Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

report from Fjordland I

Fortunately, Raleigh (and Fjordland in the South) has oil and lithium, so people care…

First round in Fjordland (see statement of mission objective, below)…

Everyone was given background materials before the event (electronically) and hard copies on the first academic day of the course (yesterday).  This was a 30 page write-up describing the scenario, with a very nicely done “recent time-line” for the past X days. 

For example, on a day nearly three weeks ago (E-20):

E-20 (a particularly bad day)

  • In relation to last week’s discovery of Lithium, Chinese and Nigerian authorities immediately express interest in contributing to the extraction of the mineral. Moroccan contractors also express interest in Lithium resources, especially as a source of export to northern Africa. (FDI)
  • A prominent Moroccan investment broker is murdered in Raleigh. The government releases a statement, denouncing the murder and pledging to commit resources to bring the culprit to justice. The Moroccan Foreign Minister, in a statement, condemns the murder and urges the government to apprehend the suspects and safeguard the security of Greek nationals living in Raleigh.
  • The Moroccan Ambassador in Raleigh holds a meeting with the Minister of Interior Zamour to discuss the investigation of the murder.  Prior to her European trip Minister Marta Zamour received threats to her life unless she ceases her campaign against terrorism and organised crime.
  • Four hundred kilos of triacetone triperoxide (TATP) explosives are stolen during the night from a quarry in PUKAKI, Raleigh. All the newspapers ask a same question: terrorism or violent crime purpose? The Greek newspaper openly accuses GLAD for the incident.
  • World Food organization announces record deficit in agricultural production for Fjordland projected for next year.

Sadly Minister Zamour’s airplane crashed this morning under suspicious circumstances…. 

After reviewing this material, we were asked to act as the Special Advisory Group to NATO, and tasked with delivering strategic guidance to NATO on a comprehensive approach.  To begin the process, we were asked to start by brainstorming through the problems – identifying all of the challenges facing Raleigh/Fjordland and the sequencing/priorities of these challenges – which took us all of this morning.

I wasn’t entirely convinced that this is a good starting point, but it was a good, basic exercise, engaging the group in producing an early output and clarifying some early discrepancies in understandings in the group of the task we’d been assigned and how it could be done collaboratively.  Indeed, in light of the success of the exercise, I am considering an edit to one of the first stages of the Carana exercise – usually we have folks playing the same role discuss their assessment of the challenges and their goals – it is fairly unstructured – based on this exercise, I might expect a deliverable out of that session with a list of challenges and goals – perhaps something that could be typed up and distributed at the end of the simulation. 

Out list of “symptoms” (types of conflict and challenges in Fjordland)  had 32 items on it (at least there is no cholera).  We’re identifying stakeholders and goals this afternoon…

4 responses to “report from Fjordland I

  1. Rex Brynen 02/09/2011 at 2:48 pm

    NZ can go off alert now ;)

  2. Major Tom 23/08/2011 at 6:25 am

    I drew this map while I was with the NATO Mission in Iraq – and I can assure you that the island is entirely ficticious and that any similarity to any island, real or imagined, is pure coincidence. The suggestion that I might have snuck a vector graphic off Wikimedia and re-hashed it because I was pushed for time is just speculation. Honest.

    I did think it would make a decent map for a game though…

  3. Rex Brynen 14/07/2011 at 10:27 am

    Frankly, if I were antipodean, I would worry that this whole “comprehensive approach” thing is cover for a NATO-imperialist takeover of New Zealand. That map is NZ’s South Island with the names changed ;)

  4. Skip Cole 12/07/2011 at 9:34 am

    > has oil and lithium, so people care …

    We always care. But if there isn’t enough of a national interest in going in, we don’t pay to play.

    It sounds like a really good exercise!


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