PAXsims

Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

The Guardian: Wargaming at KCL

The Guardian features a piece today by Keith Stuart about the excellent wargaming MA module at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London.

Wargames aren’t employed only by the military. Corporations use them to explore business decisions; government policymakers use them to simulate major events, including pandemics; and they have a role in disaster relief. “The UNHCR has made efforts in various cities to help with the influx of Ukrainian refugees and provide relief to civic centres and to other spaces housing many people and aid workers,” says Lily Boland, co-designer of Don’t Fear the Reaper Drone. “Wargaming and/or simulating some of these crucial aspects of refugee aid work would certainly help organisations like the UN and local institutions to prepare for these scenarios in advance.”

What the situation in Ukraine has shown the world is that the outcomes of military action are becoming less predictable. Russia’s command and control strategy has been found wanting, while Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s innovative and playful use of social media has increased awareness and support for his country in a way that would have been tough to forecast. As Banks puts it, “I’m a huge believer in using historical case studies as much as possible, but a lot of the problems we’re facing in the 21st century are not ones that we have any ready guides for.”

As the world becomes ever more unpredictable and prone to disruptive global events, perhaps new strategies and solutions will be discovered in games like these.

For more on wargaming at KCL, check out the King’s Wargaming Network

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