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Strategic Wargaming Division


At the request of the Army Chief of Staff, the USAWC developed a series of seminar wargames to identify potential implications for the Army arising from emerging threats and challenges. The intent is to conduct six events annually, roughly one every two months. Each event will wargame a different strategic situation or issue to produce a short, readable report highlighting Army concerns and providing any insights gained for the Army Leadership and Army organizations with a stake in the issues examined. To accomplish this USAWC will draw in appropriate experts from the Army, other DoD and government agencies, think tanks, and academia to participate in and contribute to the effort. USAWC Wargaming Brochure March 2015


The Strategic Wargaming Series Handbook, which explains how the U.S. Army War College conducts its wargames, can be found here.


From Cooperation to Competition - The Future of U.S. - Russian Relations

With the reemergence of Russian aggression in 2014, a team of six students from the Carlisle Scholars Program (CSP) at the USAWC began a six-month project to assess the driving factors behind Russian foreign and security policy, in order to better anticipate future behavior. The CSP team created a visualization and formal paper describing what it came to term "the Russian System" and later partnered with the Center of Strategic Leadership (CSL) to conduct a strategic-level wargame on 15-16 April 2015 to test key hypotheses and expand collaborative learning. This report provides some insights into the broader project, but is more focused on the results of the wargame and how those results can inform future thinking about U.S. - Russian relations.

China Futures Wargame

The US Army War College Center for Strategic Leadership conducted China Futures, an unclassified Strategic Wargame to develop insights regarding potential collegial and competing interests between the United States and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) to inform US national security decision-maker's long-term planning efforts. The wargame focused on identifying interests in Africa and Latin America, and sought to relate them to the Asia-Pacific region and other regions of the world.

Human Elements of Military Operations

In January 2015, the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) conducted a workshop focused on understanding the human elements of military operations. Two groups of experts from the behavioral and social sciences participated in an interdisciplinary examination of what human elements military leaders, planners, and soldiers need to consider when operating in foreign lands. The participants created two very different and flexible frameworks that offer a deeper understanding of the human elements than many current constructs and checklists offer.

NATO Wargame

On December 10-11, 2014, the U.S. Army War College Center for Strategic Leadership (CSL) led an unclassified strategic tabletop wargame to develop insights into how the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's internal challenges impacted the Alliance's ability to perform collective defense, crisis management, and/or cooperative security and explore how the U. S. Army should think about the Landpower implications of this analysis. Seventeen subject matter experts from the U.S. Army War College faculty and staff, resident students (including several International Fellows), NATO, academia, and from think tanks in both the U.S. and Europe participated in the wargame.

Pacific Partners Wargame

On 24-25 September 2014, the U.S. Army War College Center for Strategic Leadership conducted an unclassified Strategic Seminar Wargame (SSWG) entitled PACIFIC PARTNERS. This was the second in a proposed three-part series to examine deterrence, shaping, and conflict de-escalation / resolution in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. The PACIFIC PARTNERS SSWG was designed to identify and describe potential modifications to improve U.S. engagement activities in the Indo-Asia-Pacific in support of U.S. national security interests.

Pacific Options

On 11-12 June 2014, the U.S. Army War College Center for Strategic Leadership (CSL) conducted an unclassified Strategic Seminar Wargame (SSWG) to develop insights into how the People?s Republic of China (PRC) views land power and how the U.S. government might use American land power in the western Pacific, in conjunction with other instruments of national power, to help deter the PRC from aggressive regional actions that would adversely impact U.S. interests.

Ukraine Implications

On 28-29 April 2014, the U.S. Army War College Center for Strategic Leadership (CSL) conducted an unclassified strategic Tabletop Exercise (TTX) to develop implications for the U.S. Army of ongoing events in Ukraine. Subject matter experts from the U.S. Army War College faculty, U.S. students and International Fellows from Europe and other scholars from academia and think tanks participated in the TTX. The participants were given scenarios of how events in Ukraine could evolve to determine the likelihood of actions by Russia, and identify reactions to those Russian actions by other stakeholders and counter-responses by the Russians to those reactions. The results were then analyzed to extract potential requirements for Army capabilities and implications for the U.S.Army.

Afghanistan Futures

The Afghanistan Futures Wargame conducted 14-15 January 2014 brought together specialists with expertise on Afghanistan, China, India, Iran and Pakistan, international relations and national security affairs from academia, government and private think-tanks to consider U.S. policy options for Afghanistan beyond 2014. The overarching finding of this wargame is that, except for the issues associated with ungoverned space, the United States has relatively few national interests in Afghanistan going forward. U.S. national interests in Pakistan are greater than those in Afghanistan, and are centered on non-use, nonproliferation and security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, combined with concern over internal stability and the presence of Violent Extremist Organizations (VEOs). Future U.S. policy toward Afghanistan should be adjusted to match these interests, should seek opportunities for cooperation where the interests of other stakeholders converge with U.S. interests and should be part of a broader regional, less military-centric policy.

US Army War College

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