Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

“Soviet Style Wargames”

“Soviet Style Wargames”, prepared by John Sloan, Ali Jalali, Gouhlam Wardak, Fred Giessler in 1986

This is a preliminary discussion of what the Soviets taught at the Voroshilov and Frunze academies about the nature of and the methods for conducting wargames. Working with Colonels Jalali and Wardak US analysts of Soviet military issues have been reviewing this subject to see how wargaming in the USSR compares with that in the US. It is clear that the two former colonels in the Afghan army know a great deal about wargaming, more from practical experience in participating in wargames than from formal study of the subject at Soviet schools. This is an attempt to outline their knowledge and start to do comparisons. It may lead to a capability to conduct a full scale Soviet style wargame here in the US. In this way DOD experts and decision makers might learn both the form and style of Soviet wargaming as well as the content of a Soviet style assessment. This could lead to identifying implications of US actions and capabilities based upon conducting Soviet style wargames.

The purpose for conducting a Soviet style wargame is to demonstrate Soviet planning, research, and gaming techniques in action. It is to illustrate Soviet style analysis techniques of the subject used in the game. In addition, it will provide some insight into the likely content of the analysis Soviet war game users might derive from a similar game on the same topic.

In addition to the formal training at the senior military schools, wargaming was one of the activities the Soviets introduced into Afghanistan during their advisory period (1962 – 1979). The purposes of these games were for training, planning, and research. This paper focuses on the role of wargames in support of scientific military study, how the Soviets use wargames, who plays and who controls, where they play them and how they conduct them.

This paper focuses on the development of the role of wargaming in Afghanistan under Soviet advisors, supplemented by information on the theory of wargaming as discussed in Soviet senior military schools. Colonel Wardak attended the Frunze Military Academy and completed the Voroshilov Academy in 1977. Colonel Jalali completed the Frunze Academy in 1980.

From the Introduction

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