Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 02/04/2010

latest news on the USIP OSP

A couple of pieces of news from the Open Simulation Platform project at the United States Institute of Peace.

First, they now have their own webpage, which you’ll find here.

Second, about 80 high school students have been in about a dozen simulations that utilize the USIP OSP technology at The Bishop’s School in California. You’ll find more information on their Peaceconferencing project here.

h/t Skip Cole


We’re pleased to post the following announcement on behalf of ALLIES, detailing their forthcoming 2nd Annual Field Exercise in Stability Operations:

ALLIES (Alliance Linking Leaders in Education and the Services), a student group at Tufts University in Boston, is hosting the 2nd Annual Field Exercise in Stability Operations (FIELDEX) this April at P&L Paintball. And we, a group of undergraduates studying stability operations, civil-military affairs, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (among other things), are leading a collaborative effort with a MALD candidate at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy to simulate the harsh realities that face actors in Afghanistan. Participants in our simulation will role play as one of these actors: Host Nation Security Forces, Coalition forces, Insurgents, local villagers, and civilians (NGO/UN workers and journalists).

The scenario begins as coalition forces are about to enter the town for the first time. Provincial elections, are also about to take place throughout the fictitious country (based off of Afghanistan) very soon. An incumbent and challenger candidate will be running for a position in the elections to represent the village, and villagers will be given the chance to actually vote for their favorite candidate towards the end. As the scenario progresses, coalition forces will be working to win villagers’ hearts and minds by stabilizing and improving their village while dealing with inflammatory insurgent actions. At the same time, insurgents will be attempting to undermine their efforts, the election, and recruit villagers to their cause. UN workers, part of UNAMA, will be responsible for administering elections. Briefing periods are scheduled in after every scenario to check in on how each actor feels and why they responded to certain events or injects they way they did and recap on lessons learned.

Our view is that it’s one thing to talk about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq from the safety of the classroom setting, but experiencing the realities on the ground, even in a simulated setting, adds a whole new level of understanding. Participants will have a unique opportunity to develop a deeper understanding about the repercussions of stability operations from the ground-level and how such operations might be tweaked to work more effectively. Our overarching aim is to introduce students to the operational realities that they will face as future leaders in military, civilian, government, and non-governmental organizations (and perhaps to have a little fun at the same time!)

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas we are happy to hear them! For more information click on these links: (article about last year’s counterinsurgency exercise) (Simulation website) (ALLIES website; undergraduate organization that discusses issues related to Civil-Military affairs)

It looks excellent–as did last year’s exercise.

Connections 2010 reports

A few weeks ago we mentioned the Connections 2010 conference on interdisciplinary wargaming. Now that its over, you’ll find conference reports here (by Eric Walters on ConSimWorld) and here (by Brant Guillory on GrogNews). As might be expected, there was considerable discussion of how to game insurgency/counterinsurgency, including the “non-kinetic” (political, social, development) dimensions.

h/t: Brant at Small Wars Journal

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