Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 28/03/2009

more simulation news

Given that I work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for a living, I can hardly omit mention of this one, buried in a report on the airstrikes in Sudan earlier this year:

IAF airstrike in Sudan hit convoy of weapons destined for Gaza

Haaretz, 27 March 2009
By Yossi Melman, Amos Harel and Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondents, and News Agencies

…Meanwhile, in May, an international conference is scheduled to take place in Ottawa, the third of its kind since the end of Operation Cast Lead, which will discuss how to prevent arms smuggling from Iran to the Gaza Strip. 

In addition to host Canada, Britain, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Denmark, the U.S. and Israel will also take part. 

Immediately after the conference a “war game” is scheduled to take place in Washington, with the participation of security officials and diplomats from the countries involved. The “war game” will practice a scenario of foiling arms smuggling from Iran to the Gaza Strip. 

It will be interesting to see whether the wargame is intended largely as a political-diplomatic feel-good gesture  to create a sense that there is forward movement on this issue, or whether it is hoped to foster great practical cooperation through identifying (for example) the operational requirements, dynamics, and necessary resources and cooperation mechanisms to interdict smuggling.

If it is the latter, I hope they have someone adequately red-team gaming the Iranians and Hamas, so that the simulation fully reflects the potential perils and complications of interdiction operations.

simulation news

University of Utah students participate in counterterrorism simulation

Deseret News, 27 March 2009.

By Ethan Thomas

Imagine being a high-ranking government official on a day when terrorists execute several attacks on U.S. soil and abroad.

Some law students at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah had to walk a mile in a few of those officials’ shoes Friday in a live counterterrorism simulation at the law school.

The fake attacks included an explosion that rocked the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, suicide bombings at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C., ferry explosions in San Francisco and anthrax scares at several hospitals in the U.S. capital.

And that was just the first hour of the six-hour simulation.



Badges, fake guns, interrogations and arrests in IRS simulation for students

KOAM TV 7, 27 March 2009.

PITTSBURG, KAN. – April 15 is the tax deadline, and if you were contemplating not paying taxes this year, dozens of students are gearing up to make sure you go down.

On Friday an IRS training program called the Adrian Project was held at Pittsburg State University, giving students a real world simulation including badge and fake gun.

The goal is to help accounting and criminal justice students who are interested in the career.

“It’s a program that gives us a chance to come out to the universities and maybe even the high schools and give the students an idea of what an IRS agent does,” said Toni Weirauch, the special agent in charge.  “We try to give them the full gammet of what we do, as well as they will be doing some arresting and hand cuffs and some felony car stops.”

From the oath to the arrest

The students took an oath, and were fitted with the Adrian Project’s version of a badge and a fake gun.

Then they start from square one, interviewing and interrogating mock suspects of tax evasion.

They investigated accounts where a tax return preparer may try to hide income, whether legally or illegally.

“It’s kind of like a puzzle and that’s what’s real fun to me,” said PSU senior Kyle Spechinger.  “You have to put a lot of pieces together before you can come up with your answer.  It’s cat and mouse.”



Local residents participate in Poverty Simulation Exercise

Pensacola News Journal, 20 March 2009

Jean Norman

Oatmeal or fruit for breakfast? Is there time to read over a newspaper or two? What about visit an elderly neighbor and wish him a happy birthday?

These are the decisions I made early Tuesday morning.

The questions were harder for me later in the day, and for about 55 local residents participating in a Poverty Simulation Exercise at the Langley Bell 4-H Center. Our imaginary worries: When will we get some food? Will I lose my job if I take my sick child to the emergency room? How will we get there?

The poverty simulation, conducted by Michael Gutter, assistant professor at University of Florida and sponsored by the Unite Escambia Poverty Solutions Team, made participants grapple with hard questions in a fast-moving, stress-filled couple of hours that demonstrate the frustrations of trying to survive with few resources and plenty of problems.


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