A BETTER PEACE welcomes Chris Dougherty and Becca Wasser from The Gaming Lab at the Center for New American Security (CNAS). Chris and Becca join host Ken Gilliam in our special series the WARGAMING ROOM to discuss the efforts and contributions of CNAS to the gaming world. The three discuss how strategic gaming is used to shape the choices of leaders in government policy, industry and academia.

It’s one thing to know a thing to have read it in a book or to see it on a PowerPoint slide. It’s another thing to actually go through the experience of living it in a game and experiencing it.

Chris Dougherty is a Senior Fellow in the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security. His research areas include defense strategy, strategic assessments, force planning, and wargaming. Becca Wasser is a fellow in the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security. Her research areas include wargaming, force posture and management, and U.S. defense strategy. She is also an adjunct instructor at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where she teaches an undergraduate course on wargaming. Ken Gilliam is a colonel in the U.S. Army and Director of Strategic Wargaming at the Center for Strategic Leadership, U.S. Army War College. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.

Photo Description: The logo of The Gaming Lab at CNAS. The Gaming Lab at CNAS makes innovative unclassified games and exercises on a range of challenging national security issues. Experts at the Gaming Lab design and conduct these activities for leaders in government, policy, industry, and academia.

Photo Credit: This is a copyrighted image used courtesy of the Center for a New American Security

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  1. Remember that a single war game produces (1) socialization of the current understanding between participants (2) Blinding Flashes of The Obvious, and (3) Questions for Future Research.

    A game -study- game- study series support by a well resourced research organization with broad community participation is where the real power resides. An Advanced Technology Cell is also very useful in exploring alternatives across time.

    If the game series is to explore “Force Design and Forcing Planning”, remember that major physical systems go from concept to deployment over a 30 year period and then have a 10-20 year production cycle and each item has a 10 to 40 year life. This 90 year class life cycle covers three Geo-political Epochs. The JSF (F-35 family) is a classic example. Force structures far out live the geo-political context that call them into existence.

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