Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 02/10/2009

Don’t Hold Your Breath for ‘Sim Afghanistan’

Michael Peck has an informative piece on the simulation and modeling of COIN and irregular warfare over at Wired’s Danger Room blog:

The Pentagon is pouring tens of millions of dollars into mathematical models that might one day help America’s armed forces win a counterinsurgency. Too bad the U.S. military is almost totally unprepared to model irregular warfare.

The Pentagon is interested in modeling because it’s a cheap, fast way to calculate whether your equipment and tactics will be effective against whatever the enemy is throwing against you. The problem is that, for years, modeling and simulation focused on conventional war with the Soviets. And it hasn’t quite adapted to today’s guerrilla conflicts, as I discovered when I wrote this article for Training & Simulation Journal. Which means a “Sim Afghanistan” won’t be ready for a long, long time — if it’s ever ready at all.

He echoes many of the observations we’ve made here (and provides much more information beside). Worth a read.

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