combination of both 'organizational culture' and resourcing.

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