Back in May, the Centre for Science and Security Studies at King’s College London published a Crisis in South East Europe 2023 scenario for use in wargames, table-top exercises and classroom simulations (link).
The scenario was designed to provide a means through which to think through the potential impact of disruptive technologies, such as missile defence, on any future integrated conflict involving NATO and Russia and, by direct implication, on strategic stability in Europe and the evolution of the wider international security environment. Importantly, the scenario also provides the basis for a more general consideration of how crises and integrated, all-domain conflict between NATO and Russia could potentially evolve in southeast Europe.
The southeast Europe scenario was the second of two scenarios developed by Ivanka Barzashka for a project examining how missile defences may affect nuclear deterrence and stability in the evolving strategic environment. Project adviser Ivan Oelrich and King’s doctoral researchers Johan Elg and Marion Messmer contributed to the scenario’s intelligence reports. The project was funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York under its initiative to explore disruptive technologies and nuclear stability.
The scenarios key assumptions are:
- By 2023, the United States, Russia and NATO have all acknowledged a new era of strategic competition involving major powers.
- Global economic growth has enabled increases in defence spending and military modernisation.
- Six years of “America first” have produced intended results in the form of improved military readiness and morale, and new military capabilities for both the US and its allies.
- Russia has pursued a course consistent with its current security strategy and military doctrine and has met its stated armaments targets.
- NATO has continued to adapt and strengthen deterrence and defence against Russia beyond the 2016 Warsaw Summit decisions.
- Ukraine has continued on a pro-Western path and has modernised its military, resulting in a renewed ambition to regain control of “occupied territories”.
- Turkey has had an ambivalent relationship with the West: support for NATO, opposition toward specific NATO member policies and closer cooperation with Russia.
- New advanced conventional capabilities, cyber offence and counter-space weapons have been fielded by all sides.
- The US, NATO and Russia have made no major changes to nuclear capabilities beyond current plans, but the INF Treaty and New START are no longer in play.
- The US and NATO seek protection against Russian cruise and ballistic missile threats to Europe and make progress in deploying those capabilities.
Including in the package are briefing and background materials for the United States, NATO, and Russian teams. The scenario package does not provide rules or procedures for running the scenario—that is up to you.
h/t Ivanka Barzashka
UPDATE: Need a map so you can run this as a matrix game, using the Matrix Game Construction Kit? Tom Mouat has kindly provided one for the Ukraine (pdf):
A tiled version can be found here.