Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

DIA: We need rich, interactive wargames

In response to a question at the GEONT 2017 conference, Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), highlighted the potential value of wargaming to the intelligence community (34:40 onwards in the video above).

There’s one other thing I desperately need. We have gotten away from the business of wargaming, effective wargaming, and I’ve got to find a way of bringing wargaming back into the Department, wargaming with our national security partners, in an interactive way. Not your bland table-top environment. Rich Blue data, friendly data; rich enemy data; rich interactive, live, geospatial data—where we can actually compete in a realistic way. Gamifying all that data, so that now we can make some decisions on where we allocate ISR, depending on the crisis, and what the impact might be if we move something to the Pacific, what the impact might be in Europe.

We don’t do that very well. I’m told that Admiral Nimitz said they did so much wargaming prior to World War Two that there was only one thing that surprised them, the kamikazes. We don’t do that kind of intensive wargaming where we’re continually learning from the environment, and learning from each other and the the decisions we have to make.

If anyone has some great simulation, wargaming approaches—I am really interested.

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