PAXsims

Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Rubel: Wargaming for Innovation

innovationmindset-paulhsuAt the Information Dissemination blog, Captain Robert C. “Barney” Rubel—former Dean of the Center for Naval Warfare Studies at the Naval War College—addresses how to reinvigorated wargaming so as to better support innovation within the US defence establishment.

In a recent department-wide memo announcing the Defense Innovation Initiative, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel calls for accelerating innovation throughout DoD.  Among other elements of the program, “A reinvigorated wargaming effort will develop and test alternative ways of achieving our strategic objectives and help us think more clearly about the future security environment.” The Secretary’s use of the word “reinvigorated” implies that some aspects of the current wargaming program, whether in DoD proper or throughout the Services, requires improvement.  Since each of the Services has in place a robust program of wargaming, the Secretary either is calling for additional effort in the joint and OSD arenas or is leery of the objectivity of Service gaming and wants more oversight of the process.  Whatever the Secretary’s true intent, an effort to improve wargaming support to innovation will face any number of pitfalls.  Just throwing money at the problem almost guarantees failure.  If this initiative is to bear fruit, wargames must be conducted under the proper circumstances by the right people using correct techniques. Although not specifically called for by the memo, the implied task for the Secretary and his staff will be to establish a DoD-wide policy and strategy on wargaming. This article will set forth some considerations and principles for doing so.

Read the rest of his thoughts here.

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